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pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause

September is Healthy Aging Month!

Curious about pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause? Read on.

You’ve probably already considered a visit to your primary care doctor and your gynecologist. But what about pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause?

About 6,000 women enter menopause every day in the US, usually between the ages of 45 and 55; and as life expectancy increases, so does the number of years most women will spend on the other side of it. Approximately half of all women can expect to live 40% of their lives in the post-menopausal stage. It makes sense to develop a solid strategy for optimal health, the earlier the better – and regular physical therapy can be an important component of that plan.

Many people tend to think of physical therapy in terms of injury recovery; but there’s a lot more to the specialty than that. A qualified women’s health physical therapist can fast track postpartum recovery, maximize strength training, even help transform your sex life… and ease women through ‘the change’ in ways most never consider.

Screening And Assessment Tools

Physical therapy is a very proactive specialty; and women’s health physical therapists are especially attuned to the importance of screenings, diagnostic and progress assessments, and patient education. A physical therapist can recommend or perform assessments your primary care doctor or gynecologist don’t generally offer, like the Menopause Rating Scale or the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool. And they can work with your doctor(s) to create personalized services based on that data.

Pelvic Floor Therapy

Hormones affect more than your mood or body temperature; they can cause profound changes in your pelvic floor, especially just before and during menopause. Pelvic floor therapy is the cornerstone of women’s health physical therapy; and pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause can relieve or even prevent common concerns, from painful sex and urinary incontinence, to more serious conditions like pelvic organ prolapse. In addition to promoting good pelvic floor health and sexual function through menopause and beyond, it is often an overlooked alternative to surgeries, and it can reduce the need for - or at least lessen duration of - hormone replacement in women.

Strength Training

Musculoskeletal problems are another major concern in menopause. Although a variety of factors contribute to bone density loss and osteoporosis, a physical therapy regimen can help lower risks by building muscle, correcting postural problems, and maintaining a healthy weight. Many women’s health physical therapists incorporate pilates, yoga, or aquatic exercise into treatment as well.

Despite its challenges, menopause can be the beginning of a whole new phase of healthy, active living; and pelvic floor physical therapy for menopause can help ensure that your best years are still ahead of you. If you’re experiencing or approaching menopause, schedule an assessment with Femina PT to find out what we can offer you. And if you’re not quite there yet? Give us a call anyway – it’s never too early to experience the difference physical therapy can make in your quest for a lifetime of wellness.

 

Citation

Bullen Love D. Menopause: PTs Help to Ease ‘The Change’. Sept 2019. PT In Motion. 18-25.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by Amanda W.

Heather's unique physical therapy program literally changed my life! After years of struggling with vaginismus, a condition that made it impossible for me to have intercourse and very difficult to use tampons without pain, a gynecologist referred me to Heather. I was nervous for my first appointment, but Heather's professional and friendly demeanor put me at ease. She did a great job explaining each technique she was using to help my muscles relax. Heather uses a combination of internal and external stretches and exercises to relax the pelvic floor and build muscle strength. Her specially developed home program helped me quickly recover from an issue that seemed insurmountable before meeting Heather. She was optimistic about my progress and incredibly encouraging. Less than 6 months after my first session, I was able to have pain-free sex for the first time in my life! If you are suffering from vaginismus or any other pelvic floor issues, I highly recommend making an appointment with Heather and reading her book!

-- Amanda W., 2/15/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

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.

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 P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

Testimonial by Jackie W.

I was in multiple car accidents a decade ago, and I have been to many physical therapists through the years without success. They found the root of my lower back pain problems and after nearly a decade of barely being able to walk I finally can again without pain. They are also the best pelvic floor pts and the only ones who found the connection between my pelvic floor and lower back problems. If you need help with physical pain, they are your answer.

-- Jackie W., 1/19/17 via Yelp!

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