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Women’s Health

Pregnancy, Post-Partum, Pelvic Floor

Pregnancy

Pregnancy and new motherhood present women with a constantly shifting physical and emotional state of being. Many women struggle during their pregnancy with pain that affects their ability to walk, exercise, work, care for children or sleep comfortably. Despite the common belief that pain in pregnancy is normal or untreatable, physical therapists specializing in pregnancy are experts at correcting the causes of pain and empowering women with exercise and self-care techniques.

Common Conditions

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Pubic Symphysis pain
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Vulvar edema and varicose veins
  • Urinary Incontinence

Post-Partum

Many new moms are surprised and discouraged when they cannot easily return to their previous state of being or are presented with new physical challenges related to the labor or birth. In the post-partum period, physical therapists help new moms move forward in their healing journey with abdominal rehabilitation, pelvic floor physical therapy, scar massage and total body strengthening in order to achieve a state of physical wellness.

Treatment:

• Prevention and correction of Diastasis Recti Abdominis (abdominal separation) as well as instruction on safe abdominal exercises

• Manual therapy and corrective exercise to ease back pain, sciatica and pubic pain during pregnancy and in the post-partum period

• Ultrasound, manual therapy, lymphatic drainage and taping for the treatment of Mastitis (breast infection)

• Biofeedback to enhance awareness and muscle control in order to build strength or release tension in the pelvic floor muscles

• Recommendations on appropriate support belts as needed for low back pain, pubic pain, abdominal separation or pelvic pressure.

Common Conditions


Pelvic Floor

The muscles of the pelvic floor form the true core of our being. These hidden muscles are often the cause of pain, instability and dysfunction. Men and women who experience pelvic floor dysfunction often embark on long and arduous journeys in order to find their path to healing. Specialized physical therapy has proven to play an integral role in healing the pelvic floor and surrounding structures.

Treatment:

• Soft tissue massage, myofascial release and trigger point release techniques are performed internally and/or externally to release muscle tension and restore muscle flexibility.

• Biofeedback can be used to enhance awareness and muscle control in order to build strength or release tension in the pelvic floor muscles

• Visceral manipulation involves the release of fascia surrounding the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, intestines) to allow the organs to properly expand, contract and function in a pain-free rhythm.

Common Conditions

 

Want to know more? Read about 3 Surprising Things You Should Know About Pelvic Floor Therapy.

Looking for more about Men’s Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? Check out our Men’s Health page.


What to Expect

Your first visit will include a thorough history of your present symptoms and previous medical experience. The Therapists at Shift will listen closely to your experience and work with you to devise a framework for your care. Following the history, an evaluation will be performed in order to focus on the root causes of your symptoms.

In pregnancy, a thorough assessment of your posture, strength and pelvic alignment will be performed in order to identify the root causes of your symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic floor weakness or dysfunction, you will have a choice as to how you would like proceed with evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles. Although the muscles are most directly assessed via an internal (intravaginal or intrarectal) evaluation, the muscles can also be assessed using external palpation or external biofeedback. The choice of evaluation method is always yours and your physical therapist will work with you to develop an effective evaluation and treatment plan.


Pilates for Prenatal/Postpartum Fitness:

Many women want to continue to exercise during pregnancy and in the early post-partum months, but have concerns about how to safely adapt exercise for their changing bodies. Shift Integrative Medicine offers Pilates-based exercise taught by licensed physical therapists to help you:

  • Maintain your level of fitness during and immediately following pregnancy.
  • Increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of the muscles needed for childbirth.
  • Decrease back, neck, and shoulder pain that may be caused by postural changes during pregnancy or by caring for a newborn.
  • Learn what your body needs during each trimester of pregnancy and beyond.

 

Learn more about Pilates at Shift.


Common Conditions We Treat:


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 About Rachel

Rachel Parrotta, PT, DPT, ATC
Physical Therapist, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Athletic Trainer

Rachel utilizes a personalized treatment approach that weaves together each patient’s unique health journey with her own experience and knowledge of the human body. Combining hands-on techniques, visceral manipulation and targeted exercise, Rachel works in partnership with her patients to uncover and correct the root causes of their physical symptoms.

Rachel has an extensive physical therapy background in treating women during pregnancy and in the post-partum period, as well as treating men and women who experience pain or dysfunction related to the pelvic floor. As an Athletic Trainer, Rachel spent many of her early years rehabilitating athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional level.

As a Reiki practitioner, Rachel understands that very limited healing occurs when the body is in a state of constant stress or fight-or-flight response. Reiki can be used during physical therapy sessions to decrease stress and induce a state of relaxation and healing.

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Touro College
BS in Athletic Training, Boston University

 

 About Maya

Maya Hakami, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Maya has worked in the orthopedic setting for several years, treating conditions that result from chronic overuse; women’s health including ante and post-natal care; acute trauma and sports related injuries. She uses an approach to assessment that is based on optimal biomechanics and efficient movement. As treatment, she will incorporate the use of manual therapy techniques and target specific exercise prescription, emphasizing importance of proper posture and core stability. She especially utilizes clinical Pilates in order to optimally strengthen the core and pelvic floor musculature while incorporating the breath.

Maya recently returned to New York after living in Hong Kong for a couple of years. While abroad, Maya obtained certification in Shanghanese Tui Na massage and studied therapeutic yoga practices which compliment her holistic approach in treatment of patients.

When not working, Maya enjoys traveling, yoga, running and cooking.

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Hunter College
Bachelor of Arts, Binghamton University

 

About Irene

Irene Hernandez, PT, DPT, RYT
Physical Therapist, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor

Irene’s understanding of the body in movement stems from her own 2-decades long practice of Iyengar Yoga, her extensive background in orthopedic manual therapy, and her use of clinical Pilates in rehabilitation. Irene’s approach to therapy is to balance evidence-based manual therapy and therapeutic movement that promotes the patient’s self awareness.Irene specializes in Urogynecological Physical Therapy. She has considerable experience treating pelvic floor pain and dysfunction in men and women, as well as treating women during pregnancy and in the post-partum period.Irene understands Physical Therapy as a dynamic dialog between the therapist and patient, whereby the patient gains new awareness of their body and of the relationship between pain, movement, and healing. This ultimately empowers patients to advance and maintain the therapeutic process.Master in Physiotherapy in Urogynecology, Universidad Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM)
Graduate in Physical Therapy, Universidad Europea de Madrid

 

The Shift Model of Care:

  • Shift treats the whole you—body, mind and spirit because these elements of your health are always connected.
  • Shift uses a collaborative model to inform and empower you with multiple perspectives.
  • Shift is a supportive environment where you are invited to notice your own shifting self-awareness.

Location

95 University Place, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10003

Shift is conveniently located between 11th and 12th Street, just 2 blocks from Union Square. Nearby Subway lines include L, N, Q, R, 4, 5, 6.