Monthly Archives: December 2012

Constipation During Pregnancy and Postpartum

tn_good mommy tummy 2x3“Constipation is so common that it’s rare for new moms not to experience it”

Wondering when you’ll start to experience constipation? Which foods pack the most fiber and how much do you need?

For the full article click here

Hey, do you need a little help with your Kegel’s? There’s an App for that.

Women on Cell phone MP910220688Are you finding it hard to remember to do your Kegel exercises?

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

Have you been told to do your kegel exercises every day, three times a day, forever? And were you given great advise on how to sneak in your “daily Kegel requirements” during normal every day activities?  I bet you are doing them right now as you are reading this article.


If you are one of the many who forget to do a squeeze while stopped at a traffic light, at each bus stop, while waiting on line at the grocery store or when you are putting away the dishes there is some good news for you. I recently found several Kegel coaching apps to remind you on the iPhone. Some of these apps include specific exercise programs too and range in price from 99 cents to about $5. They all looked interesting, but instead of adding yet another app to my phone I decided to save some money by setting 3 separate daily alarms to give me a “nudge” when it is time to do my Kegel exercises. I guess the trick will be not to turn off the alarm until I actually do my exercises.

Leave a comment and tell me how you remember to do your Kegel’s.

Very thorough and well written article discussing a woman’s physical therapy experience with lower back pain. She also goes on to mention that her sister is months away from receiving her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and how she learned that physical therapy is a great alternative for the treatment of lower back pain instead of taking medication. The author went into further detail and discussed the growing field of women’s health physical therapy which is devoted to treating such unique issues as incontinence, pelvic/vaginal pain, endometriosis, prenatal and postpartum musculosketelal pain, osteoporosis, rehabilitation following breast surgery, and conditions specific to female athletes.

Pain in the Jaw? It could be signs of a heart attack.

tn_Female TMJ painBy Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

Since I am a TMJ specialist, I see many patients who complain of jaw pain. One of the most important things we can do as physical therapists is to ask some specific questions during the initial visit to rule out other potential problems.

If someone complains of jaw pain I always make a point of asking when they feel the jaw pain, what makes it worse, and what makes it go away. If they feel jaw pain when exercising or during certain activities and if it goes away when they stop, I see a BIG RED FLAG.

Some of the most common heart attack symptoms may include chest pain which can spread to your shoulder and jaw. Pain in the shoulder or jaw may show up as early pre-heart attack symptoms and should be evaluated by your doctor. If the pain in your chest, shoulder or jaw is brought on by activity, such as walking, and then goes away with rest, it is important to report this to your doctor. Any pain that is brought on by activity and goes away with rest should be investigated as possible cardiac symptoms. 

How big is your baby?

shutterstock_1562179 Pregnant MassageI was using some manual physical therapy on a lovely patient earlier today who was very excited about her recent visit with her obstetrician. She was told that her baby was now about the size of a lemon.
So, Moma how big is your baby at the moment?
The size of a Poppy Seed? a Prune? or an Avocado?

Here is a great size cart from the Bump. Click Here

PS Tell us if you ever heard of a jackfruit?

Cocoa Butter Prevents Stretch Marks: Really?

shutterstock_64893337Pregnant women all around the globe aptly apply cocoa butter all over their bodies during pregnancy to prevent developing stretch marks on their tummies, breasts and thighs.


A very large study performed by dermatologists and obstetricians was published in 2008. It followed 175 women and found that after months of slathering gobs of cocoa butter still developed stretch marks. Some women even developed acne from too much cream. (ref. 1) On the brighter side, an alternative cream containing vitamin E was found to be more effective in the war against developing stretch marks. So if you want to prevent stretch marks, try using a cream with ALPHA TOCOPHEROL (a form of vitamin E) instead of cocoa butter based creams. (ref. 2)

Note: Before using any creams during pregnancy please discuss it with your midwife or doctor.

Ref: 1. BJOG. 2008 Aug;115(9):1138-42.,Cocoa butter lotion for prevention of striae gravidarum: a double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trial., Osman H, Usta IM, Rubeiz N, Abu-Rustum R, Charara I, Nassar AH., Department of Health Behaviour and Education, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

2. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD000066., Creams for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy., Young GL, Jewell D.,
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