By Riva Preil
With only two sessions remaining to the “semester,” have YOU taken advantage of your opportunity to learn at The School of Pelvic Health yet? If the answer is no, bear in mind it’s never to late to educate– we hope to see you at the next class on Tuesday, November 11, at 7:00 PM.
At the next class, Stephanie Stamas will discuss My Symptoms Keep Flaring, Is That Normal? Unfortunately, as many patients can attest, flare ups are often part and parcel of the therapeutic process. In fact, I try to educate patients at their initial evaluation about the potential for a “flare-up” (i.e., feeling worse immediately following physical therapy prior to feeling better). When patients know what to expect, they are less fearful and worried when flare-ups occur as a result of treatment.
The way I explain a flare up to my patients is that it is the body’s way of telling us that this work is necessary and beneficial. The muscles, fascia, and connective tissue have become accustomed to a faulty shortened position. What feels “normal” to them is actually pathologic and tight. Therefore, after manual therapy that involves stretching and manipulation of the shortened tissue, the body is adjusting this new healthier state. Even though the adjustment phase may be uncomfortable and sore, it is EXTREMELY GOOD in the long run and it is a part of the healing process.
An analogy I give to explain the concept relates to when I educate patients about proper posture. After teaching correct sitting and standing posture, patients often report that it feels “weird” or “unnatural” even though it is BETTER for their body than the previous poor habits. Creating new habits feels strange and awkward, even if the changes are improvements.
The same applies to the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue- the changes made in physical therapy are beneficial and healing, despite feeling initially painful and uncomfortable. To learn more about flare-ups and how to manage them (HINT: Think “Ice Ice Baby…”), be sure to attend Stephanie’s class on Tuesday! We look forward to seeing you there!