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Importance of Post Partum Pelvic Floor Eval

Ok ladies, let’s talk pelvic floor. As women, we are often so busy taking care of everyone else- our husbands, children, elderly parents, Susie down the street- we often neglect ourselves and our bodies. Many of us haven’t given a second thought to our pelvic floor since we first learned about it.. You know, that group of muscles that hold our organs INSIDE our bodies and helps them function properly! So we have a baby, or two, or three or more, and we notice we don’t have control over our bladders like we did pre-baby (or babies), our abdominal muscles don’t work as they once did, or even something more significant like pelvic prolapse. We get our oil changed regularly in our cars, we take our kids to their wellness visits, why don’t we give our bodies that kind of special attention? There are many affects pregnancy and delivery may have on our body that we think may be just part of it all, but we DON’T have to live with them. So whether you had a baby a week ago or 10 years ago, it is important to have a pelvic health physical therapist evaluate your pelvic floor to determine whether you have weakness or damage to your pelvic floor that can lead to significant complications in the future.

Pelvic Floor Issues During and After Pregnancy

To all expectant or postpartum mommies. 

Take care of your pelvic floor! Women who have had multiple births, instrumental births, severe perineal tearing or large babies are often at a greater risk for pelvic floor muscle damage. The pelvic floor muscles can sometimes become too loose and weak.  This is a common problem for women because of pregnancy and childbirth. Pelvic floor dysfunction due to pregnancy and delivery can cause stress incontinence, urge incontinence and/or lower back pain. Extra pressure on the pelvic floor muscles can effect proper function, elasticity and strength of these bands of muscle tissue. Pelvic floor muscles work to support your womb, bladder and bowel. Strain on these muscles can result in pelvic floor dysfunction, bladder leakage, constipation, and sexual dysfunction. However, they can be successfully restrengthened with pelvic floor muscle training. Julie Janes, a pelvic floor physical therapist in Arlington, Va, says, “In France, women receive ten sessions [with a physical therapist] starting in the hospital after every vaginal delivery.” Many women seek pelvic floor physical therapy throughout the duration of their pregnancy and many achieve easier deliveries, faster recovery, and less pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. Check out the article linked below in the Washington Post.

Pregnant Moms Need to Watch Their Backs

Check out this article written by Chris Worthy, contributing writer with Upstate Parent. She did a great review of all the symptoms that a pregnant women may have, and things that the woman should consider.

Thank you Chris! Nice job!

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti refers to the unnatural separation of the abdominal muscles via stretching or thinning of the connective tissue in the midline (Linea Alba). While this is very normal to occur during pregnancy to allow for a growing baby (100% of women will have some separation at 37 weeks gestation), it is when the muscles remain apart after baby is born that this can become a concern. A distance of 1-1.5 finger widths between the muscle bellies is considered “normal” and greater than this would be considered a diastasis, however the prognosis of healing will be affected not just by the distance of separation, but also the amount of tension remaining in the linea alba. 

*Just to be clear, even though DR is often referred to as a ‘separation’, this does not mean that there is an opening in the abdominal wall, rather that the muscle bellies are sitting a bit further apart. There is still intact connective tissue between the muscles, however it may be thinner than before – unlike an hernia which refers to an actual tear or hole in the connective tissue.*
The most common symptoms of Diastasis Recti are the appearance of a belly bulge, a feeling of core ‘weakness’, and compromised function of the deep core and pelvic floor muscles (which stabilize the pelvis and the spine) leading to hip, pelvic, and back pain or pelvic floor issues. 
However, Diastasis Recti is not always visible or symptomatic. For example, I have known some women with 4cm separations postpartum to have a ‘flat’ stomach (as defined by societal expectations), be pain-free and still be able to perform very physically strong feats. Therefore, I don’t believe the end goal of healing is just about the width of separation, but how all of the muscles in the body function as a whole.
Some causes of this can be:

Over-corrected sitting and standing posture – a habit of thrusting the ribs with chest out, shoulders back. Although we are often taught is a good posture – this actually creates excessive tension on the linea alba – pulling it apart – AND generates more IAP!
Very tight abdominal musculature – which can increase IAP and also pull away (think tight oblique muscles pulling on a diagonal away from the midline)
Shortened psoas major – this will often appear as rib thrusting when lying down on your back with the legs out straight (this was the most noticeable factor amongst the three aforementioned men with DR) and means that even just lying flat on your back, doing nothing(!) can actually contribute to a diastasis

 Do your ribs do this when you lie down?

