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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.

More Great Products We Love

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Have fear and pain stopped you from having intercourse?
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It has been three weeks and two days since my procedure. I was finally able to achieve intercourse tonight (full penetration)! I have learned so much about myself and my body since the procedure. I woulld highly recommend this treatment to anyone who suffers from vaginismus."

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Today we finally made love. It was actually incredible. I finally got to connect with him on this amazing level."

What Our Patients Have to Say

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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 Mary L.

I started seeing Heather to treat my Interstitial Cystitis in November 2016. At this time, I was extremely miserable, in constant pain, and felt as though no one was listening or understood what was going on with my body. I have just finished my last appointment and I can honestly say that my life has completely changed for the better because of Heather and her team of PTs! I live almost completely pain free, and when I do have flare ups, I am able to treat them at home on my own. I am so grateful that this office was recommended to me a honestly cannot recommend them enough!

Read more: Testimonial by Mary L.

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 A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

Testimonial by M.N., age 28

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

I was diagnosed with vaginismus 4 years ago. I never heard of such medical condition until after I got married. At first my husband and I didn't know what to do, we didn't know what the issues were or how to overcome it. Being born and raised in Armenia and being Christian I wasn't that open about talking to sex with others and so it wasn't easy to seek help. But eventually I went to an Ob-Gyn and luckily she knew about the medical condition (not many doctors know). She referred me to a physical therapist and I couldn't believe it and thought it's something I can handle myself. I ordered a kit from vaginismus.com and started practicing with dilators. There was some small progress but wasn't much helpful.

Read more: Testimonial by M.N., age 28

Testimonial by R.H.

No one could tell me why I was having pain during sex--sharp pain, not just uncomfortable, pain. I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat after researching several different options. I had seen a specialist who told me physical therapy would not help and my only option was surgery. I really didn't want to go that route, so when we got a referral, I decided to try it--it can't hurt, I thought. I am so glad I did. She diagnosed the problem right away, which was a relief in itself.

To know why I was having pain eased my mind immensely. And to hear that she could fix it without surgery was another relief. She said she could fix the problem in 6 weeks. I think it was actually 4 for me. She was very methodical, and treated me as an intelligent human being capable of participating in my own recovery. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. She did not try to prolong my session numbers, she worked hard to accommodate my schedule (and the fact that I had to bring a baby to sessions), and she was completely honest the entire time. It is so hard to find someone with these characteristics, much less a professional who is so good at what she does. She has my highest respect.

-- R.H.

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