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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Manual Therapy Skills are an Often Overlooked Aspect of Physical Therapy

In is well documented in journals such as the International Urogynecology Journal and Harvard Medical School that patients see positive outcomes when they receive treatment with trained pelvic floor therapists. One of the most valued skills of a trained pelvic floor therapist is their manual therapy skills.

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy is a clinical treatment approach using skilled, specific hands-on techniques to diagnose and treat soft tissues of the body. Manual therapy is used in a wide variety of rehabilitation settings, on all parts of the body.

Manual therapy can help with:

  • Increasing range of motion
  • Improving function
  • Inducing relaxation
  • Improving tissue repair
  • Improving tissue extensibility
  • Modulating pain
  • Reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation
  • Improving stability
  • Facilitating movement

Manual Therapy for Pelvic Floor Muscles

Pelvic floor therapists use manual therapy to treat internal and external soft tissue in the pelvic area to address unwanted tension in the pelvic floor muscles and fascia.

The pelvic floor can hold tension due to bad body mechanics and habits including posture, seating, gripping patterns, stress, anxiety, damage from pregnancy and childbirth damage, history of constipation, bowel disorders, urinary tract infections.

Releasing pelvic floor muscles and tissues can give patients a sense of tension release, reduction of pelvic pain, and over time in an increased range of movement in the muscles and fascia. The increased range of motion can result improved muscle function, better contraction and relaxation of the muscles, improved muscle coordination, and realignment of pelvic organs.

Pelvic Floor Manual Therapy Can Help With:

Get evaluated and treated by a pelvic floor therapist

Start your journey by checking in with your doctor. In some states a doctor’s referral is required to seek the care of a pelvic floor therapist. If your doctor needs more information about pelvic floor therapy, you can call a pelvic floor therapy office to talk to your doctor or look up some articles about pelvic floor therapy to show your doctor. Pelvic floor therapists work in most major hospitals, large clinics, and in smaller outpatient clinics like Fusion Wellness PT/ Femina PT.

Resources

Weiss (2011) : Pelvic floor manual therapy for decreasing pelvic floor hypertonus effectively ameliorates the symptoms of the urgency/frequency syndrome and interstitial cystitis

Berghmans B. (2018). Physiotherapy for pelvic pain and female sexual dysfunction: an untapped resource. International urogynecology journal, 29(5), 631–638. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-017-3536-8

Lawson, S., & Sacks, A. (2018). Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and Women’s Health Promotion. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 63(4), 410–417. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12736

Faubion, S. S., Shuster, L. T., & Bharucha, A. E. (2012). Recognition and Management of Nonrelaxing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 87(2), 187–193. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2011.09.004


Weiss, J. M. (2001). PELVIC FLOOR MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINTS: MANUAL THERAPY FOR INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS AND THE URGENCY-FREQUENCY SYNDROME. The Journal of Urology, 166(6), 2226–2231. doi:10.1016/s0022-5347(05)65539-5

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What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Rosanna R., age 35

Heather has affected my life in the MOST POSITIVE way and I am forever grateful. My husband refers to her as the "sex doctor" so you can only imagine how happy he is with my therapy outcome.

After the birth of my son I suffered from "Vaginismus", however, at the time I just thought I was broken. My "broken vagina" affected me physically but it was an emotional struggle as well. Many women in my life also suffered with pain from sex after their babies were born so I knew I wasn't alone. They told me they "just got used to it" but I couldn't see myself living that way.

Sex wasn't just painful, it was literally impossible - IT DIDNT FIT!

Read more: Testimonial by Rosanna R.,...

Testimonial by S.H., age 24

I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be.

It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally over. I really feel that Fusion Wellness is a team of people you can call family and are there to root for you and cheer you on until you reach your goals. There is nothing better than knowing I accomplished this with you guys by my side and as calmly and patiently as I needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being there and helping me reach my goals.

S.H., age 24

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

Read more: Testimonial by T.H.

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