What is Pelvic Health?

Pelvic Health

Pelvic Health entails the branch of physical therapy that involves the pelvic floor muscle group.

If you live with urinary dysfunction, painful intercourse, or pain in the pelvic area, pelvic floor physical therapy may help you get back to feeling better.

Some common diagnoses that Pelvic Health can treat include:

Prenatal Care

Pelvic Pain

Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Post-Surgical

At Lone Peak Physical Therapy, our Women’s Health specialists aim to provide excellent and comprehensive care to females of all ages. 

We understand the unique requirements of the female body, and we meet our patients wherever they are in their journey. We give our patients the tools to enjoy a pain-free and active pregnancy, an optimal delivery, and a guided and empowered postpartum period. From young female athletes to menopausal women, and everyone in between, we specialize in feminine anatomy and biomechanics. Our environment and therapists create a comfortable, safe, and energetic space for healing so you can be the best and most confident version of yourself. 

Our Women's Health physical therapists provide treatment for the following conditions:

Prenatal and Postpartum Care (Obstetrics)

During the prenatal period, hormonal and physical changes occur to accommodate the growing belly and fetus. These changes include swelling, ligament laxity leading to the pelvic girdle and low back pain, altered posture and rib cage changes resulting in pain in the neck, mid-back, and ribs, muscle imbalances, and changes in the spine mobility.

Motherhood pushes the body to incredible limits. During the postpartum period, women are still managing fluctuating hormones causing joint laxity, altered posture from growing breasts, muscle weakness of the core and pelvic floor in addition to increased stresses of carrying, feeding, and managing the baby.

Common diagnoses treated include:

  • Low back pain
  • Pelvis pain
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction (including loss of urine or stool, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, pain with OBGYN exams)
  • Diastasis Recti - separation of the abdominal muscles
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Neck pain, upper back pain, or rib pain associated with nursing or carrying an infant and car seat
  • Shoulder/arm pain and tingling in hands
  • Carpal tunnel symptoms
  • Headaches
     

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain affects nearly 1 in 7 women and can occur at any time in a woman’s life. If pelvic pain persists longer than three months it becomes chronic and women may also experience bladder/bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and often anxiety that could adversely affect their quality of life. The physical therapists at Lone Peak Physical Therapy understand the intimacy of these issues and strive to make your treatments as comfortable as possible. We have advanced training in treating symptoms associated with pelvic pain.

Our therapists treat the following types of pelvic pain:
 

  • Endometriosis - A common condition in which tissue (similar to what normally lines the inside of your uterus) grows outside the uterus. Symptoms may include pain and cramping in your pelvis during or after your period, pain during sexual intercourse, discomfort during bowel movements, stomach pain or digestive difficulties, excessive bleeding, and, sometimes, infertility. 
     
  • Vaginismus - An inability to penetrate the vagina due to muscle spasms.  
     
  • Dyspareunia - Pain during or after sexual intercourse or other penetration of the vagina (i.e. masturbation or dilator use).  Some women experience pain around the opening of the vagina or deep pain within the pelvis. Pain may be sharp, burning, or cramping. Often times your pelvic floor muscles contract and become tight, which can increase pain.
     
  • Levator Ani Syndrome - Pain, pressure, or discomfort in the region of the rectum, sacrum, and/or coccyx.  Symptoms may increase with sitting.
     
  • Vulvodynia - Chronic, unexplained pain in the area around the opening of the vagina. Symptoms may include: burning, stinging, aching, throbbing, and swelling.
     
  • Coccydynia - Pain in or around the area of the tailbone.

Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction

Bowel and bladder dysfunction is a common problem affecting millions of women. Many women may limit their physical and social activities resulting in poor self-image and quality of life. The physical therapists at Lone Peak Physical Therapy have advanced training in treating symptoms associated with bowel/bladder dysfunction.

Some common conditions we treat include:

  • Urinary Incontinence - A well-known disorder affecting millions of women.  It is estimated that 1 in 4 women leak urine. Urinary incontinence not normal, but it is very common and very undertreated.  Types of urinary incontinence include:

  • Stress Incontinence - Leakage of urine with physical movement to increased abdominal pressure.  Common occurrences are leaking with coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising (including jumping and running), standing up after sitting and lifting items.  Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, core, and hips and improper breathing strategies can contribute to stress incontinence. 

  • Urge Incontinence - Leaking urine with increased urgency and frequency to go to the bathroom. 

  • Mixed Incontinence - Combination of both stress and urge incontinence.

  • Overflow Incontinence - When the bladder overfills and urine leaks. 

  • Fecal Incontinence - An involuntary leakage of stool.

  • Chronic Constipation - Difficulty emptying the bowl or passing hard stools.  Constipation will place more pressure on your pelvic organs and can contribute to urinary incontinence symptoms.

  • Urinary Frequency - A need to urinate many times throughout the day or night. 

  • Interstitial Cystitis - "Painful bladder syndrome" - Symptoms may include a feeling or pain in the bladder or pelvis region, frequent urination, and/or painful urination.  Physical Therapy can help identify the source of pain and educate you on food and drink irritants and toileting habits.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a dropping down or lack of support in the pelvis that allows the organs like the bladder, urethra, uterus, small intestine, or rectum to lower from their normal resting position. Symptoms include a feeling of heaviness, pulling, or pressure inside the pelvis/vagina. Some women report trouble urinating or having bowel movements. The physical therapists at Lone Peak Physical Therapy understand the intimacy of these issues and strive to make your treatments as comfortable as possible. We have advanced training in treating symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapse.

Types of Prolapse:

  • Cystocele - Descending bladder or anterior prolapse. The supportive tissue between your bladder and vaginal wall weakens and the bladder bulges into the vagina.
  • Urethrocele - Sagging urethra (the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body) that falls into the vagina.
  • Enterocele - Small intestine descends between the rectum and vagina.
  • Rectocele - Bulge of the rectums wall into the vagina. This is also called posterior prolapse.

Post-Surgical

Recovering under the guidance of a physical therapist can help speed the healing process and restore mobility and flexibility. You will receive education on lifting precautions post-operatively and be guided through a progressive exercise program to return to living your best life.

  • Post-Op Hysterectomy
  • Post-Op Mastectomy
  • Cesarean Section recovery
  • Prolapse repair