Dr. Nelson Receives Certification as a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist

Dr. Kimberly Nelson has been certified as a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist (PCES), giving her the tools to rehabilitate postpartum women after giving birth.

Dr. Nelson completed the 30-hour PCES course where she learned how to test for diastasis recti, a common condition in pregnant women where the belly sticks out because the space between the left and right stomach muscles has widened. The certification as a PCES provides training in several options to heal a diastasis, as well as postpartum rehab to correct posture, create stability in the pelvis, and support the pelvic floor.

One of the rehab options Dr. Nelson leverages through this technique is intense breath work that is used to kickstart the diaphragm. This builds the lower transverse abdominis, which is the deepest of the abdominal group. It helps with breathing and activates the core to stabilize the pelvis and lower back during most movements.

“These breathing exercises not only strengthen the core and lower body, they also relieve neck and back pain,” Dr. Nelson says. “The patient is learning how to breath properly from the diaphragm again, which takes strain off the secondary breathing muscles higher in your chest and neck.”

With this certification, Dr. Nelson performs a posture evaluation on postpartum patients to assess their starting point. Then she builds a custom exercise and breathing plan for them and measures progress as they work on the rehab exercises. Typically, postpartum patients see Dr. Nelson once every two weeks for the first three months, and then decrease to once a month until they are recovered.

“Postpartum women still have high levels of relaxin in their bodies, especially if they are breast feeding,” Dr. Nelson says. “Relaxin creates instability in the joints and spine, so they need to be seen more regularly.”

In most women, it takes a year to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth, but Dr. Nelson sees faster and more productive recovery in women who do the techniques of these breathing exercises. The rehab exercises take about 10 to 15 minutes a day and strengthen the pelvis, which allows for decreased pain and better posture, longer. Strengthening the pelvic floor also decreases incontinence and pain during sex.

“I received my certification as a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist because I want to better help and serve postpartum women,” Dr. Nelson said. “In my practice as a chiropractor in Reno, I see a lot of pregnant women, but they would stop coming in after they had their baby. Postpartum is the time when women need the most help to heal and recover, and these exercises provide that relief.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Nelson, call our offices at (775) 829-8686.

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