Prevalent Women’s Health Issues Too Few Talk About

Prevalent Women’s Health Issues Too Few Talk About

As a Women’s Health Specialist and pelvic floor practitioner I see women everyday who present with problems that they have often had for years because they were too embarrassed to ask or talk about their struggle. Women come to therapy with all types of incontinence, pelvic floor, and abdominal pain, bowel issues and organ prolapse. Most women comment that they did not think there was any help out there for them. There is a societal misconception that any kind of female malady is to be expected or almost anticipated because we are a woman. In so many cases Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can help and women often see changes in the first few visits.

What is Pelvic Physical Therapy?

Pelvic therapy is similar to other types of physical therapy, but also very different in some ways. All physical therapy aims to address the neuromusculoskeletal system; problems occurring with your muscles, joint, connective tissue and nerves. This is the same if you have an ankle problem or a problem in your pelvis. What makes pelvic therapy different is that is delivered in a one-on-one session in a private room.

Although the initial reluctance of my patients is understandable, the results are almost always worth the initial sense of embarrassment. You won’t hear women shouting from the rooftops about how much they love their pelvic physical therapist, but the impact that pelvic therapy can have is undeniable.

Pelvic therapy can help with many kinds of problems to name just a few:

  • Bladder issues: incontinence, urgency, frequency, retention, pain
  • Bowel issues: incontinence, pain, constipation
  • Pain in the pelvis, hip, abdomen, thigh, low back and with intercourse
  • Pregnancy/post/partum problems
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

The symptoms are usually caused by imbalances in muscle tone and strength of the pelvic floor and associated muscles and structures. Before therapy begins, the movements, strength and muscle tension in your low back, hips, and abdomen, along with your posture are assessed.

A pelvic floor evaluation requires an internal assessment either vaginally or rectally whichever is appropriate. The muscles are manually palpated and no equipment or speculums are used. Normally the internal exam is not painful. If you’re experiencing a pain condition, it’s important during the exam for the therapist to identify the specific muscles that may be causing your pain to deliver proper treatment.

Pelvic physical therapy is performed by an expert in evaluating and treating pelvic floor dysfunctions. The treatment program will utilize an individually designed and specific treatment regimen geared towards each patient’s individual needs. A Women’s Health pelvic floor therapist may use a variety of research based treatment options with emphasis on teaching the patients how to help themselves. The best treatment always looks at the patient as a whole and addresses all related concerns, recognizing that women’s bodies work differently and are built differently than men.

Click here to learn more about pelvic rehab at Allied Services.

To schedule an appointment call 570.348.1360.

About the Author: Megan Horeis, PT, DPT, WCS. Megan’s primary for the past 20 years has been treating women with pelvic floor disorders and diagnoses associated with the pelvic floor. She treats patients at Allied Services Luger Scranton Rehab Center. Megan earned a Masters in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College in 1996. She earned a Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Scranton in 2010. Megan is board certified by the American Physical Therapy Association as a Women’s Certified Specialist.