Women often suffer from muscle and joint pain in the postnatal period. This is normally due to a series of contributing factors.
- Weakness of the lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
- Tightness in the upper body due to prolonged sitting whilst feeding baby
- The presence of the hormone relaxin for many weeks post-delivery.
- Excessive bending and lifting over cots, car seats etc.
How can we help?
Here are some examples of more common conditions treated in this postnatal period and what your specialist physiotherapy treatment may involve after a thorough assessment.
Pelvic floor muscle weakness, prolapse and incontinence
- Advice on how to cope with stress incontinence
- Home exercise programme for the pelvic floor muscles and lower abdominals
- General advice on how to manage prolapse
Coccydynia (pain in the coccyx due to damaged ligaments)
- Gentle mobilisations
- Ice or hot packs
- In sitting – advice re a deep cushion to relieve pressure may assist in comfort
- Ultrasound and TENS machine
Diastasis recti abdominis (abdominal separation)
- Education re the structure of the abdominal wall and the changes that occur
- Transversus abdominis exercises – repeat frequently and integrate into all the activities of daily living
- Pelvic tilting, postural correction and functional activity advice
As a team we can also help with advice on
- Back care whilst feeding and lifting baby
- Exercises to improve muscle control around the pelvis and spine
- 1-hour post-natal assessment with a Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist
- Ideally at 6 weeks and beyond
- Checks pelvic floor strength and tummy gap
- Assesses any physical problems arising from pregnancy and birth
- Recommends a bespoke postnatal recovery programme, looking at posture, breathing and core activation