What is a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist?
Are you losing sleep because you are constantly getting up at night to urinate? Do you leak when you laugh or cough? Do you have painful intercourse? Are you constipated? Do you have difficulty using a tampon or with pelvic exams? Do you have back pain after or during pregnancy?
If so, you may be experiencing a pelvic floor or abdominal disorder. Patients often suffer back pain during or after pregnancy, as pregnancy can change a woman’s posture and lead to abdominal weakness or separation. In addition, patients often believe that leaking is a normal part of aging or that painful intercourse is untreatable.
In fact, these conditions are often highly treatable when addressed by an experienced pelvic floor physical therapist in coordination with your physician’s treatment plan. A pelvic floor PT is a licensed physical therapist, who has received specializing training in the treatment of these conditions. Treatments may include bladder training, diet and behavior modification, relaxation techniques, stretching and strengthening exercises. Pelvic floor PT’s utilize modalities, such as heat, cold, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and biofeedback, and they are trained in both internal and external procedures for the treatment of the pelvic floor musculature.
If you see a pelvic floor PT, make sure that he or she specializes in this practice area. Currently, there are only 13 therapists in Michigan, who are Board Certified by the American Physical Therapy Association as Clinical Specialists in Women’s Health Physical Therapy.
You should not have to live with these problems any longer.
By Stacey Lash, PT, MPT, WCS, Founder of Pelvic Abdominal Rehabilitation, LLC (www.pelvicabpt.com), a new physical therapy clinic in Birmingham, Michigan, specializing in the treatment of pelvic and abdominal disorders.