Perineal tears are one of the most common injuries resulting from a conventional vaginal birth. They can be uncomfortable and associated symptoms can lead to more serious problems.
Today, we’re going to take you through the basics of perineal tears and how post-natal physiotherapy can address the problem.
What is a Perineal Tear?
A perineal tear is a tear to the tissues of the perineum – the area separating the vaginal and rectal cavities.
Perineal tears range from minor to severe, but they should be restricted to labour. If you’re experiencing significant discomfort after the first few weeks of recovery, you may require further medical attention.
Causes of a Perineal Tear
The most common cause of a perineal tear is a difficult labour.
You’re going to be more at-risk if you’re delivering a larger baby (anything from 8lbs upwards), during your first pregnancy/childbirth; and if you had an epidural analgesia and the birth involved the use of mechanical aids (like forceps).
Symptoms of a perineal tear are what you might expect – pain and discomfort during any movements where there is pressure or stretching through the perineum.
These triggers range from exercise, to sex, to sitting. You usually see your obstetrician six weeks after the birth for a check-up, however, If you have any of the following concerns about your recovery it’s important to see your obstetrician earlier.
- Severe pain when sitting or standing
- Bladder problems and/or incontinence
- Uncontrollable wind
- Poor control or pain during ‘movements’
- Distinct pain during or after sexual activity
These are the most common concerns, but any form of excessive discomfort or pain in this area should be discussed with your doctor, because left untreated perineal tears can contribute to problems such as incontinence, vaginismus, reduced control over the pelvic floor, and even long-term instability in the hip region.
How Post-Natal Physiotherapy Can Help
Post-Natal Physiotherapy is all about what happens after your labour or surgical intervention. It’s about re-learning movement and returning to a quality of life that is comparable, or even better, prior to childbirth.
Caroline is our expert in physiotherapy for women and provides her patients with a long-term rehabilitation and recovery plans.
What to Expect
Our approach to post-natal physiotherapy is results-oriented and based on a thorough understanding of your condition and includes:
- A personalised assessment involving a consultation, assessment of the symptoms and your individual needs/requirements
- A program of individualised therapies and exercises
- Compassionate care from a professional with experience in the field of women’s physiotherapy
What you can expect is a comfortable, understanding and friendly environment in which your symptoms can be addressed and recovery can begin.
Perineal tears can be well-managed if you allow yourself to work with professionals in order to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Our physiotherapy practice is all about helping women through proper management and non-invasive treatment of conditions just like yours.
If you’re suffering needlessly, get in touch and Caroline will provide the service and guidance you deserve.
Please note, this blog is general in nature and we do recommend talking to your general practitioner who may then refer you to The Brisbane Spine Clinic.