Why Postnatal Physical Therapy Could Be Beneficial

June 06, 2019

After giving birth, fluctuating hormone levels along with physical changes following delivery can produce pain or feeling of instability in the low back and pelvic areas. This can be due to excessive joint mobility, possible muscle imbalance, weakness in the core stability muscles, and changes in spinal and pelvic mobility and function.


Physical therapy can be helpful in assessing for alignment of the spine and pelvis, weakness of the core and pelvic muscles, and imbalance in mobility and strength. Physical therapy can be especially helpful postpartum when diastasis recti is present, which can occur when the two bands of abdominal muscles that meet in the middle of your stomach separate. This can cause a bulge at midline and can also cause lower back pain.



During pregnancy, there is a weakening of the pelvic floor for several reasons such as hormonal changes, weight gain during pregnancy, straining with possible constipation, and inappropriate pregnancy and post-partum exercises. Therefore, it is important to perform pelvic floor exercies properly. Physical therapy can provide a program to help reduce or avoid urine leakage following delivery caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles to improve their function and control.



Through instruction of an appropriate exercise program, manual therapy, and instruction for daily activity modifications as needed during this period of time, physical therapy can be very beneficial to help with the transition following pregnancy toward full return to normal daily activity and enjoying you new bundle of joy.





Written by Dr. Debbie Clarke, PT, MPT, CIDN

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