One-third of women are giving birth by Cesarean Section (C-section). Most of these women don’t realize that after the incision has healed, problems can, and often do, occur from the surgery, scar tissue, neurological disruption, and adhesions it creates. These symptoms can be close to the incision point or in completely different parts of the body that seem unrelated, yet are very much related. If not treated, C-section scar tissue can spread creating adhesions and attaching to the pubic symphosis (pubic bone), the hip flexors, pelvic floor, and back muscles and vertebrae restricting movement and causing pain. Additional ramifications can include nerve damage, diaphragm restrictions that inhibit breathing and rev up the nervous system, low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, incontinence, neuromuscular dysfunction, loss of motor control of muscles in any body part, incontinence, bowel problems (such as constipation and IBS), and pelvic organ prolapse.
Women are typically not given instructions (other than immediate wound care) for how to heal and care for their C-section scars after they leave the hospital. The best information that most women receive is what not to do for the period of time when the incision itself is closing.
Whether a Cesarean scar is numb or causes pain even after it has healed, it still needs to be treated and restored to health. The visible part of the on the skin’s surface is only the tip of the iceberg. A scar lays down roots inside the body, like a tree underneath the skin with its roots adhering to bone, muscles, nerves, and ligaments while reeking havoc. The source of these symptoms is that the integrity and strength of the core has been cut and sutured together, making it weaker. The woman’s spinal and pelvic stability and core muscles have been surgically cut clean through and sewn together at a critical part of the body’s core musculature, which is required to have a strong and supportive core.
The core is comprised of more than just abdominal muscles. The spine, pelvic floor, and diaphragm (a major breathing muscle) are also part of the core subsystem of the body. Each part is needed to do its job well so that the body can be stable and move freely and correctly without compensations and pain. When the core is stable, then the extremities (arms, legs, head, and neck) can move well and be healthy. Without core stability, it’s like trying to shoot a canon from a canoe.
After an incision is closed, women need to restore her core function and stability, release scar tissue and adhesions, free trapped nerves or heal damaged nerves, and reconnect her nervous system’s motor control center in her brain to tell muscles how to work properly again, without compensations and pain.
The core is only important for EVERY movement of the body to function well, including breathing 20,000 times per day. A C-section disrupts the integrity and strength of a woman’s core by cutting through the muscle and fascia that are required to stabilize in order to access strength and support her spine and pelvis. Neurologically, the scar is probably shutting down the core. Crunches and planks cannot fully bring back the complete and proper function of the core. The scar tissue must be released, and then compensations cleared to reintegrate healthy core movement. Then abdominal strengthening can occur. If crunches and planks are done prior to reprogramming how the body moves and erasing its compensation patterns, then additional compensation patterns are compounding the existing compensation patterns – making matters worse. That’s why many people’s neck, back and hips hurt when they do abdominal workouts – they are actually using neck, back and hip muscles to compensate for their abdominals. Pain goes away quickly once the core is functioning well again.
The best holistic therapies that work well and quickly to restore and transform a woman’s body back to health, strength, and function are Myofascial Release (MFR), Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage (MLD), Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT), Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS). The first step in healing is MFR and LDM, which are recommend to be received prior to delivery, as well as post partum. MFR gently releases scars and adhesions (making them softer and more pliable like the surrounding skin and internal tissue), accelerates the immune system’s healing and nerve regeneration, and reduces inflammation. MLD is a gentle massage that stimulates lymphatic system circulation, the body’s natural cleansing mechanism, reduces inflammation, and encourages the natural drainage of the lymph from the body’s tissues thereby assisting with healing. MLD uses extremely light rhythmic strokes to stimulate lymphatic flow and soothes the nervous system, as well as, helps the collagen to lay down in line with the incision.
After the tissue is released with MFR and MLD, the work is not finished. Resetting the body back to how it was designed to move is accomplished with NKT, PRI, and/or DNS. Erasing compensation patterns and reprogramming the body to move correctly is done with NKT. PRI and DNS are highly effective therapies that restore stability, strength, posture and breathing while retraining muscles how to do their job well and eliminating pain. All of these therapies require specialized training and experience and are not widely available. Lasting Pain Relief Center is a premier treatment center that offers all five of these therapies. Once the body is restored, then it is safe and beneficial to lift weights and do resistance training.
Here is one C-section success story. Ellen, a doctor, runner and mother, had a C-section scar that was numb and a left leg that did not work well. When she walked, it looked like she was dragging her left leg. She had developed back, leg and hip pain. Her left leg was not responding well to the brain telling it to move because its nerves were trapped and the signal from the brain to the muscle was inhibited by the scar. Her right leg and back were over working because her core, and left leg were not working. After releasing her scar with MFR, which regenerated nerve activity, she regained feeling around the scar for the first time since she gave birth seven years prior. Since her scar was shutting off the muscles of her left leg and her anterior pelvic floor muscles, NKT was used to reprogram her neurological system and restore muscular control and coordination. Once those dysfunctional relationships were cleared, she regained feeling in the left leg which felt warm and tingly, and she was able to voluntarily control its movement. She also reported that her incontinence was gone.
Olympia Hostler, CMT, RYT, MBA is the owner of the Lasting Pain Relief Center which is one of the top MFR, NKT, DNS, & PRI treatment facilities in the world. She is a veteran therapist and Movement Therapist with a passion to assist you in your healing journey by providing a safe, supportive and comfortable atmosphere which focuses on facilitating your individual and unique healing process. Phone 917-288-7477. Website www.LastingPainRelief.com