Postpartum recovery – The Coregeous Ball

Alison Ribeiro, Physiotherapist

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Hi, everybody. My name is Alison Ribeiro and I am one of the pelvic health physiotherapists at Oona  in the Newmarket location. And I am coming to you today to educate you a little bit about one of the products that we carry called the coregeous ball.

Now, the coregeous ball here is something that I highly recommend to those individuals who have had a C-section, more so to help mobilize the scar tissue and any of the underlying connective tissue in and around the area.

When we talk about connective tissue, we think about that connective tissue system as being continuous from your head to your toes, okay? And the layers of connective tissue often should slide and glide nicely and smoothly alongside one another. However, the challenge with that is that any time we have any type of injury to an area where a scar develops to heal that area, sometimes what happens is those layers of tissue get stuck together by scar tissue and that then reduces the ability for that tissue to slide and glide nicely and it can get kind of stuck.

The challenge with that is that can affect a number of different things. It can affect our muscles in terms of strength. It can affect mobility. It can cause pain in and around the area or around surrounding areas as well because as I said, that connective tissue is continuous. So after a Cesarean section, when there’s quite a large scar there, we do want to make sure that we mobilize that tissue.

There are a number of different strategies to do that and the coregeous ball is one of those strategies. So, this is the ball here. When you get it and you inflate it, make sure you don’t inflate it fully, okay? So it should have still a little bit of give to it, okay?

You’ll notice that the texture of the ball itself is a little bit rubbery in nature. It kind of, it kind of has a sticky, you can kind of hear that, it’s kind of a little bit sticky and that has a purpose. That will allow you to mobilize the different layers of tissue a little bit easier, okay?

So in order to utilize the coregeous ball, what you want to be working on is placing it at different spots of your abdomen, okay? And then breathing deeply using your diaphragm, doing that diaphragmatic breathing around the ball. So I’ll show you what that looks like.

So you’re going to take the ball and you’re going to place it just below your rib cage, okay? And then you’re going to lie down on your stomach, right on top of the ball. You can start with your elbows propped up like this, okay? Or if you find that you want to go a little bit deeper, you can always rest your head on your forearms. But what you want to do in this position is I want you to take a nice, big, deep breath. So as you inhale, your abdomen inflates and you should almost feel like you’re rising up against the ball. And as you exhale, it’s like you’re softening your abdomen and sinking into the ball, okay?

So you’ll do that breath three to five times. Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to take the ball and bring it slightly lower, just around your navel, okay? And go through that same process, on your forearms or head resting on your hands. And again, you’re going to take a couple nice deep breaths, inhale, rise against the ball, and exhale .

Feel yourself sagging into the ball, okay? Again, another three to five breaths there. Then once you’ve done that, bring it down right over top of the scar, okay? Just in the center to start and again, do another three to five of those good breaths.

As you inhale, rising up against the ball and as you exhale, sagging into the ball. Once you’ve completed those breath cycles, what I want you to do is start to mobilize that tissue, okay? Now, ideally, this will be placed directly on your abdominal skin, okay? And that rubbery texture right against your skin will give you the best mobilization possible.

So what I want you to do here is you’re just going to, with the ball placed right along the scar, you’re going to kind of sashay your hips side to side, okay? Make sure you go all the way from one hip bone all the way across to the other hip bone, okay? Even though the scar might not be that wide, right? You still want to mobilize all the other tissue around the area, okay?

What I’d like for you to do then is try and go up and down ever so slightly. You can almost do like little circles or even like a figure eight type deal here. As you can see, almost anything goes. Just the fact that you are mobilizing the scar is where you’re going to get the benefit from. Now, you want to do that with the ball placed in the center of the scar, maybe a little bit off to one side, maybe a little bit off to the other side, okay? So you want to actually make sure that you’re addressing the whole scar length from one hip bone to the other hip bone.

Then, once you’ve finished that, what you can do again is, work on just mobilizing the area, maybe doing a couple more deep breaths in those different areas that you’ve worked on previously, because now with those deep breaths, you’ve helped to mobilize things.

Just keep in mind that this may be a little bit tender and that is okay. That’s why I give you the option of being up on your forearms or resting your chin on your hands so that you can reduce the intensity of it based off of how you’re feeling. I would not recommend diving too deep into mobilizing your scar tissue until that healing period has occurred, so until at least six weeks of postpartum recovery.

You want to make sure that there’s no visible scabs left on the scar, okay? So, I wouldn’t recommend doing this in those early, early days, but you can start working on that around that timeframe to help give you more mobility through that scar tissue and help with returning to regular function. So I hope that was helpful. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out. Otherwise we’ll see you again soon, take care.

Alison Ribero is a Physiotherapist here at Oona  specialising in Pelvic and Orthopaedic care.  She completed her Honour’s Bachelor of Kinesiology at McMaster University and her Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. Alison is a firm believer in holistic care and the benefits of involving the health care team in each patient’s recovery.

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