Women’s Health Physical Therapy
Do you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, or laugh? Do you leak urine on impact, such as while jumping, running or lifting heavy weight? Do you have pain with intercourse? If you answered yes to any of these questions, pelvic physical therapy may be for you! It is estimated that 13 million Americans experience some form of urinary incontinence, while 1 in 7 women between the ages of 18-50 experience pelvic pain. While these conditions are prevalent, few seek out treatment due to limited public knowledge and awareness. Leaking, frequent urination, and pelvic pain should not be accepted as a normal life experience regardless of age or childbirth.
Physical therapy may be an appropriate option for you to improve your bladder control, reduce pain, and most importantly improve your quality of life.
What is pelvic physical therapy?
Pelvic Therapy is a non-surgical approach to rehabilitation of dysfunctions in the pelvis that contribute to bowel, bladder, sexual health, and pain complaints. Approaches may include behavioral strategies, manual therapies, modalities, therapeutic exercise, education, and functional re-training.
What should I expect during my pelvic floor evaluation?
As with any physical therapy evaluation, establishing therapeutic trust is key. Your initial evaluation will likely include a detailed history of your current condition. Topics your physical therapist may discuss include but are not limited to: diet, exercise habits, bowel/bladder/sexual functions and trauma history (when appropriate). Education regarding anatomy and pain responses will be embedded throughout this first session. An orthopedic lower quarter examination will also be performed as low back pain, hip pain and other common musculoskeletal symptoms are often present with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Based on findings from the initial evaluation, you and your physical therapist may discuss the need for further internal examination of the pelvic floor muscles. This decision will be made with mutual agreement and consent between the patient and therapist. A patient may bring a “chaperone” if desired. We understand this may be an uncomfortable process and want to ensure you are at ease in any way we can.
Is physical therapy appropriate pre/postpartum?
Absolutely! Pelvic physical therapy can provide relief from common symptoms experienced both before and after childbirth. Pregnancy brings immense changes to the body in order to support the growth and development of a new life. These changes can often lead to pain and other dysfunctions which can be modulated with conservative manual, behavioral, and therapeutic exercises. Your PT will work with you to create an individualized plan of care to improve your functional mobility and ensure the most successful pregnancy experience.
For more information, contact us at Midlothian, VA center.