My patient conceived her son, after just one visit of physical therapy for low back pain. She had been living with moderate lower back pain. Since it was not resolving, she sought medical help. Her doctor ordered a MRI and the results indicated that she had mild lumbar 3-4 and 4-5 disc herniations. Complaints were moderate low back pain, generalized body tightness, and right leg traveling pain to the knee.
She came to physical therapy to help with her back pain and right leg radicular symptoms, treatment was not for fertility assistance. Her spouse encouraged her to come down for treatment, even though it was about one hour away from their home. She had tried many modalities for the low back pain but with little to no improvement. So decided to try Cox PT since her husband had good past results with treatment for his back.
The Unexpected, but Miraculous Results of Lower Back Treatment
I was later informed by the husband who was elated, reporting “We are pregnant!” He said it had to have happened the weekend after treatment and explained why conceiving was so astonishing. This was her very first pregnancy at age 38. They had been trying to conceive naturally for two years. She changed her diet, added nutritional supplements, reduce her stress and workload, started gentle exercises, acupuncture, reduced electrical magnetic waves in the bedroom and home, menstrual cycle and hormone monitoring, ovulation test strips and a myriad of suggestions she found online.
Unexplained infertility is a journey filled with many trials and tribulations, old wives tales, lifestyle changes, education, and anything that creates the right environmental for you to conceive. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected intercourse for at least one year.
Physical therapy can help with unexplained infertility
This is true, especially if it is related to mechanical restrictions from adhesions and scarring. Adhesions and scars can form after falls on the back side, a fractured hip or pelvis, pelvic infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, endometriosis and from surgeries to the back, abdomen or pelvic organs. Adhesions are a frequent cause of unexplained infertility and are difficult to diagnosis because ultrasounds, x-rays, CT or MRI scans do not show adhesions. You literally have to do surgery, usually laparoscopic, to look inside at the tissues and organs as they are lifted, moved, separated and spaces are parted open to see and identify if there are adhesions.
By using an “insightful touch” the whole body is assessed to help identify lines of tension, adhesions, scar restrictions, tissue dryness and roughness, pain and simply looking for areas where there is loss of motion. Soft tissue, connective tissue/fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, visceral organs, nerves and vessels need to move! All these tissues have inherent motion and should painlessly move with a touch and rebound when compressed.
Once body restrictions are identified, treatment begins!
Manual physical therapy is a specialized type of modality that is delivered with the hands versus a device or machine. As an expert in Physical Therapy, my goals are to produce any or all of the following: improve tissue elasticity, increase range of motion, increase blood flow and nerve function, reduce tissue swelling, increase mobility and motility of organs, mobility of soft tissue and joints, induce relaxation, improve muscle function, reduce and/or resolve pain, inflammation and movement restrictions.
Scar tissue is not inherently permanent. The tissue can undergo a process known as remodeling in which abnormal clumps of cells, called adhesions, are gradually loosened and replaced with a more normalized cellular arrangement. Scar tissue remodeling occurs with prolonged stretching, the “direct method” or working into the direction of resistance helps align collagen fibers. This realignment of the collagen fibers makes the tissues able to tolerate normal functional forces that are placed on them. Working “indirect methods” works well with nerves and blood vessel pathways to optimize blood flow, oxygenate and clear toxins from the target tissues and organs. Treatments may involve treating the body from head to toe with focus on the primary concerns and restrictions; or it may be a very localized specific area that will be addressed. With that being said, each treatment is tailored to the individual client.
What an honor to have helped this couple become a family.