Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Gives Patients A New Lease on Life
We are excited to announce the addition of pelvic floor rehabilitation to our Vita Health & Physical Therapy services.
The comprehensive program not only addresses pelvic pain and bowel and bladder issues but takes an integrative medicine approach. The therapists will be looking at you as a whole person to customize treatment to your specific condition.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
The pelvic floor, composed of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue, supports the bladder, uterus (in women), and rectum and plays a crucial role in urinary and bowel function, sexual function, and core stability. Pelvic floor dysfunction can affect urinary frequency, urgency, and incontinence. It also may affect bowel function including IBS, bowel frequency, and incontinence. Pelvic pain is also a symptom associated with pelvic floor issues. Many pelvic floor conditions can be effectively managed and treated with specialized therapy techniques.
What Pelvic Floor Therapy Entails
- To begin, your muscles will be assessed to evaluate how they are affecting your bladder and bowel function. Your therapist will also assess the muscles that contribute to abdominal and pelvic pain.
- Your dietary habits will be addressed. Are you eating too little fiber or too much? Are you eating fiber that may be healthy, but not for your body, that may be causing inflammation and irritation?
- What do your breathing patterns look like? How is your breathing negatively affecting your bladder, bowel, and abdominopelvic pain?
- How is your body handling stress? Stress can come from a variety of sources. The positions we put our bodies in during the day or how we are sleeping can stress our bodies. Emotional stress also affects how our pelvic floor muscles function.
Our comprehensive pelvic floor muscle program will address the above and teach you how to use your muscles properly while addressing the mind and body connection. We look forward to helping you with your pelvic floor needs.
How Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Presents
Pelvic floor dysfunction can present in a variety of ways and each individual may experience different degrees of symptoms. When you hear of pelvic floor dysfunction, many people think of an older woman leaking urine when they laugh or sneeze. While urinary leakage due to stress incontinence is common as women age, it is not a normal part of aging. Consider these additional examples of how these pelvic floor conditions affect individuals:
- A man in his early 30s who is successful in his career experiences urinary frequency that causes him to urinate frequently throughout the day. The stress of this carries over into his relationships outside of work.
- The elite athlete whose testicles go numb while riding a bicycle who also feels as if there is a golf ball in his rectum.
- A transgender woman who has scarring in her vagina requiring her to attend pelvic floor therapy to prevent her new vagina from closing up.
- Rectal and anal cancer survivors who have bowel frequency, urgency, and incontinence as a result of the surgery and radiation treatments to eradicate their cancer.
- Men diagnosed with prostate cancer who benefit from attending therapy pre- and post-treatment to learn how to effectively use their pelvic floor muscles to help prevent urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
- Women who are pregnant or in the fourth trimester who greatly benefit from pelvic floor therapy following labor and delivery. Pelvic floor therapy helps these women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles to help with bladder and bowel problems. Therapy helps to effectively relax the pelvic floor muscles to alleviate pain from perineal tears and anal fissures following labor.
- A 10-year-old boy who avoids attending sleepovers due to bedwetting and lack of bowel control.
The above are several scenarios of how pelvic floor issues can present in people of all ages.
Vita Fitness & Physical Therapy’s Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation program can help. Compassionate pelvic floor therapy is provided 1:1 in a private and comfortable treatment room. Call us to schedule an appointment today and start seeing the difference.
About Debbie Callif, OT, BCB-PMD, DN
Debbie Callif is an occupational therapist who has been a leader in the pelvic floor therapy world for 27+ years. Her extensive experience includes serving as a board member for international pelvic floor organizations and helping to author a certification exam for pelvic floor biofeedback rehabilitation. She continues to write and teach courses on this topic.
One of Debbie’s numerous certifications is in life coaching. She not only practices what she preaches, but being an occupational therapist with exceptional manual therapy skills and certifications in pelvic floor biofeedback and dry needling, Debbie incorporates her coaching skills when she is treating. Therapy also includes movement and exercises to improve pelvic floor muscle function. Dietary recommendations, physiological quieting techniques, and additional lifestyle medicine protocols help to improve the quality of your health and life.