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Pelvic Health Education

Treating Postpartum Pain As A Physical Therapist

Susan Clinton
Susan ClintonPublished on September 19, 2022

Let’s talk about our postpartum patients for a minute.  What a time of change- right? 

They are learning to be a mom for the first time or learning how to be a mom with multiple children. 

Their bodies just went through an immense change from being pregnant to not pregnant.

Hormones are shifting. 

Sleep is all over the place, and there isn’t enough of it.  

And healthy cooking/eating is probably the last thing on their minds. 

We also know that during the postpartum period, there is a higher onset of autoimmune disorders- MS, RA, and thyroid issues.  And this can all impact pain and function after birth. 

So if you have a post-partum patient who is having pain, we really need to take into account and dive into all of these other factors.  We need to address the musculoskeletal system along with lifestyle factors of nutrition, sleep, stress, and the upregulated nervous system.

If they aren’t eating nutrient-dense foods because they are busy, tired, or trying to lose weight, and they aren’t sleeping well and are in a constantly sleep-deprived state, then we know that their body is going to be in a cortisol driven system trying to survive with little nutrition and little sleep. And as I’m sure you’re aware, this is not a great environment for healing to occur. 

Assessing and treating their movement and mobility is VERY important!  But it’s also crucial that while you’re teaching them about scar mobility and proper lifting and strengthening, you’re also helping them to understand the importance of improving their diet and trying to optimize their sleep. Remember, optimal deep sleep occurs between 10 pm and 2 am! 

Only once we are able to make the systemic changes, i.e., reduce the stress to the system by reducing cortisol production, can we begin to reduce inflammation and start really healing and improving musculoskeletal pain. 

These are concepts we cover in-depth in my Pelvic Health Education subscription.  I have a whole course already loaded and ready for your viewing on GI Health and I am now working on uploading my courses on Managing Pelvic Girdle Pain.  The courses contain up-to-date information, examinations, and most importantly, interventions!  

Check out a few clips from Managing Pelvic Girdle Pain

These are fantastic courses that are an absolute advantage to have access to if you are working in the pelvic health world! 

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