YAY, I’m PREGNANT! WHAT’S SAFE TO KEEP DOING?
Congratulations! The key words there are “KEEP doing.” It’s totally safe to exercise with the consent of your OB, as long as you stick to what your body already knows how to do. This is not the time to try something new. But it’s a great idea to maintain your foundation of fitness and strength, especially in your hips and glutes. Focus on connecting with your inner core, learning how to engage the transverse abs (TAs) and pelvic floor, and be mindful of your posture, even as your belly grows and your center of gravity changes. We can help with all of that!
One more thing. It’s normal for abs to separate in pregnancy — they’re supposed to. So just be careful not to overdo it with the planks and oblique work. If you have any questions or concerns, come see our women’s health specialist, Dr. Lexi.
I’m pregnant, and EVERYTHING FEELS OUT OF WHACK.
Pregnancy is humbling. You’re hosting another human for 40 weeks, give or take. But pain in pregnancy is not a given, and shouldn’t be chalked up to hormones.
Carrying a baby causes posture changes that can lead to increased pressure in the low back and hips, and over-lengthened inner thighs and abs. It can also do wonky things to your nerves. Even if you’re feeling great, you’re at an increased risk of injury while your body is cranking out the relaxin hormone. It’s meant to loosen everything up in preparation for giving birth, but it can make you stretchier than you should be, too early on. Sometimes, that leads to PSD (pubic symphasis disorder) which can be very painful. PT can help! We can also help manage pain in the low back, hip and SI joints, as well as chronic numbness and tingling.
I had a baby! i’m ready to work out AGAIN, but WHERE DO I START, AND HOW DO I REALLY KNOW EVERYTHING IS OK DOWN THERE?
No matter how you brought that baby into the world, pregnancy changed your body. It’s important to have a solid understanding of exactly which muscles were over-lengthened or underused before embarking on your fitness comeback. Your body is still pumping out a lot of hormones that can make you susceptible to injury, especially if you’re nursing.
We can work with you to understand the changes in your body, evaluate you for diastasis recti, teach you how to re-educate and re-activate your core muscles, and get you back to exercising safely.
I had a c-section.
Congrats on bringing that adorable baby into the world! Be kind and patient with your recovery — the procedure you had was massively traumatic to the body. Like any rehab after surgery, there’s scar tissue and it needs to be managed properly. We can teach you how to massage and mobilize your scar, and how to strengthen your core safely. Take care of that tiny human you made, but take care of you, too.
I THOUGHT IT WAS NORMAL TO LEAK AFTER HAVING A BABY.
Just because it happens to a lot of women doesn’t make it OK. Pelvic floor PT can often make a huge difference.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles found at the base of the pelvis below the abdominals. Its function is to support pelvic and gastrointestinal organs and to aid in bowel, bladder and sexual function. The pelvic floor muscles are just like any other muscles in your body — they can spasm or get tight or weak, or even all of the above. If you are experiencing any symptoms of pelvic pain or incontinence, you’re a great candidate for pelvic floor PT.
Pelvic floor physical therapy can treat a wide range of conditions including:
· Urinary Incontinence
· Diastasis Recti
· Tailbone/Coccyx Pain
· Pelvic Organ Prolapse
· Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
· Painful Intercourse (Dyspareunia)
· Vaginal Pain
· Prenatal Pain (Back and Hip Pain, Sciatica, Nerve Pain, SI Joint Pain, Numbness/Tingling)
· Prenatal Ergonomic Body Mechanics
· Post Cesarean-Section Rehabilitation + Scar Mobilization
· Postpartum Pelvic + Postural Alignment
· Postpartum Ligament Laxity
· Postpartum Recovery/Training/Comeback
WHAT IS PELVIC FLOOR PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Pelvic floor PT addresses any pain or dysfunction that’s occurring at your pelvic floor — a group of muscles at the bottom of your pelvis, between yours hips and below your abs. These muscles play a huge role in supporting the reproduction organs and gastrointestinal tract. When they’re not doing their job, you feel pain or experience leaking or even worse, having sex hurts. If you are experiencing any symptoms of pelvic pain or incontinence, our physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor can help.
Gentlemen! Pelvic floor issues are not solely lady business. You too have a matrix of muscles at the bottom of your pelvis that can get out of whack, especially if you lift heavy things on the regular. While we do not treat men for pelvic floor issues, we can refer you to a specialist who does.
what should i expect at my appointment, and how can you do pt on something that’s way up inside me?
Our pelvic floor specialist, Dr. Lexi Burtman, will start off with a comprehensive history and thorough evaluation, both externally and internally, to get to the root cause of your symptoms. From the outside, Dr. Lexi can asses your posture, pelvis and hip mobility and core strength. An internal exam may be necessary to reveal more detail about what’s going on at your pelvic floor. Getting up in there is the best way to assess the strength of your pelvic floor contractions, check the integrity of the tissue, locate scar tissue, and assess whether the muscles are too tight or too weak. An internal exam will only be done with consent if the patient feels comfortable with it.
Armed with all that detail, Dr. Lexi will customize the best treatment for you and your nether regions.
Treatment may include:
· Relaxation techniques through diaphragmatic breathing, biofeedback, and imagery
· Manual therapy techniques such as trigger point release and scar tissue massage
· Isolated muscle retraining and muscle coordination
· Pelvic floor stretching and strengthening
· Postural and core exercises
· Education and behavioral modification to improve pelvic health habits
Can’t I just fix it with kegels?
NOPE. Kegels get all the attention, but they’re not necessarily the right exercise for YOUR pelvic floor. In fact, depending on what’s going on down there, they can actually do more harm than good. (Whaaaaaaat?!) We realize this news goes against every article you’ve ever read in Cosmo. But just like any other training plan, it’s super important to be assessed by a pelvic floor specialist so your treatment can be individualized to you!
this doesn’t sound like WHAT I EXPECTED FROM A pT clinic.
Good. See you soon.