Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Pivotal PT & Wellness and written by Dr. Emily McElrath.
Why Investing In Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Is A Must For Every Woman
How many of you leak when you go to a trampoline park? Maybe you have not enjoyed sex in decades because it’s painful. Now, how many of you thought you would have to live with those symptoms forever because society has said it’s “normal” or nothing can be done about it? If you are one of those people, let me say how sorry I am that you’ve been suffering, and might I suggest investing in Pelvic PT?
Pelvic Floor PT is a subspecialty of physical therapy focusing on evaluation and treatment of the joints, muscles, and connective tissues in the core and pelvis. Pelvic floor physical therapists can evaluate and treat urinary dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and musculoskeletal impairments that are not otherwise understood or addressed in conventional PT. But why might someone need pelvic floor physical therapy you ask? That’s a great question! Here are some quick statistics on a few pelvic floor dysfunctions to help you understand:
- Stress incontinence (leakage with exercise, sneezing, or coughing) affects roughly 46% of women.
- Urge incontinence (leakage with urgency) affects roughly 30% of women.
- 30% of high school and collegiate athletes experience urinary incontinence, but 90% do not report it.
- Anywhere from 7-46% Americans (Women and Men) experience pain with sex at some point. While this significantly affects quality of life, in many instances this condition is neglected in the medical community.
- When diagnosed via report of symptoms and pelvic exam, anywhere from 10-50% of women will be diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse.
- 85% of women who received surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse had subjective reporting of failure, but only 13% met both subjective and objective criteria to meet the “failure” mark.
- 20% of women in the United States will be diagnosed with endometriosis.
- Roughly 65% of women will experience first degree perineal tearing during delivery, and roughly 20% of women report a negative birth experience.
Unfortunately, many of these conditions are classified as “normal” due to their commonality. In many instances, well-meaning healthcare providers can seem dismissive of these symptoms simply due to lack of knowledge. I’d like to think it’s because physicians are primarily trained to see the pelvic floor as a reproductive organ, or an organ for bowel and bladder function. While Urologists deal with urinary function, colorectal and GI physicians deal with bowel function, and OB/GYNS deal with reproductive health – Pelvic Floor PTs are arguably the only health care professionals who learn about all these functions of the pelvic floor, as well its functions as a musculoskeletal system. In short, our evaluations look at the whole picture. We look for signs of proper hormone function, proper muscular function, proper bowel and bladder function, and proper sexual function.
Not surprisingly it’s all related! And when pelvic PTs collaborate with the above listed physicians, the outcomes for patients can be AMAZING! There are a multitude of treatment options available to reduce these symptoms and improve your quality of life! And pelvic PTs understand how intimidating it can be to have a stranger getting up close and personal with your lady bits. So, we appreciate that not everyone will feel comfortable with an internal exam and that is ok!
In our clinic, it’s our priority that every patient feels comfortable, safe, and heard. That is why we modeled Pivotal PT and Wellness as a cash-based practice. While we understand this can be financially challenging for some patients, we feel it gives us the freedom to provide the highest quality of care. It allows us to spend an uninterrupted hour with each patient, which provides adequate time for patients to express concerns and ask questions. It also allows the therapists time to explain every aspect of the appointment, so the patient is fully informed. Being cash-based allows us to create each plan of care based on the patient’s specific needs and goals rather than on treatments we know we will be reimbursed for. It has also helped us model our clinic to feel less like a medical facility and more like a spa. Our patients can bring their kiddos to the session, can nurse in their session, or anything else needed to help them feel comfortable.
An additional bonus of this model is that we can dedicate a full hour to each patient and we accomplish more per session. This means patients don’t have to come as frequently as with traditional PT. In fact, most patients come anywhere from once a week to once every 4 weeks. This practice model also means that we do not require a referral and in most instances, we can get you on the schedule the same week you call. If you’re worried about the cost, that’s ok too! We can help determine if your insurance will cover some or all of the appointment cost. Many patients have at least some portion of their visit reimbursed. Simply ask us for a superbill when you call to schedule your appointment!
If you feel you would benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy, please give us a call at (504) 358-0560. We would love to help! Please find info about our therapists, pricing, and scheduling via our website listed here (www.pivotalptandwellness.com).
Emily McElrath, PT, DPT, MTC, CIDN
Emily is a native of New Orleans and received her undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training at the University of Southern Mississippi. She then went on to attain her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, FL. Emily is a former collegiate runner, turned Crossfitter who has a passion for helping people optimize performance. She is highly trained in Sports/Orthopedics and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, and has first hand experience modifying HIIT exercises for the pregnant and postpartum athlete to ensure they are able to continue their desired activity injury free. Emily is certified in manual therapy and dry needling, which allows her to provide a wide range of treatment skills including joint and soft tissue mobilization. Emily is also an instructor for Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehab, and enjoys teaching fellow PTs about pelvic floor physical therapy. While not working, Emily enjoys time with her husband and two kids,