Pregnancy and Postpartum Woes: From Annoying to Life Altering

“So I leak a little when I laugh – that’s normal after 3 kids, right?” I hate be the bearer of bad news, but those seemingly harmless postparum woes may go from annoying to life altering if you let the years slip by without addressing them. In this Wall Street Journal article, Sarah Nassauer interviews physical therapists and physicians about some of the major musculoskeletal complications of pregnancy and childbirth, which go largely unreported and untreated in the U.S. today. She discusses disorders including Diastasis Recti Abdominis (split abdominals), urinary incontinence, ceasarian section scarring/pain, back pain, pelvic girdle pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as the tragic fact that often women are not referred to conservative treatment for years after the initial inury. “With a new baby to care for, women often ignore seemingly small things like pain… ‘After my first pregnancy I occasionally leaked as I coughed’ then a woman ages, her muscles start to deteriorate and her hormone levels change. And now your body is doing things you don’t want it to, and finally you go to a doctor.” The most tragic  revelation comes at the end, when a patient recounts going to multiple OBGYNs and specialists over the years, without ever being directed to a pelvic phyiscal therapist for treatment of the pelvic floor (despite the fact that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pelvic floor therapy as a first line treatment for for urinary incontinence). After several surgeries failed to solve her problem, she finally made her way to a pelvic PT and found some relief. The bottom line? “Left untreated, the changes can cause problems down the road, from pelvic and low back pain to incontinence and other issues.” If you or a friend suffers from any of these issues, do not accept it as normal, and do not wait for 20 years of  additional damage to take their toll. Call now to schedule an evaluation and get on the road to recovery!

(Read the complete WSJ article here.