BY: DR. SUSAN FACEMIRE, PT, DPT, CPPC
Pain and other issues surrounding the pelvic floor can occur for a number of reasons, can be limiting and, for some people, even a bit embarrassing! It can hinder your daily life and prevent you from doing some of your daily tasks or activities you love. While our Women’s Health Program primarily focuses on women, any woman or man living with pelvic problems can benefit from our services. Through targeted programs, pelvic floor physical therapy can help reduce or eliminate the pain and symptoms you are experiencing.
In general, the practice of Physical Therapy focuses on pain reduction and restorative movement treatment approaches. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy takes those concepts a step further to focus on the connection of the pelvic floor to the rest of the body.
Some of the common conditions we treat are types of urinary incontinence, prolapse and pelvic pain. Do you experience leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, or laughing? How about leaking urine during daily activities, such as bending, squatting, or exercising. These are all common symptoms of stress urinary incontinence. Do you ever experience urgency or the feeling that you have to rush to the bathroom? Have you been told you have an overactive bladder or are you waking up multiple times per night to use the restroom? These are all common indicators that you may have urge urinary incontinence. You may be even experiencing symptoms in both of these categories and experiencing what we commonly call mixed urinary incontinence. Physical therapy treatment can improve pelvic-floor muscle function. Treatment may include Kegel exercises, biofeedback, muscle-strengthening exercises or electrical stimulation. Healing is possible through utilizing these techniques to re-educate the pelvic muscles and relieve your suffering.
Have you ever been diagnosed with a chronic pain disorder such as fibromyalgia, or endometriosis? Does sex or penetration during a gynecological exam hurt? Do you feel like you have recurrent UTIs (urinary tract infections) but the cultures come back negative? Did you have a traumatic child birthing experience? Do you feel a heaviness in your vagina with or without increased activity? All of these scenarios can implicate some degree of pelvic floor dysfunction and often result in pain through the pelvic floor, hips, and back. Physical therapists use pelvic floor therapy to treat pelvic pain. With physical therapy, patients can avoid surgery and having to depend on pain meds.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is for all genders and we treat any woman or man experiencing issues with their pelvic floor. Typical patients who would be strong candidates for pelvic floor physical therapy include:
- Any woman or man dealing with urinary or fecal incontinence
- Any woman or man dealing with pelvic pain
- Pregnant and Postpartum women
- Postmenopausal women
- Women with pelvic organ prolapse
- Post-prostatectomy men
- Erectile Dysfunction
What should you expect during an evaluation for pelvic floor physical therapy?
At your initial appointment, you will undergo a thorough physical evaluation and review of medical history. This will help your physical therapist determine the best course of treatment for your needs and may include:
- Manual techniques including soft tissues mobilization, trigger point release, muscle energy techniques and myofacial release
- Dry needling and cupping techniques
- Education (patient handouts and thorough information concerning your condition to take home)
- Bladder retraining (surrounding your bladder schedule).
- Neuro retraining (incorporating pelvic floor muscle activation during simulated daily activities)
- Pelvic floor muscle retraining
Every session is one on one and you will always see the same practitioner. Each client receives a fully individualized program focused on their particular presentation and needs.
Interested in more information?
During the month of October, Practical Healing will be running Physical Therapy Wellness Assessments at the discounted rate of $50 (a $75 value) for new clients of Dr.Facemire to assess potential benefits they may receive from pelvic floor physical therapy. If an evaluation is deemed appropriate and booked during the assessment visit, the $50 investment will be applied to the cost of the evaluation. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how you may benefit from this type of therapy.