What it is, how it manifests, and can physical therapy can help.
It is important for birthing people to recognize that a cesarean section delivery (or C-section) is a major abdominal surgery, and deserves the same degree of rehabilitation that other invasive surgeries receive. It is normal for the scar to be uncomfortable for the first few weeks, but this should resolve in time. Numbness over the scar site is quite normal for several months, but if you are still struggling with pain or discomfort after 1-2 months, you should seek out care.
Common physical therapy interventions include education regarding self scar mobilization and in-clinic scar tissue treatment to decrease scar tissue formation (scar tissue from a cesarean delivery can sometimes be a contributing factor to low back pain in the future, so it is important to make sure it is moving well), postural education, core and hip muscle strength assessment and safe progressive exercises to address weaknesses, as well as a pelvic floor muscle evaluation.
Some people believe that by having a cesarean delivery their pelvic floor was “spared”. However, in reality the pelvic floor goes through a lot of changes during the duration of the pregnancy as it has to respond to the weight of the growing belly. This is especially true if the cesarean delivery was not planned and there was any degree of pushing involved. Since the pelvic floor is the foundation of our core system, it is very important to make sure it is working optimally.
Mendwell is a Pelvic Health Physical Therapy clinic serving patients in Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Tigard. Our team of specialists are passionate about helping patients improve pelvic function, relieve pain, and get back to feeling their best. Reach out to learn how we can help.