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  • Writer's pictureDr Rachel Collins

Stretch it Out

I am 4 weeks postpartum today and I continue to have some minor bleeding especially if I ambulate stairs multiple times in a short time period or after my 20-30min walks. I have really been taking my time when it comes to returning to my normal workouts. I have been assessing my posture and movement patterns especially during my deep breathing exercises (see 360 breathing in free core exercises on website). I am able to get decent movement throughout my belly and ribs but I have tightness in my back. I had a history of low and upper back pain after my last pregnancy that never fully went away. I know the importance of focusing on my imbalances because it’s your body letting you know that another area of your body is weak. In my case it is my abs that have weakened and the muscles of my back tightened up to help compensate and allow me to continue performing my workouts. When your body makes compensations like this, eventually something has to give, and that is when you start to notice pain. My goal is to focus on relaxing my back muscles and improving abdominal activation throughout my low impact exercises and home activities.

I am fortunate that I have the education on assessing posture and body movements to notice these compensations and know what to focus on before I injure myself. Unfortunately, I ignored the signs before which is what led to my back pain in the past.

I truly believe that everyone, especially postpartum women, should be assessed by a physical therapist to help them find any movement issues and give them the tools and education to allow them to continue to perform home and recreational activities pain free. It would be so amazing if we even thought of physical therapy as preventative medicine. You could have poor movement patterns brought to your attention before they began to cause pain, and you would be able to continue living a healthy life pain free!

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