So you must know a little about physical therapy if you made it to this site, however did you know that there are specialities that exist? There are orthopedics (looking more at the bones and muscle injuries) most people who think of PT are thinking about orthopedics (I.e. healing after ACL repair or you have shoulder pain because of arthritis). Then there are some other smaller subsets that are less well known like: Pediatrics (children), Neurologic (helping patients post-stroke or with Parkinson’s diagnosis to name a few), Oncology (cancer), Wound Care, Lymphedema (swelling due to severe fluid retention), and Pelvic Physical Therapy… This is the one I’m going to give you a little background on.
The American Physical Therapy Association defines Pelvic PT as “addressing the abdominal and pelvic concerns of women, men, and children: incontinence, pelvic/vaginal pain, prenatal and postpartum musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, rehabilitation following breast surgery, lower back pain, lymphedema, conditions specific to the female athlete, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, wellness and exercise”. This gives us an idea of who is seeking out a pelvic specialist, but let me give you a couple of more real world examples and see if that relates to you or someone you know…
- A Cyclist suffering from saddle soreness
- Pelvic pain from being pregnant or having pelvic pain after giving birth (if you know what an episiotomy is from personal experience… this is information for you!)
- Someone who is struggling with stress incontinence (sneezing, coughing, lifting, basically anything that can increase the pressure inside your body causing you to lose urine)
- IT IS NOT NORMAL BEING UNABLE TO HOLD YOUR BLADDER FOR YEARS AFTER GIVING BIRTH. We should stop accepting this as a fact for women postpartum.
- Anyone who has had pain in their lower region, which also does include lower back.
My guess is a majority (probably 100% of the readers) know someone who would benefit or would personally benefit from seeing a pelvic specialist, and that’s just a few examples…
Key things you should keep in mind if you decide you are someone who would benefit from pelvic PT.
Find someone certified, even though we don’t have a pelvic specialist at Core Performance at this time, we want to ensure you are getting good care. Here is an essential link: https://aptapelvichealth.org/ptlocator/.
All accredited and certified pelvic physical therapists can be found on this site, you can also specify based on your need and location.
Some things to keep in mind, after you do seek treatment:
- stretching and strengthening is essential to all subsets of physical therapy and if you are not consistent on your own you’re less likely to have long term relief.
- Kegels are not all that pelvic PT has to offer, if that is the only thing you are doing maybe consider finding another specialist…
- Progress and pain reduction is not linear, there will be ups and downs, but if your symptoms reduce in frequency, intensity, and reduced in size that is upward treading progress.
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
-Delanie Gastineau, SPT
Looking for more info:
Browse the APTA’s pelvic health website there are plenty of resources and they are reliable!
Kegel research and when implemented
Female Athlete Triad