Have you ever heard of Pelvic Physical Therapy before? Let’s talk about the secrets of pelvic physical therapy.
Pelvic Health is an important aspect of wellness. Many people have not heard about Pelvic Physical Therapy, but this specialty can be a crucial part of a person’s complete medical care. This is true for women, men, and even children. One of my patients recently said, “I had no idea this sort of thing exists, but I’m so glad I found it”. This has been THE missing treatment piece I have needed for years!”
Pelvic Physical Therapy is a specialty within the field of physical therapy. Pelvic Rehabilitation Physical Therapists are experts in treating bowel, bladder and sexual health problems.
Many people with bladder, bowel and sexual problems do not tell anyone about their problems because
- They think there is nothing that can be done about it and they have to live with it or
- They think that it is a normal ageing process or
- They are too embarrassed to say anything about it.
It is important to convey such concerns to your primary health care provider so that they can refer you to the appropriate health care provider (urologist, gynecologist and/or physical therapist etc.)
How many times have you had to rush to the bathroom with a strong urge?
Have you been going to the bathroom more frequently than usual?
Do you know the locations of rest rooms at any place you go to?
How many times have you laughed, coughed or sneezed and noticed urine leakage?
Do you have to wear a pad when working out in the gym?
Do you feel like you and your partner are not intimate anymore because it hurts too much?
Have you had chronic constipation?
Do you ever feel like even after having a bowel movement, you don’t feel empty?
Have you had a fall on your buttock (on ice, hard surface) and developed a tailbone pain that does not go away?
Well, guess what, all of the above concerns can be addressed by a Pelvic Health Specialist.
Pelvic Physical Therapists undergo extensive training in the anatomy and functioning of the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs. They treat people with a range of pelvic problems including pain/dysfunction involving the pelvis and/or abdomen. They also treat urinary and fecal incontinence, constipation, pre and postpartum, sacroiliac joint pain and pre/post-surgery of the pelvis and abdomen.
What I typically find is that most people are genuinely curious about what a pelvic physical therapist does? Who do they treat? And what does a treatment session consist of. Here are some FAQs:
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that forms a supportive sling at the bottom of the pelvis.
What does the pelvic floor do? What is the purpose of the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor muscles provide support for the bowel, bladder and sexual organs. The pelvic floor has three important purposes:
- It holds and cushions the organs within the pelvis and lower abdomen,
- It controls the continence and voiding of the bowel and bladder,
- It is the mechanism of sexual function.
Who can receive treatment?
A pelvic physical therapist treats adults (all gender inclusive) and children.
What does a typical session consist of?
A typical session starts by evaluating a patient. The evaluation consists of interview, examination, assessment and diagnosis. A session consists of both an external and internal assessment and plan of care is based on the evaluation findings.
What does treatment consist of?
The physical therapy treatment is focused on exercises (relaxation, stretching and strengthening), manual therapy, and biofeedback and patient education.
My goal is to empower my patients to overcome a problem that is often embarrassing to discuss with friends, family or even their doctors. I educate my patients to ensure that they have the tools necessary to help themselves get stronger, reduce pain, go to the bathroom with ease or meet other personal goals.
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Falguni Vashi, PT, DPT is a New Hampshire and Massachusetts licensed physical therapist.
You can find her at PelviCure Physical Therapy at NH Health & Wellness Center in Nashua NH.
Please email your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.