Over the past 5 years, I keep thinking about how we live in good times for pelvic health. Not only can we treat pelvic health issues more effectively (although this is very important!), but common pelvic health issues are getting out into the mainstream of discussion. Essentially, treatment is not effective unless men and women know about it and receive it! Pelvic floor physical therapy falls squarely in this category and here is an article that brings it to light: "The Doctor Women Don’t Know They Need" by Rachel Tavel, DPT
It is important to clarify what pelvic health means. To me, it means both men and women have normal urinary, bowel and reproductive function that is pain-free. Don’t know what “normal” means? That’s ok, just ask your healthcare provider and they can help you figure out if what your experiencing is “normal”. Because so much happens in the area of the pelvis, there is a lot that can be compromised and many men and women have an issue at one point or another in their lifetime. It used to be taboo to talk about these issues, but, here we are, bringing them up with our doctors, friends and family as a health issue that can be addressed. Bring it up to your doctor if you are experiencing any kind of urinary leaking, constipation, reproductive issues or pain anywhere in the pelvis including the vaginal, groin, scrotal or rectal area. Dysfunctions should not be chalked up to age, prostate surgery, surgical complication, pregnancy or postpartum. We have had many patients that experience pelvic floor challenges unrelated to age or pregnancy.
So what does pelvic floor PT look like at Jade? When you arrive, you fill out a brief health history form. Then your therapist will meet with you in a private treatment room to learn more about your overall health and then to ask specific questions related to your pelvic floor. Questions range from “how often do you go to the bathroom" to "do you have pain with intercourse”. No need to be shy, we have heard it all before! We also ask about general lifestyle habits…the fluids you consume, sleep habits and exercise, to name a few. Typically, the evaluation includes both an external and internal pelvic exam. However, we are sensitive to each individual and patients may elect to put off the internal exam. After we have completed our evaluation, we talk with you about our findings and what we recommend for treatment. Treatment may include exercises, hands on therapy, education, yoga therapy, biofeedback or treatment of other areas that are affecting your pelvic floor. We may also recommend a consult to integrate acupuncture or yoga into your treatment plan.
In this era of progressive healthcare, please call to ask questions of your healthcare providers if you think that your pelvic health is not what it should be! You are also welcome to call us at Jade for a free 30 minute consult so we can talk about your specific issue and give recommendations.