Return to exercise or sports after baby
Physical therapy can play a crucial role in assisting women with a safe and effective return to exercise after giving birth. Here’s how physical therapy can help:
- Postpartum assessment: A physical therapist will assess your postpartum body, including pelvic floor strength and function, abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti), and overall musculoskeletal alignment. This assessment helps identify any areas of weakness, imbalances, or dysfunction that may require attention during the return to exercise.
- Individualized exercise program: Based on the assessment findings and your specific goals, a physical therapist can develop a tailored exercise program. This program will focus on gradually rebuilding core strength, improving pelvic floor function, and addressing any other specific areas of concern. The exercises may include pelvic floor muscle training, core stabilization exercises, and overall strength and conditioning exercises.
- Diastasis recti management: If you have diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation), a physical therapist can guide you through appropriate exercises and techniques to promote healing and prevent further separation. They will emphasize proper activation of the deep core muscles and provide guidance on modifying exercises that could exacerbate the condition.
- Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation: Physical therapy can help you regain optimal pelvic floor muscle function, addressing any issues such as weakness, tightness, or coordination problems. This is essential for supporting the pelvic organs, preventing urinary or fecal incontinence, and promoting overall pelvic health during exercise.
- Education on proper body mechanics and alignment: A physical therapist can provide guidance on proper body mechanics and alignment during exercise to minimize the risk of injury, optimize movement patterns, and prevent undue stress on the pelvic floor and other structures.
- Gradual progression and modification of exercises: Physical therapists understand the importance of gradually increasing exercise intensity and impact to prevent overexertion and allow the body to adapt. They can help you progress safely and modify exercises as needed to accommodate your postpartum recovery.
- Guidance on return to high-impact activities: If you’re interested in returning to high-impact activities, such as running or jumping, a physical therapist can provide guidance on appropriate timing, technique, and conditioning to minimize the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction or injury.
Our skilled team of pelvic floor physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to identify areas of impairment that are contributing to your symptoms. Following the exam, your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that best suits your personal goals and needs.