Women's & Men's Health
People are familiar with the help they can receive from a physical therapist after a car accident or surgery. However, we've noticed that patients seem to be much more surprised when we talk about our ability to help with women's and men's health issues. From treating pelvic pain to fecal incontinence, there's a wide variety of health concerns that physical therapy may be able to address. Make an appointment with one of our physical therapists to learn more about what we can do for women's and men's health issues.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
Several studies have estimated that one out of five Americans has some type of pelvic floor dysfunction. Sadly, many of these dysfunctions go undiagnosed and untreated because people are too embarrassed to discuss them with a health care professional or they simply think that nothing can be done. That's especially unfortunate since physical therapy may be able to help with the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, which can include difficulties with sexual intercourse, urination and fertility. Pelvic floor rehabilitation may be essential to preparing for pregnancy, recovering from a pregnancy or when healing from cancer.
Without a doubt, a healthy pelvic floor is essential to a healthy body. When the muscles that form the pelvic floor are strained, tight, weak or atrophied, then they cannot function properly. Physical therapy treatments for the pelvic floor may include manual therapy, exercises to restore strength and flexibility and other approaches. There's no reason not to seek treatment, especially when relief may be found through physical therapy.
Urinary or Fecal Incontinence
Urinary incontinence affects millions of Americans who experience symptoms like losing bladder control while sneezing or laughing, feeling a sense of urgency to urinate when the bladder isn't full or urinating more frequently than usual. Although women tend to be more prone to these issues than men, this doesn't mean that men don't experience these symptoms. With the guidance of our physical therapists, you can learn exercises and make lifestyle choices that can put you back in control.
Similar to urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence happens to both men and women. Damaged muscles and nerves or decreased elasticity are often to blame for this condition, which can involve bowel leakage. As physical therapists, we have a number of treatment options available. These include pelvic floor exercises and electrical stimulation. We may provide guidance with bowel retraining and discuss dietary changes that will result in firmer feces.
A number of conditions may be responsible for pelvic pain. Sometimes, a trigger point, or spasming muscle, is to blame. However, irritable bowel syndrome and a range of pelvic floor dysfunctions may be responsible. The only way to receive a definitive diagnosis is through a consultation with one of our physical therapists. Through asking a series of questions related to the patient's health and reproductive history as well as the symptoms being experienced by the patient, we can start to narrow down the cause of the discomfort. A physical examination may also be necessary.
Typically, pelvic pain can be resolved through a combination of treatments like massage, manual manipulation, exercises and suggesting some lifestyle changes that can make all the difference. It isn't always possible to cure pelvic pain, but it can certainly be alleviated and managed.
Having a baby is a glorious and life-transforming experience. However, pregnancy often comes with physical changes that affect the entire musculoskeletal system, and the pelvic floor may be particularly impacted. That's because it's so easy for the muscles and connective tissues of the pelvic floor to be damaged during pregnancy and childbirth. With symptoms like pain and incontinence, it's easy to see why so many women are made anxious by these issues.
Fortunately, our physical therapists understand the discomfort that women can feel after giving birth. Our therapies may include massage, the prescription of exercises and other treatments that are designed to bring comfort and relief.
This relatively rare condition can wreak havoc on the lives of the people who have it. Its symptoms are similar to those of other pelvic floor dysfunctions. People may experience painful intercourse, frequent and urgent urination, painful bowel movements and unexpected pain in the rectum or genital area. These symptoms can be caused by simultaneously tight and weak pelvic floor muscles or trigger points. When the symptoms persist over time, it can be enormously disruptive to the patient's life.
Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about interstitial cystitis and how physical therapy can alleviate the symptoms. Hands-on treatments are often necessary to begin therapy. Skin rolling, deep tissue massage and trigger-point therapy may all be beneficial, and our physical therapists know many more ways through which they can help you experience relief.
When pain in the vulva persists for a period of three months or longer, then it may be diagnosed as vulvodynia. The pain may be accompanied by sensations like rawness, itchiness, burning, aching and throbbing, and it can occur when the vulva is touched or without any external stimulation at all. Issues with the muscles, nerves or joints may all be contributing to vulvodynia. Our physical therapists will perform a comprehensive examination that will reveal more about the cause of the discomfort and suggest the modalities that should be used to relieve it. Through pelvic floor muscle dysfunction rehab, manual therapy, biofeedback and more, vulvodynia can become a thing of the past.
The pudendal nerve includes both sensory and motor fibers. When this nerve becomes irritated, patients often experience symptoms of tingling, cold, burning, itching and even shooting pain. Occasionally, these symptoms are felt in the buttocks, groin, abdomen and the legs. Just as troubling, some people experience high blood pressure and increased heart rate as a result of the irritation. Fortunately, rehabilitation of the pelvic floor just might provide a welcome solution. Working with our physical therapists, many people have found relief frompudendal neuralgia. Contact us today to learn more about how we can soothe your pudendal nerve.