• (Women’s Health) Physical Therapy as a First Line of Defense Against Pelvic Disorders

    It’s ironic that one year ago I was blogging about the benefits of women’s health physical therapy http://hab-it.com/blog/?p=199 .  Here I am again, this time triggered by a great article at http://www.oprah.com/health/Womens-Health-Physical-Therapy-Pelvic-Floor-Rehab to promote women’s health physical therapy as a first line of defense in treatment of pelvic disorders.    Why should this be your first line of defense?  Well, why not learn more about your body?  Why not learn how your posture can affect your pelvic symptoms?  Why not learn, with hands-on, one-on-one treatment how to find and hold neutral spine posture to give your body the best opportunity for good health?

    A women’s health physical therapist has many tools she can use to improve your pelvic symptoms.  She may choose to use manual therapy, locating and releasing internal trigger points within your pelvic floor muscles.  Electric stimulation may be appropriate if one or several of your pelvic floor muscles aren’t achieving full muscle contraction.  She will provide patient education and strengthening exercises not only for your pelvic floor but also your transversus abdominus (TA), lower back, glutes, inner thighs and deep hip rotators.  Finally, she will work with you on your postural positioning that will directly affect your pelvic symptoms
    throughout your daily activities.

    When searching for a women’s health physical therapist in your area, you can go to the “Resources” tab on our home page and then on the APTA Women’s Health link that will take you to the therapist locator.  If you do not find a therapist in your area, then simply make some calls to the clinics in your area, asking if they have a Women’s Health Physical Therapist on staff.  You can ask to talk to this therapist to find out more specifics about their mode of treatment.

    Some questions you may ask would be, “Do you perform an internal initial exam?”,  “Do you use an internal electric stimulation unit in treatment of pelvic disorders?”,  “Do you teach strengthening of muscles beyond my pelvic floor?”,  “What else can I expect during the course of my treatment at your clinic?”

    Although women are beginning to seek answers and are getting more comfortable in demanding care for pelvic disorders, it can still be an uncomfortable topic for many women.  Asking all of the above questions will help to set your expectations and better prepare you for your rehabilitation.  That being said, the reality is that many women don’t want to seek outside help with their condition and prefer to remain private in their pelvic floor treatment.  If this is your wish, then you have the option of the Hab It: Pelvic Floor DVD that can begin or enhance your journey through pelvic floor rehab within the privacy of your own home.   This can be a great resource, written by a physical therapist, that will help you feel more confident and sure of your body, guiding you through postural education and specific exercise programs to not only strengthen your pelvic floor but your entire pelvic basket.  When and if you are ready for manual treatment, you can confidently seek out a clinic and the hands-on treatment of a women’s health physical therapist.  Remember, it’s your body, you are in control!

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