Tight shoulders and chest muscles which will lift the ribcage and create a lateral pull on the LA every time you reach overhead
Constantly increased intra-abdominal due to chronic digestive upsets and bloating
Repetitive increased intra-abdominal pressure via habitual movement and exercises (think repetitive sit ups, straining on the toilet, breath holding, or ALWAYS sucking in your stomach)

For more information please contact us today at 864-534-1780 or

Physical Therapy can help you through Pregnancy

Pregnancy is such a joyful moment in life. From the first moments when you are able to tell all your loved ones you are expecting, to the joys of learning all the things to expect, and the journey of all the many physical changes that take place during the nine months of carrying your precious little one to be.  Did you know a physical therapist can help create good posture, strengthen the pelvic floor and lessen pain experienced during pregnancy? 

1. Posture

Good posture can improve mood, relaxation and pain experienced during those critical nine months. Having an evaluation of sitting, standing, walking, and sleeping posture can help you identify problem areas and make necessary changes to prevent pain resulting from poor posture.  Helping expectant moms learn how to bend, lift and carry can prevent injuries and keep you and your baby safe. 

2. Pelvic Floor Strength

During pregnancy the female body produces a hormone named (quite accurately) Relaxin. This hormone causes the muscles and ligaments to relax and stretch to make room for your new baby. Although important, this hormonal change can add pressure to the joints of the lower back and pelvis as they try to  carry what the pelvic floor muscles normally support and carry. This can cause inflammation and pain. Proper strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles can help the joints and ligaments support the growing baby and mitigate the pain in the pelvic area.  

3. Pain Relief 

Pain experienced during pregnancy can be mild, moderate, and sometimes severe. The pelvic girdle and and pelvis area experience some major changes as the body prepares for the birth of your little angel. It’s important to remember that the treatment is available to help the pelvic floor muscles and reduce or eliminate lower back pain. By evaluating what is causing the pain and providing physical therapy treatments, we can help you enjoy a healthy, happy pregnancy! 

Pelvic Floor Therapy for Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful things, but it can be hard on any woman’s body. It can cause: 
hormonal changes
physical changes
postural changes
musculature changes
This stress from a baby on your bladder and rectum can also lead to pelvic floor dysfunctions such as: 
stress or urge incontinence
back pain 
bowel problems 

In the busy days ahead, remember to take care of yourself and your pelvic floor. Come see His Therapy for any pelvic floor dysfunction or question you have today! We will get you a specialized plan that best fits you. 

End the Cycle Now

Are you Pregnant? Did You have a baby? Do you suffer from pain with intimacy? Do you have a problem with your bladder or bowel? Does your child suffer from bed wetting? If you answered yes to any of the question above.You need to call us now! As the year is coming to an end space is getting limited and we would love to serve  you and help you end the cycle now!

Postnatal Pelvic Floor Therapy

Following the arrival of a new, precious baby, concerns often arise that surround the health of the infant.  Unfortunately, little attention is given to the mother with respect to her muscles that surround her pelvic floor which are now stretched. As a result, she may experience postpartum incontinence. Pelvic Floor Therapy plays an important and crucial role with postnatal health and wellness.  

Stress incontinence, which is the most common type of incontinence, is a prevalent problem occurring after childbirth.  This is because the sphincter muscles controlling urine discharge  incur some damage which can cause urine discharge with minor movement.  Pelvic floor therapists help postpartum women who are experiencing this problem by assigning exercises that help bring the muscles surrounding the pelvic floor back under control.  If you’re experiencing postpartum incontinence, please contact our office for more information and schedule your pelvic floor assessment today at 864-534-1780!

Protect Your Pelvic Floor During Labor and Delivery

Lunch And Learn
October 24th – 12:30p – 1:30p 

Please join us for a $5.00 Lunch and Learn session with Mid-Wife, Linda Weaver,
as she explains how to protect your pelvic floor during labor and delivery.
His Therapy is hosting this event, we are located at 2 Parkway Commons Way
in Greer, SC
Please RSVP to 864.534.1780, so that we can hold you a spot.  Be sure to invite your friends who may benefit as well! Lunch will be provided.

Exercises After Childbirth

It is very important to begin exercising the pelvic floor as soon as you can after delivery.  It is important to give yourself time to heal after your delivery before you begin exercising. Ask your doctor or your Physical Therapist if there are any particular exercises they would recommend for you to do following delivery. 
Start these exercises 24-48 hours after delivery if you are physically able and have the approval of your Physician to exercise. Only do the exercises that your physician or physical therapist approves of. 
It is important that if you experience sharp pain to discontinue the exercises and let your physician or your physical therapist know right away. 
Do these exercises 3-5 times and do them 2-3 times per day as tolerated. Remember it is the quality of the exercises that matter not how many you can do.