C-section and scar complications
Approximately 32 percent of deliveries are via C-section. Does it mean that women undergoing C-section face less trauma than the ones going through vaginal delivery? Absolutely not!!! Many people think that during a C-section the doctor performs an incision in the skin and uterus and the baby is delivered. Even though this is partly correct, C-section actually is a major surgery where an incision is made through your skin, fascia, rectus abdominis (your 6 pack muscle), organ linings , move the bladder out of the way to get to your uterus. Then he/she has to perform an incision to get to your baby that you have been waiting to meet since the day you found out you were pregnant. After the baby is born, the doctor stitches all the tissue layers and advises you to not lift, bend and exert for 6 weeks for the tissues to heal.
So, what happens in these 6 weeks? The body heals the tissue by scar formation which is usually mechanically resistant and can cause functional impairment due to itch and contractures. The scar tissue has the same collagen as the tissue it replaces with different formations.
Scar tissue can cause pain, reduced range of motion, urinary incontinence, low back pain due to muscle weakness (remember a tight muscle doesn’t necessarily mean a strong one), constipation, and painful intercourse.
Does it mean you have to live with it?
The good news is NO!!!! The scar tissue can be managed by scar mobilization/massage which is different than the regular massage and is done by a skilled Pelvic Floor Physical/Occupational Therapist. The Pelvic Floor Therapist will assess your scar and the surrounding muscles/tissues and start treating the area with scar mobilization which might feel uncomfortable in the beginning. The scar tissue helps break any adhesions that might be present which supports healthy healing.
The Physical Therapist will also assess your deep core muscle and the pelvic floor muscles, checking for any weakness, restriction, or lack of coordination. After the assessment, the therapist will plan a customized treatment according to your need.
When can I see the Pelvic Floor Therapist?
Wait till your OB/GYN confirms that your incision is closed which typically is 6 weeks post partum.
If you have any question call (925)587-3240 for a free 20 min consultation.
- Wasserman JB, Steele-Thornborrow JL, Yuen JS, Halkiotis M, Riggins EM. Chronic caesarian section scar pain treated with fascial scar release techniques: A case series. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2016 Oct;20(4):906-913. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.02.011. Epub 2016 Mar 10. PMID: 27814873.
- The Influence of Back Pain and Urinary Incontinence on Daily Tasks of Mothers at 12 Months Postpartum Cynthia A. Mannion, Angela E. Vinturache, Sheila W. McDonald, Suzanne C. Tough
- Komatsu R, Ando K, Flood Pd. Postpartum chronic pelvic pain and pelvic girdle pain. Minerva Anestesiol 2020;86:99-100. DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.19.13893-X