Effects of physiotherapy on pain and functional activities after cesarean delivery



To investigate the effects of a physiotherapy program on incision pain and functional activities in the early post-cesarean period.


Fifty women were evaluated after Cesarean operation with regard to times of ambulation and return of bowel activity, intensity of incision pain, difficulty in functional activities and number of analgesics required additional to routine pain control procedure. Twenty-four women received only routine nursing care, and a physiotherapy program was applied to the study group (n = 26), additionally.


Postoperative ambulation and return of bowel activity were earlier in the study group (p < 0.05). Incision pain and difficulty in functional activities decreased significantly within 2 days in both groups, and the values were lower in the study group (p < 0.05). Study group needed less medication for pain control (p < 0.05).


Findings revealed the effectiveness of a physiotherapy program in the early post-cesarean period in a wider perspective than the current literature, and are considered to be valuable for increasing the quality and productivity of the postnatal care, therefore improving well-being after childbirth.

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The authors thank the nurses and trainees of Hacettepe University Hospitals, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, for their valuable cooperation and help for the study. This study presents major findings of the doctoral thesis by the first author, and was supported by Scientific Research Unit of Hacettepe University (Project number: 05 T02 102 003).

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Correspondence to İlkim Çıtak Karakaya.

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Çıtak Karakaya, İ., Yüksel, İ., Akbayrak, T. et al. Effects of physiotherapy on pain and functional activities after cesarean delivery. Arch Gynecol Obstet 285, 621–627 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-011-2037-0

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  • Connective tissue manipulation
  • Obstetric rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Postnatal exercise
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation