Approximately 17.5% of women end up with back pain after cesarean according to Australasian birth trauma association. And although it’s believed that it is the epidural that causes long term back pain, it is a misconception. The effects of epidural only last in the body for upto 24-48 hours. So if a woman does end up with back pain after cesarean, it’s because of the weak abdominal muscles and not receiving proper rehabilitation after a big surgery like a c section. So what does proper rehablitation look like after a c section? It’s not just the hospital physio coming in for  a second after the surgery and telling you to contract your pelvic floor muscles. I do understand there’s a big load on the public system so their main goal is to get you out of the hospital asap. But what’s lacking is the future treament planning and proper referral pathways. They need to help you understand and refer you to a private clinic to help you recover fully.  I cannot emphasise enough, the importance of physiotherapy to rebuild your muscles and prevent or even treat your back pain after cesarean. Here are some of the ways we can help.

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Getting movement back in the spinal joints to relieve back pain after cesarean

Physiotherapists in the hopsital have a different focus of getting you functional so you can be discharged, hence they hardly ever do any hands on treatment or manual therapy.They are more focused on making you walk. Whereas our focus as a physiotherapist in private practice is to get your pain level back down to 0 and get you back to your daily activities , pain free. Back pain after cesarean occurs not only due to the tremendous pressure on the back during pregnancy and child birth but also due to the big scar that you now have after the surgery. The muscle lose their strength and are unable to support the back with day to day activities. This can create inflammation around the discs and joints of the back causing pain. I am simplyifying this process as much as possible for you to understand how we help. By working on the joint movement, we can literally help promote blood flow and reduce the swelling that causes pain and help with pain relief. Which is the most important thing that anyone suffering from back pain after cesarean wants. Once the pain settles down, then we can focus on building the muscle strength in order to get more long term results.

Deep tissue therapy for relief from back pain after cesarean

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The muscles around the spine react to the stress around the joints and discs in someone suffering from back pain after cesarean. They tend to spasm or seize in order to protect the spine from doing the painful movements. This is exactly why you may have a sharp pain that can stop you in your tracks. It’s the normal mechanism of our bodies to prevent further damage. But this can in turn become a vicious cycle and prevent you from doing even daily activities , if left untreated. That’s why the next step in our protocol to treat back pain after cesarean is muscle tension release. We do this by doing deep tissue massage or trigger point therapy to release the tension. In fact even the gluteal muscles can get involved because they help in extending the back. Once the muscle tension is released we find better movement in the spine and further relief from back pain after cesarean.

The final step in the rehab for back pain after cesarean

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This is the crucial step in preventing long term back pain after cesarean which is quite often missed. Probably due to improper guidance after child birth. There’s so much information about looking after your newborn but not enough for looking after yourself. The final step is the core and pelvic floor strengthening which should start fom pretty much day 1 of starting physiotherapy. We not only give you an in depth explanation of how these muscles prtect your back but also give you a step by step program to recover you from back pain after cesarean. This is very important because cesarean is a big surgery. You’re not even allowed to drive for nearly 4-6 weeks depending upon how you’ve recovered. It can take a little while for you to even go for walks. So it’s abolutely important to start slow. I haev found reformer pilates exercises to be the best in recovery from back pain after cesarean. We also start with gentle home exercises to activate your core and pelvic floor muscles and progress to reformer pilates.

The do’s and don’ts that our physiotherapists give you to recover from back pain after cesarean are really the pillars of our rehabilitation program. You definitely need to do your homework in terms of restriction of aggravating activities and modifying your environment to reduce the strain on your back.

If you or anyone you know id suffering from back pain after cesarean , please let them know about us or click on the link below to book.