A blog about post natal issues…..but written by a man! This cant be worth reading…..can it 🤔?
Well, you never know. We often clear up issues where previous treatments have failed and are frequently asked how we managed it. Well this blog is partly about how some little extra bits of information can sometimes help.
When I was training as a Physiotherapist we arrived at a series of lectures entitled “Women’s Health" which focused amongst other things on pregnancy and birth. At this point all the males on the course were told not bother with these lectures, as male physiotherapists did not work in women’s health, which seemed reasonable if there was no employment in it.
However, I requested to stay, as there are obvious musculo skeletal issues that can follow both pregnancy and birth and therefore understanding more about the issues that can lead to these problems seemed to make sense. I was allowed to stay but none of the lecturers could really get their head around why this would be useful, as there were plenty of female physios to see female patients . This doesn’t always pan out in the real world of course, but it doesn't really matter too much here at The Reinge Clinic, because as a husband and wife team you can see either of us with equally comprehensive knowledge.
So, in many cases one of the first questions we ask is whether you have had children, how many and how far apart. If you had any back or pelvis pain during pregnancy and what type of birth you had. This can come as a surprise 🤨 to many clients, as it's not often asked if dealing with something like a foot injury! But it is one of the most important things we can know.
If, for example, you had a caesarean section, especially as an emergency procedure, this will play havoc with the abdominal and core muscles. In particular a rather important core muscle called the Rectus Abdominus. Now, if your core has poor function (in this case due to a caesarean) then we can get several big issues even many years down the line and these can regularly include: Back and neck pain, pelvic pain, hip pain, knee pain, and…………… an over pronating foot!...,,Now that may just be the cause of your running injury.... and frequently is 😐!
How about Plantar Fasciitis Then? Well, nearing the point of birth the body releases the hormone Relaxin to allow the ligaments of the pelvis to loosen, in order to create more space for baby to come out through. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just target the pelvis, it goes absolutely everywhere, anyone who was already hypermobile will now become even more hypermobile! As all the ligaments become loose, this can have a particularly problematic affect on the foot and the foot begins to collapse and over pronate. As a result the muscles of the calf and foot begin to overwork to try and re -stabilise the foot and that constant strain frequently gives rise to plantar fasciitis!
How about pelvic separation? Did you have an issue with this whilst pregnant and were given a big belt to help your pelvis support itself? If so, that needed to be done, but it will have completely de-conditioned the core muscles and we have already looked at what issues that can cause.
Finally, we are always interested in how many children you have had and how far apart they were? If any issues from the first pregnancy were not cleared up (and you may not know you had any) then you will go into the second pregnancy with weakness and instability pre existing.
Now, I remember the well meaning lady from Gina and I’s our own anti natal sessions, explaining to the group how they need to do specific pelvic floor and core exercises post birth. Most "mums to be" have been given them, but who actually did them! That’s a rhetorical question really, because after 30 years of practice I already know the answer 🤣. In reality new parents have far too much to do…..like sleep at every scarce opportunity 😂.
But, one day the time comes when you do have a bit of time to exercise, however, now the exercises designed for immediate post birth are no longer adequate and this is where we at the Reinge Clinic can really help. So, whether you are a mum of a baby, a toddler or a fifty year old, many back, neck or foot issues can be related to the little or not so little darling, so give us a call.
In the meantime here is a nice simple starter exercise for the transverse abdominis to get the ball rolling. Start by lying on your back on a comfortable bed or couch or a nice fluffy carpet 🤗.
1. Place your hands on your tummy.
2. Take a deep breath in through your nose letting your abdomen expand into your hands.
3. Now hold that breath in and pull your belly button in toward your spine, contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold for up to 10 seconds. (if you cant hold your breath, high blood pressure would be one reason) then allow the breath to come back out slowly as you pull your belly button in, this will not be as effective though)
4. Repeat 5 to 10 times, several times a day.
This exercise can also be a great relaxation technique when using the breathing out version, so if you fall asleep during it….bargain 😂
If your child is grown up and earning nicely, get them to pay for your session as it was their fault in the first place 🤣