Postpartum Pain and Weakness? Can Physical Therapy Offer Solutions?

-  Submitted by Dr. Genevieve Griffin, PT, DPT, OCS, GCFP. 

Going back to work after having a baby is hard enough but if you are also suffering from postpartum pain and weakness it makes it even more difficult.  Pregnancy takes a toll on both your muscles and joints.  Between the physical stress of carrying a child and the pregnancy hormone, Relaxin, which relaxes all the ligaments as well as those attached to the pubic bone, and then add the fact that delivery can sometimes sprain or even break the tailbone, it’s not surprising that your body after pregnancy hurts.

Once your baby’s born, there’s the stress you put on your muscles and joints while multitasking.  You’re constantly lifting and carrying your baby, diaper bags, strollers, groceries and everything else you need as a busy mom on the go.  All of these factors can exacerbate postpartum pain and weakness and make working at the top of your game almost impossible.  Like most new mothers, you’re so busy that you have little time to attend to your own needs. 

What you can expect from Physical Therapy 

Physical Therapy can help relieve pain, increase trunk stabilization and increase strength after delivery.  Physical Therapy can also provide modalities for aches and pains associated with having a new baby or toddler.

As a new mother, Physical Therapy can help with neck, back, hip, and even carpel tunnel pain.  You can benefit from many of the same treatments that help non-moms: stretching and strengthening exercises, posture retraining, hands-on techniques, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat and ice.  In most cases, you’ll see results after six to twelve visits for postpartum weakness and pain provided you don’t have a pre-existing condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.  Physical Therapy can get you back on the road to your pre-pregnancy self.

-  Submitted by Dr. Genevieve Griffin, PT, DPT, OCS, GCFP. 

About Dr. Genevieve Griffin, PT, DPT, OCS, GCFP

Genny graduated from Shenandoah University in 1993 with a Master of Physical Therapy degree and later returned to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2004. Since then, she has become a Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, and has also received her certification in Trigger Point Dry Needling as well as receiving her Private Practice Management Certificate. Genny has taken advanced training in Pilates for Rehabilitation and Physical Mind Mat and Apparatus Concentration programs. She also has extensive Manual Therapy, Myofascial Release, Cranial-Sacral and Osteopathic-Based advanced training. Outside of work, Genny enjoys traveling, visiting family, yoga, hiking, the outdoors and spending time with her dogs. She also enjoys cooking international dishes, especially Persian dishes.

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