In recent conversations with women who had either just given birth or who were raising toddlers, or even teenagers, it became clear most of them were suffering from pelvic floor ailments and all of them were resigned to the idea that this was the way their life was now. What they didn’t realize is that there is an entire field in physical therapy dedicated to supporting and healing pelvic floor weakness. Imagine their further surprise when they heard that low back pain during pregnancy was also something a physical therapist could assist in healing as well! Turns out the Upper West Side is no stranger to mothers, and we’ve got the pelvic floor specialists and the facilities that are perfect for them!
Most expecting mothers expect to have a lot of back pain and often they’re not even aware that there are a few simple things a physical therapist can recommend to help ease the low back pain you feel during pregnancy, like using the aid of a support belt. You may be tempted to go and buy a support belt on your own, but you’ll want to discuss this with a licensed physical therapist first because different belts help support different points of pain. There are different belts for SI joint pain or for abdominal pain, etc., and you don’t want to wind up with the wrong one!
Simple adjustments to posture and how you move throughout the day can make a world of difference in your back pain as your pregnancy progresses as well. Don’t live with any unnecessary pain during this awesome and difficult time in your life!
Other common myths among mothers after they’ve given birth is that occasional abdominal pain is normal and peeing a little when you sneeze or cough is common. Sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it? Don’t let anyone convince you this is the price you have to pay for a chubby little bundle of joy (read: baby) because these are not conditions you need to live with for forever.
If you’re experiencing pain in your abdominal area after giving birth it might be that you have a separation in the muscles of your abdominal wall. You can actually feel this separation with your fingers, so if you like to self-diagnose before seeing a doctor this is what you do. Use your fingers to feel the muscles in the very middle of your torso, right above your belly button. Lift your head and let your fingers press into your abdominal wall. It’s normal for zero to one finger to slip through but any more than that and you’ve likely got a muscle separation. It sounds scary, but don’t worry, your physical therapist can help.
Unless you are pregnant you should not leak if you cough or sneeze. You may already be doing Kegel exercises or following other common advice, but if these aren’t working for you seek the help of your local pt. It might be that you are doing the exercises wrong or you might just need to take a different approach to strengthening your pelvic floor.
The list of common postpartum myths goes on and on. You’ve already given up years of sleeping through the night, don’t give up the ability to cough or sneeze in public. Whatever your need is, your friendly neighborhood physical therapist will be able to help.