Manual Therapy in OB Physical Therapy After Giving Birth

foot stretch by PT

The Importance of Manual Therapy Techniques in OB Physical Therapy

Pregnancy is a beautiful and miraculous experience, but it takes a toll on the body. Along with all the excitement and joy that comes with bringing new life into this world, many women also face physical challenges during and after pregnancy. These challenges can range from minor discomfort to severe pain, which can greatly affect their quality of life.

Thankfully, obstetric physical therapy has emerged as an effective solution for alleviating these postpartum pains and difficulties. One significant aspect of obstetric PT is manual therapy techniques. In this article, we will delve deeper into why manual therapy is crucial in treating postpartum mothers.

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy involves hands-on techniques performed by a trained physical therapist to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions. This therapy aims to improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore function in the body’s soft tissues.

During pregnancy, the body undergoes significant changes that can cause muscle imbalances and strains. These changes include hormonal fluctuations, weight gain, postural adaptations, and increased pressure on organs due to the growing baby. Manual therapy techniques can help address these issues and promote optimal recovery after giving birth.

The Benefits of Manual Therapy After Giving Birth

Pain Relief

Many new mothers experience pain in their lower back, hips, pelvic region or neck due to pregnancy-related changes and stresses during labor. Manual therapy can target these specific areas and release tension in muscles and joints through gentle techniques. This can provide significant relief from pain and discomfort, allowing mothers to focus on caring for their newborns without distraction.

Improved Posture

Pregnancy can cause changes in posture due to weight gain and hormonal fluctuations. After giving birth, this can persist as the body adjusts to its pre-pregnancy state. Manual therapy can help correct any postural imbalances, allowing new mothers to regain their normal posture and prevent further strain on muscles and joints.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. During pregnancy and childbirth, these muscles bear a lot of stress, leading to conditions such as urinary incontinence or prolapse. Manual therapy techniques like pelvic floor rehabilitation can help strengthen and restore these muscles, improving bladder control and preventing future complications.

Faster Recovery

Manual therapy techniques can also promote faster healing and recovery after giving birth. By reducing pain, improving posture, and addressing muscle imbalances, new mothers can resume their daily activities sooner without any lingering discomfort or limitations.

Prevention of Complications

Pregnancy and childbirth can also lead to other issues such as diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles), carpal tunnel syndrome, or thoracic outlet syndrome. Manual therapy techniques can address these conditions through targeted stretching and strengthening exercises, preventing them from worsening or becoming chronic.


Incorporating manual therapy into an obstetric physical therapy program has numerous benefits for new mothers. It can help restore posture, strengthen the pelvic floor, promote faster recovery, and prevent potential complications. By working closely with a trained physical therapist, new mothers can experience a more comfortable and smoother postpartum journey. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any manual therapy techniques after giving birth. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! Enjoy this special time while taking care of yourself and your body. So if you or someone you know has recently given birth, consider incorporating manual therapy into their postpartum care plan for a healthier, happier recovery journey. Don’t let pregnancy-related discomforts hold you back from fully enjoying motherhood – seek out the benefits of manual therapy today!