What comes to mind when you think of physical therapy? Sports injuries, car accidents and other traumas are all in a days work for most physical therapists, but did you know that there is a women’s health specialty within physical therapy? Women’s health physical therapists are devoted to treating pelvic disorders in women like endometriosis, incontinence, painful periods and more.
Many women have difficulty in talking about women’s issues that they feel are personal. Women’s health physical therapists can not only help you deal with pain and other symptoms caused by chronic gynecologic disorders, but they can tell you that you’re not the only one dealing with these types of discomforts. For a woman who is living with the chronic pain of endometriosis, fibroids, painful periods and painful sex, women’s health physical therapy can literally be just what the doctor ordered.
If your doctor has recommended hysterectomy for your pelvic pain, you should know that other options are available to treat your discomfort. You should seek out a second opinion, and develop a trusting relationship with a doctor who will prescribe alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture, women’s health physical therapy, drug therapy, hormone therapy and other surgical options before jumping straight to hysterectomy, a life-changing surgery. Pelvic pain shouldn’t be dismissed as a normal part of womanhood. It is a real condition with real treatment possibilities.
So What Can a Women’s Health Physical Therapist Help You With?
Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles from childbirth and menopause can cause incontinence and up to half of all women will deal with incontinence at some point in their lives. Most women are able to overcome incontinence with muscle therapy, including Kegel exercises.
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Childbirth, weight gain and menopause can cause pelvic organ prolapse, when the muscles that hold the pelvic organs in your abdomen become weak and let the organs protrude into the vagina. A women’s health physical therapist can help you strengthen the muscles of the uterine cavity.
- Endometriosis, Fibroids and Painful Periods
These disorders can also cause pelvic floor dysfunction. Working to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles can alleviate some of the painful symptoms of gynecological disorders.
Women’s Health Foundation. (2013, August 16). Physical therapy is an effective treatment for endometriosis. Retrieved from http://womenshealthfoundation.org/2013/08/16/physical-therapy-is-an-effective-treatment-for-endometriosis/