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Abdominals in the Postpartum Patient: Evaluation and Treatment

presented by Rachel Kilgore, DPT, OCS, COMT, PRPC, PPCES

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Rachel Kilgore is an employee of Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and a MedBridge consultant.

Nonfinancial: Rachel Kilgore has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Additional Disclosure: A special thanks to Darla Cathcart, director of peripartum series curricula for Herman & Wallace, for her assistance in the development of this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 41 Minutes; Learning Assessment: 43 Minutes

This course benefits rehabilitation professionals who are interested in treating the postpartum population. This course includes in-depth anatomical instruction and general considerations for the abdominals. Specific assessment and evidence-based treatment strategies for the patient who has birthed abdominally or vaginally are presented. Additionally, specific diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) assessment and treatments are discussed. There is a demonstration of DRA assessment and review of exercise progression. This course will help the participant be able to identify common abdominal impairments and load transfer dysfunction. Participants will be able to provide their patients with goal-oriented treatment strategies to improve coordination, mobility, and strength for the abdominals.

Meet Your Instructor

Rachel Kilgore, DPT, OCS, COMT, PRPC, PPCES

Rachel's primary specialty is pelvic rehabilitation. This includes incontinence, prolapse, constipation, pelvic pain, and peripartum issues such as cesarean birth or diastasis rectus abdominis. She enjoys treating general orthopedics, with interest in the back, neck, knee, and shoulders. Additionally, playing collegiate soccer inspired her desire to focus on sports rehabilitation. Currently, she unites these specialties…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Abdominal Anatomy and Function

This chapter helps the participant become familiar with abdominal muscle anatomy, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis. It also helps familiarize the participant with the changes that occur during and after pregnancy to the abdominal wall.

2. Diastasis Rectus Abdominis Assessment

In this chapter, clinicians learn about general assessment of the abdominal wall as well as diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA). The participant will learn to assess and measure length, width, and depth of DRA. Also reviewed are abdominal wall observations, load transfer testing, and functional assessment for the abdominal wall of the postpartum patient.

3. Diastasis Rectus Abdominis Treatment

This chapter will guide the clinician with an overview of abdominal treatments for the postpartum patient. Specific treatments such as abdominal supports, taping, and other abdominals are discussed. Evidence-based exercise principles, goals, and progression are provided.

4. Postpartum Cesarean Assessment and Treatment

This chapter is a general overview of assessment and treatment for a postpartum patient who had a cesarean birth. Instruction on scar assessment and treatment for improving scar mobility is provided, including treatments for in the clinic and at home, as scars can be painful and can impact mobility and muscle function in more than just the abdominal area.

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