C-sections and “Unrelated” Pain Long After

Scar of caesarean section

C-sections and “unrelated” pain long after.

Over the course of the last few years, many females have come in with anything from shoulder pain, abdominal pain, back pain, hip pain, knee pain etc… 1 thing they all had in common was a history of C-sections ranging from 6months to 10 years previous. So I thought I’d write a little blog on my experience with patients I have come in contact with C-sections.

What is a C-Section?

C-section is short for Caesarean Section. Section deliveries can be planned or unplanned. During the C-section, the doc makes an incision into your skin, through the fat cells, connective tissue, and into the abdominal cavity.

The abdominal muscles are then spread apart and the bladder is moved down and out of the way in order to get to the uterus. There is an incision made into the uterus and the baby is guided out. The placenta is taken out shortly after.

The uterus is then stitched up, the bladder put back in place, then connective tissue, the abdominals, and the skin stitched up, to varying degrees. We have a lot of layers of sutures and thus, scar tissue that will form.

As you can see, it’s a pretty invasive procedure. It’s not as simple as cutting a baby out and stitching it back up. It’s far more complex than that with a relatively short recovery period in my opinion (6 weeks recommended). Not to mention the emotional recovery that comes along with it.

After the procedure, you’re left with anything from 15-30 staples. Now like any serious injury, be it ligament tear in the ankle or knee, broken bones etc… The first thing you naturally will do is try to avoid stimulating the area mainly to steer clear of pain. So that could mean that you lift yourself out of a seat with your arms, meaning overcompensating which can lead to overuse of your shoulder. Maybe you stop bending down to avoid stimulating the area or you start to get out of bed differently. The fact is compensations happen and the list is endless really. The point I’m making is your behavior in which you move changes.

Now, this is ok in the in the initial stage of your recovery but long term this is not sustainable. Now I’m not an advocate that we should be activating our core in all walks of life because the latest research isn’t there to back it up but on this occasion, I believe the sooner you start to engage your core muscles the better. This doesn’t have to mean jump on the ground and do 100 sit-ups every day. It could just mean for you to acknowledge or have an awareness that your abdominal area exists again. This can be started with simple breathing exercises. But the longer this avoidance continues the more fear that is generated but that’s a different story.

To sum up, ladies, recover well and avoid the avoidance.

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