06/05/09
WOMEN’S HEALTH
Physical therapy can play a big role in the health and wellness of women at any age. Women’s health issues are unique at every age and cover a wide scope of diagnoses. These issues include some of the following conditions:
-incontinence
-pelvic pain/vaginal pain
-osteoporosis
-musculoskeletal pain (pre and post partum)
If you are experiencing any of the above problems you should discuss them with your primary care physician. You may be referred to a specialist such as a urologist, gynecologist, urogynecologist, colo-rectal specialist, of orthopedic specialist. Further tests may be conducted to further determine the exact cause of the problem. Or a referral for physical therapy may be given.
Urinary incontinence is a condition that sometimes results from weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. Incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine that can affect women of all ages. There are different types of incontinence: stress incontinence – leaking occurs with sneezing, coughing, laughing, or exercise, urge incontinence – whereby a person has a strong urge to urinate and cannot get to the bathroom on time mixed incontinence – a combination of both of the above fecal incontinence – leaking of the bowels. Pelvic floor strengthening exercises can improve or cure the situation 75% to 80% of the time unless there are problems other than the muscle weakness.
Physical therapy is helpful because the therapist can help a person locate the correct muscles and verify that they ‘re doing the exercises correctly with the help of biofeedback. Other exercises are incorporated for further strengthening of the pelvic floor such as hip and abdominal strengthening . Pelvic floor health is essential for improvement in incontinence symptoms.
For further information about incontinence go to www. Nafc.org.
Molly Sauder,PT