Becky Aston is a Chartered Physiotherapist who offers effective assessment and treatment of all musculo-skeletal dysfunctions during and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy can cause considerable strain on the body and all women will experience changes which will affect them in different ways. Changes in the systems outlined below can lead to pain or dysfunction in at least 50% or 1 in 2 pregnant women. Simple and effective treatments are available to alleviate these conditions:
Changes to posture
Changes to muscle function, particularly abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
Changes in bladder and bowel systems
Pelvic girdle pain
Pelvic girdle pain or PGP affects a surprisingly large number of pregnant and post natal women. It is commonly known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), however SPD suggests that pain and dysfunction is only at the front of the pelvis and often pain is also experienced at the back of the pelvis. PGP is now widely accepted internationally as the correct term for this condition.
Pregnant women can develop PGP at any stage during pregnancy or after delivery in the post natal period. There are a wide range of symptoms and severity. Whatever your symptoms and severity, in most cases PGP is a treatable condition and can be treated safely in pregnancy.
Treatment options include:
Soft tissue release
Pelvic support belt
Advice on activities of daily living
It is important to seek treatment early, but never too late to help.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction is now known as Pelvic girdle dysfunction. Please see the information above regarding PGP. A useful website is http://pogp.csp.org.uk/publications/pregnancy-related-pelvic-girdle-pain-mothers-be-new-mothers
Shoulder and wrist pain
Shoulder and wrist pain occurs during and after pregnancy due to a alteration in the upper spinal posture, increases in circulation body fluids and upwards movement of the rib cage to allow room for your growing baby.
A thorough assessment will allow your Physiotherapist to identify the contributing causes and plan your treatment. Treatment may involve manual therapy to the spine and ribs, exercise, massage, hot/cold therapy or use of wrist splints.
Bladder and Bowel control problems in pregnancy
Not surprisingly your bladder and bowel don't work as well during pregnancy due to the physiological changes of pregnancy taking effect and the weight of your growing baby challenging your pelvic floor muscles to work harder.
Evidence shows that women who do pelvic floor exercises regularly during pregnancy are less likely to have bladder and bowel problems after delivery. However it is often very difficult to know whether you are doing the right thing with your pelvic floor.
Becky Aston can discuss any problems you are having and make sure you are following the right steps to treat any current problems or prevent development of them in the future.
Pelvic Floor Pain after delivery
The pelvic floor muscles work hard during delivery and some women will feel discomfort or pain in this area after delivery. Physiotherapy can help reduce pain and encourage healing in the post natal period and beyond.
1 in 5 of the population will suffer with pelvic floor dysfunction at some point in their life. It is an umbrella term for a group of symptoms involving the bladder, uterus, the prostate in men and the bowels. Contrary to popular belief, Men, Women and Children will suffer with symptoms and its not confined to the ageing population.
Symptoms range from pain, difficulty controlling urine or bowel motions (incontinence) to difficulty emptying the bladder or bowel (constipation). See Amy Steins page for a more in-depth explanation of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence describes the loss of urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing and any other movements that put pressure on the bladder. There are many factors which contribute to this problem, including childbirth, weak pelvic floor muscles, high impact exercise, constipation and obesity. The good news is that treatment works!
Treatment includes a thorough assessment to identify the problems and the contributing factors. Then a supervised programme of pelvic floor exercises and other physiotherapeutic techniques which will lead you to success.
Over Active Bladder Syndrome
Over active bladder syndrome (OAB) describes a group of symptoms, you may suffer with one or all of them. They include:-
Uncontrollable urgency to reach the toilet
Leakage of urine if you dont reach the toilet in time
Frequency to go to the toilet (usually more than 8 in 24 hours)
Getting up at night more than 1-2 times to urinate
Treatment includes a thorough assessment of your bladder function including, fluid in and out put as well as other physiotherapeutic techniques to make your bladder behave better.
Bowel incontinence is less common than bladder problems but often more distressing. It can include a sudden uncontrollable urge to empty your bowels, an inability to hold onto a bowel movement, leakage of small amounts of faeces after you thought you had emptied and difficulty or the inability to hold onto wind.
Treatment involves pelvic floor exercises, concentrating on the muscles around the back passage as well as strategies to improve bowel function.
Pelvic Pain is usually a debilitating condition which has lasted for more than 6 months. It describes pain in the pelvic floor, lower abdominal, pelvic region including urethral, bladder and anal pain.
The pelvic floor muscle structures can hold negative tension and become over active. They often benefit from being released using manual techniques and breathing exercises to reduce the tension held with in the muscles. Terms linked to this condition include vulvar vestibulitis, vaginal, labial, and clitoral pain, vaginismus, anismus, vulvodynia, bladder pain syndrome, cystitis and proctodynia. All of these conditions may be helped by a Womens Health Physiotherapist.
A detailed post natal check that tests the muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor. It is performed by a Specialist Women's Health Physiotherapist who understands the changes your body has gone through.
It is recommended for all women following child birth, so whether you are 6 weeks or 6 years post childbirth the Mummy MOT is for you. Advice on safe exercises is given as well as the best post natal exercises.
Most women after having had a baby have a weakness in either the tummy or pelvic floor muscles which then creates instability and poor core strength. The result can be back pain, pelvic pain, bladder and bowel weakness.
See Maria Elliott discussing the Mummy Mot here on YouTube. To avoid any long term issues come early and get your tummy gap and pelvic floor muscles tested and then start an optimal post natal recovery programme.
Becky works closely with some of the best Post Natal Fitness specialists in the area in order to progress your post natal fitness in the most effective and safe way.
The Mummy MOT is a
1-hour post-natal assessment with a Specialist Women's Health Physiotherapist
Ideally at 6 weeks and beyond
Checks Pelvic Floor Muscle Strength and Tummy gap
Assess any physical problems arising from pregnancy and birth
Recommends a bespoke post natal recovery programme, looking at Posture, Breathing and core activation
Confidential, private & relaxed
ScarWorks was developed by American, Sharon Wheeler and is used to decrease pain, whilst improving the movement and function of the surrounding tissue.
Scars can feel tight, restrict mobility, be painful or have reduced sensation. ScarWorks is a gentle technique that stimulates and boosts healing, irrespective of how old a scar is, it can have huge beneficial changes.
Lumps, gaps, ridges, holes, bumps, knots and strings in the tissue of the scar and surrounding area, can rapidly change, smoothing out and integrating better with the rest of the myofascial system.
ScarWorks can start as early as 6 weeks after an operation, although some will need to wait until 10 -12 weeks post operatively. It's never too late to start work on a scar to create positive change, even 30 years after an operation.
Contact Becky if you would like to book an appointment for ScarWorks.