Jennifer Stone, DPT, OCS, Katie Skibiski, DPT, PHC, Sarah Hwang, MD, Courtney Barnes, MD, FACOG
Cesarean section represents the most commonly performed inpatient surgical procedure in the United States. The few studies currently available regarding the role of physical therapy in postoperative recovery only look at the first few days or weeks postpartum. The goal of this pilot randomized controlled trial was to assess the impact of physical therapy post-cesarean delivery and to serve as a potential basis for future research.
Here is an overview of the findings:
➜ PT among these participants positively impacted outcomes, particularly in the areas of pain, patient satisfaction, and self-rated exercise ability.
➜ Results do NOT support statistically significant differences between groups in pain or exercise ability past 6 months, although satisfaction was impacted for up to a year.
➜ Most studies of this population look only at immediate/short-term results of care while this study followed up patients for 1.5 years post-treatment to look at longer term outcomes.
Bottom Line: Physical therapy may be a helpful adjunct to cesarean delivery recovery, although larger studies should be done for definitive conclusions.
Access the randomized controlled trial to find out more about the impact of physical therapy post-cesarean delivery.