Months of lingering pain and physical limitations compounded the challenges of new parenthood for a local Pinehurst woman. After a Caesarean section, the 36-year-old experienced abdominal numbness, incontinence, limited mobility and back and hip pain.
Referred to physical therapy, she put off seeking treatment for months.
“I was terrified, embarrassed and concerned I would never be able to have the same quality of life I had prior to pregnancy, especially when I was told over and over, ‘this is what moms have to deal with,’” she said. “I was also worried I would go to physical therapy and see nothing change.”
Tired of discomfort, she decided to visit Kassandra Schuhmann, P.T., DPT, PYT at FirstHealth Outpatient Rehabilitation – Aviemore Drive. A pelvic floor physical therapist and yoga therapist specialist, Schuhmann treats a variety of pelvic floor disorders, including urinary dysfunction, overactive bladder, pelvic and bladder pain and constipation, among others.
“On your own it can be difficult to identify the appropriate muscles that need to be strengthened and retrained, which is why working with a physical therapist is important,” Schuhmann said. “With pelvic floor issues, we can also provide targeted techniques to improve blood flow and tissue function in the pelvic area.”
She said she quickly felt comfortable with Schuhmann, despite the personal nature of her issues, and was relieved to have concrete answers following her evaluation. Schuhmann instructed her on massage techniques to increase mobility around her scar, which has allowed her to move her abdomen more freely.
“Kassandra has been amazing to work with,” She said. “She was able to troubleshoot some issues I didn’t even realize I had. Now the numbness is 100 percent gone.”
She said she valued Schuhmann’s open and nonjudgmental approach and felt comfortable discussing embarrassing issues with her, while receiving honest feedback on remedying her problems. She also appreciated that the physical therapy exercises were made attainable to her fitness and skill level.
“It has taken some time for me to recover but it was possible,” She said. “I feel so much better than I did before going to physical therapy. I delayed seeking treatment for nine months after having my baby and wish I had gone as soon as my OB-GYN released me for activity.”
Five months of physical therapy and counting, She said she continues to improve each day. She has been able to return to cycling, pain free, and enjoys playing with her baby without limitations.
*Name has been omitted due to the personal nature of the patient’s treatment.
FirstHealth provides a variety of rehabilitation services at six outpatient locations throughout the Sandhills area. To learn more visit www.firsthealth.org/rehab.