San Rafael Office:
Mondays & Tuesdays
San Francisco (Noe Valley) Office:
Prenatal physical therapy has many immediate and lasting benefits for pregnant moms. Unfortunately, our culture has normalized many discomforts and symptoms that physical therapy can address. Here are some of the benefits of prenatal physical therapy.
- Stay connected to your body’s strength
- Have a pain-free pregnancy
- Learn pelvic floor and relaxation techniques
- Learn safe core exercises
- Prepare for a successful labor
- Improve your postpartum recovery
Do you know that in France, every woman gets 6 weeks of physical therapy after giving birth to start her on postpartum recovery? Every woman deserves this kind of care after such a demanding experience as pregnancy and birth. Postpartum physical therapy starts with an evaluation and includes everything you need to begin safely healing your musculoskeletal system after pregnancy and birth. This service is not only for moms with newborns; It is never too late to start the journey to postpartum wellness. Postpartum physical therapy can address general postpartum concerns or more focused ones such as an injury that occurred due to giving birth. Every postpartum evaluation includes:
- Education on anatomy of the postpartum body
- Posture assessment and education
- Abdominal separation screening
- Pelvic Floor evaluation
- Neuromuscular retraining of pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscle control
- Personalized home exercise routine
- Guidance for safe return to exercise
Orthopedic Physical Therapist I can treat any and all orthopedic injuries whether they are related to the changes that your body goes through during childbearing or not. Many times old injuries may reappear or new ones develop during pregnancy due to posture changes or as a result of postpartum core weakness. Sometimes orthopedic injuries occur directly from giving birth due to the load on the spine and pelvis.
I combine my orthopedic background and my women’s health specialty to treat the whole body and make connections between different areas of discomfort to give you lasting results.
Pelvic Floor PT:
Pelvic floor physical therapy is designed to address the conditions that can occur within the pelvic floor. Many times women who have a pelvic floor dysfunction experience frustration because no other provider can give them an explanation for the cause of their symptoms. Having a pelvic floor evaluation will give you many of these answers and a plan to treat your symptoms. Signs that you may have a pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Incontinence (leaking urine, gas, stool)
- Pain with intercourse
- Deep hip or back pain that is not relieved by stretches or massage
- Vulva pain
- Intolerance to tampon use
- Tear/scarring from a vaginal birth
Pelvic floor physical therapy begins with education on the pelvic floor anatomy. Then observation is done to the vulva and perineum to evaluate the ability of the pelvic floor to contract and relax and to observe any scarring and skin conditions. External muscle palpation can provide information about muscle tenderness and function. Then an internal exam is done when indicated to test the strength and endurance of the pelvic floor, evaluate a prolapse and assess the muscle condition of the 3 layers of the pelvic floor; looking for muscle tightness and trigger points that may be the cause of reported symptoms. An internal exam does not need to be done with all pelvic floor patients. A lot of information can be done with external palpation and observation only.
A birth preparation session is specifically to learn, experience and practice the essential components of preparing your pelvic floor for a vaginal birth. In a vaginal birth, baby will pass through the pelvic floor and many women go into birth without any knowledge of their own pelvic floor. The session starts with a pelvic floor assessment to learn the baseline structure of your individual pelvic floor and then goes over 3 components;:
- Pelvic Floor Relaxation training to give baby the soft space needed to come down and out
- Push training and practice to get some muscle memory of the coordination before the big event
- Perineal muscle preparation which is different than traditional perineal skin stretching
This session empowers you to go into your birth with even more preparation and grounding into your own pelvis.