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43 South Main Street

Montgomery, PA  17752

(570) 547-0480

fax (570) 547-0498

info@valleyrehabilitation.com

POSTPARTUM PHYSICAL THERAPY

BECAUSE caring for newborns is HARD ENOUGH WITHOUT ADDING PAIN & incontinence TO THE MIX...

physical therapy during pregnancy

Because pregnancy & birth are complicated enough without adding pain to the mix...   


During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes countless changes due to wide fluctuations in hormone levels, steady weight gain, change in body shape, and shift in center of gravity.  As a result of these changes, up to 70% of women experience low back pain during pregnancy.  Other ailments related to these changes can include

  • Sciatica
  • Hip pain
  • knee pain
  • collapsing of the arches and associated foot pain
  • sacroiliac (SI) joint and pubic symphysis pain
  • upper back pain related to postural changes
  • shoulder pain
  • diastasis recti (separation of the rectus abdominus muscle, a.k.a. 6-pack muscle)
  • constipation
  • urinary incontinence
  • hemorrhoids


What many women don’t realize is that, while these pregnancy-related problems are common, these problems are not normal.  These problems should never severely impact or limit your daily function or ability to sleep, and they can all be addressed through physical therapy.  


We are able to assist expectant mothers with customized exercise programs and other support in the management of Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Diabetes (gestational or otherwise) during pregnancy.  We can also work with expectant mothers to manage pre-existing orthopedic conditions such as herniated intervertebral discs, lumbar instability, joint pain, etc.    

Ideally, we love to see expectant mothers while pain or other problems and challenges are still in their very early stages, however hope is absolutely not lost if you miss that early window and do not get to us before your problems become more severe.   No matter what stage of pregnancy, we can help you to some degree!!  CALL US TO GET STARTED WITH YOUR THERAPY TODAY

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Whether a woman delivers her tiny human vaginally or via cesarean section, she will continue to experience changes in her body in the days and weeks following birth; many of these changes are normal parts of recovery related to continued fluctuations in hormone levels, especially if she is breastfeeding.   In addition to the hormonal shifts, her weight, body shape and center of gravity will change again.  She will begin a new upper body exercise regimen that involves lifting a 5-10 pound weight countless times every day.  She may have a healing cesarean incision, episiotomy or perineal tear.  She may have other children to care for.  All of this typically happens in combination with severe sleep deprivation and stress and, quite possibly, postpartum depression. 

Although these changes can be difficult to manage while caring for a newborn, there is no question that most of them are common and completely normal during the early postpartum period.  There are, however, many other common changes that occur during, and after, the postpartum period that are definitely not normal, and this is where many women fall between the cracks and eventually lose hope.  Some women fall between the cracks because they think that all postpartum changes are normal, and they never talk to a healthcare provider or seek help.  Some women fall between the cracks because they are so overwhelmed by their symptoms that they simply don’t know where to start.  Other women fall between the cracks because their healthcare providers either truly believe that these problem are a normal part of postpartum life or, perhaps, are not familiar with effective rehabilitative options and resources now available to women. 

Regardless of how many generations before you have lived with incontinence or pain, and regardless of how many healthcare providers have told you that you need to adjust to the new “postpartum normal,” please know that there is hope.  Help is available and easily accessible!  We urge you to make an appointment with our women’s health physical therapist if you are experiencing any of the following problems longer than you feel is normal (even if your child was born decades ago!):
    

  • Leaking of urine
  • Leaking of feces
  • Lingering or new low back pain
  • Lingering or new upper back or shoulder pain
  • Lingering or worsening pain around cesarean, episiotomy or perineal tear scar(s)
  • Lingering or worsening perineum pain (not related to episiotomy or tearing)
  • Other pelvic pain or sexual dysfunction
  • Vaginal pain
  • Pudendal neuralgia
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Diastasis recti (separation of the abdominus rectus muscle, a.k.a. 6-pack muscle)
  • Blocked mammary duct
  • Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Wrist or thumb pain (DeQuarvain’s tendonitis), often related to picking baby up and/or breastfeeding
  • Lingering sense of general weakness, especially in your core


While we stand firm in our belief that every woman should see a physical therapist at least once or twice following childbirth to help navigate these changes, physical therapy is often overlooked by other healthcare providers as a treatment option.  It may be up to you to independently seek treatment and get the ball rolling.  CALL US TODAY TO GET STARTED WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY!