We have created this blog to educate and empower our patients, colleagues, and others. Pelvic health is important to all of us and we strive to provide quality education and resources in an effort to promote evidence based medicine.
What is Pelvic Physical Therapy?
Pelvic physical therapy is a specialty within physical therapy focusing on treating common musculoskeletal conditions within the pelvis. The American Physical Therapy Association has grouped pelvic health under the broad specialization, “Women’s Health,” as pelvic conditions tend to occur more commonly in women than in men. This specialization encompasses pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy & postpartum related musculoskeletal dysfunction, breast cancer & oncology rehabilitation, as well as fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and female athletes. Unfortunately, this heading tends to leave men feeling “left out” or “embarrassed” when they have a condition that requires the specialty of a “Women’s Health Physical Therapist.” We find that the term “Pelvic Physical Therapy” tends to encompass more of what we treat on a regular basis. That being said, we do treat the other areas of women’s health as well, but truly wanted our blog to have a “Pelvic-specific” focus.
So, that being out of the way…. What is a Pelvic Physical Therapist?
We get this question on a daily basis as most people in the community are not aware of the role a physical therapist could play in the management of their pelvic problems. There are many reasons for this lack of knowledge, which I am sure we will get into in subsequent posts… but… To put it bluntly, a Pelvic PT is the musculoskeletal expert within your team of health care providers focusing on helping you overcome the challenges you may face related to your pelvis. What could these challenges include?
- Urinary dysfunction (Incontinence, Urgency, Frequency, Pain etc)
Bowel dysfunction (Constipation, Incontinence, Pain)
Rehabilitation after Gynecological Surgery
These broad headings encompass multiple medical diagnoses. The following are diagnoses that we often treat that tend to require both medical & rehabilitative care:
- Interstitial Cystitis
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP)
Levator Ani Syndrome
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)
Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain
Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Cystocele, Rectocele, Uterine Prolapse, Vaginal Vault Prolapse)
Male sexual pain
Many of these conditions will have components involving muscle weakness, muscle tension/trigger points, decreased postural stability, or poor coordination that can truly impact your symptoms. Unfortunately, that list is not even exhaustive! There are many different conditions that benefit from musculoskeletal care, and we hope that this blog will help you feel more educated in being an advocate for your health. A physical therapist can be a crucial component of your health team and will work together with your physician, nurse, psychologist, nutritionist etc. to help you achieve the most optimal results!