Are you more than 6 weeks postpartum and still experiencing pelvic or low back pain to any degree?
- According to a 2016 study, 77% of mother's continued to experience back pain a year after giving birth. This may be caused by strain on muscles from carrying extra weight, weakness in core abdominal muscles, pressure or impingement of a nerve, and even undiagnosed pelvic fractures that occurred during pregnancy or birth. Therapy can help to correct many problems associated with back pain.
Are you more than 6 months postpartum and have experienced urine leakage when sneezing, coughing, laughing, lifting or jumping?
- You should know that leaking even a drop of urine is NOT normal. When you are experiencing any amount of incontinence, this is generally indicative of pelvic floor weakness. Most often this can be remedy by following a strict exercise program of Kegels and other PF strengthening exercises. But you need to ensure you are performing the Kegel Exercises correctly. And also know that sometimes the culprit is a pelvic floor that is too tense. In this case, more exercise is NOT the solution.
Are you more than 3 months postpartum and continuing to experience scar pain or numbness (perineal or C-section)?
- Scar tissue can be problematic in a number of ways. It can cause adhesions that restrict mobility and lead to other muscular problems. It can attach to internal organs and cause deep abdominal pain. It can also entrap nerve endings and cause burning or sharp shooting pain. It's important to manage your incision areas carefully during the healing process. If you are experiencing scar pain, email us and request our Scar Tissue Remolding handout. email@example.com
Are you at least 3 months postpartum and experiencing painful intercourse?
- This is probably one of the most frustrating experiences related to childbirth. There are a number of reasons this can occur. Sometimes it is related to hormones if you are still nursing (estrogen can cause vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal wall). But often it is related to scar tissue that has developed (whether you had a tear or not) and is restricting movement of the vaginal wall or has entrapped a nerve ending. Sometimes, however, this is related to spasms or tension in the pelvic floor. You should consider a Pelvic Floor Evaluation by a qualified therapist to determine the root cause and to receive appropriate intervention recommendations.
Do you find it difficult or are you unable to control the passage of gas or stool?
- This is most often related to weakness in the pelvic floor. When the muscles are not taut, gas and stool can leak past the anal sphincter. Another cause can be chronic constipation. When stool builds up in the rectum and becomes hard or impacted, it can stretch the rectum, place pressure on the anal sphincter and gas or watery stool can leak around the bolus.
Do you experience constipation or have difficulty passing stool?
- Chronic constipation can be caused by a low-fiber diet, hormonal changes or not drinking enough fluids. But sometimes it is caused by a condition called Pelvic Floor Dyssynergia. This is a condition where the pelvic floor is performing a paradoxical contraction and not allowing the puborectalis muscle to relax and allow the passage of stool. It's not a topic many people like to discuss, but chronic constipation can lead to other conditions like rectocele. It can even contribute to incontinence. When a large amount of stool is being held in the rectum it can put pressure on the bladder giving the single to release urine.
Have you experienced fecal incontinence at any time since delivery?
- This is something that is NEVER normal. If you have experienced fecal incontinence it is a sign that something is wrong. If you are not experiencing the sensation of needing to go, this can be neurological; if you feel urgency and can't hold it, this can be related to pelvic floor weakness; and if you have chronic constipation, this can be sign of rectocele, rectal prolapse or loss of storage capacity in the rectum. There are treatments so don't think you have to live with it.
Feel free to email me with any other questions you might have.
OK, just enough information to start you on the path to healing. Birthing injuries are common and I hope this post has motivated you to take action so you can get back to doing the things you love.
Ask questions, seek help, advocate for care! Push forward and continue to be that beautiful, feminine light unto the world! You deserve only the best and your family deserves the best you that you can be!!
Linda Rudd, OTR/L
What's the Next Step?
OptimaLiving Therapy is the only clinic in the West Valley to specializing in the treatment of birthing injuries and pelvic floor dysfunction. One of our primary goals is to increase awareness of these issues and help women in our community receive the care they need and deserve. Request a Women's Pelvic Health Evaluation today and start let's us help you start your healing journey and get you back to your Optimal State of Living!
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