What is Physical Therapy for Women’s Health?
The current emphasis on fitness and wellness involves a need for women to pay closer attention to their bodies during recreation, work, and throughout life. Physical therapists have a unique place in helping women lead healthy, active lifestyles. Through specialized training these therapists use every facet available to evaluate and treat patients, while promoting and enhancing health throughout their life span. All treatments are individually designed after a thorough evaluation and discussion about your individual goals.
What conditions do we treat?
Pregnant women may suffer from pain or aching in the back or shoulder blades, rib cage, groin area, or low back due to changes in posture, weight, or hormonal factors. Not only are these women more susceptible to injury during pregnancy, but related orthopedic problems may persist or begin following pregnancy. Maternity supports, manual therapy, strengthening or retraining techniques are typical treatments safe for mom and baby during pregnancy or after delivery.
Following delivery a woman may experience feelings of “falling out,” incontinence, or extreme weakness of the abdominals and pelvic floor with both Cesarean and Vaginal deliveries. Post-delivery rehabilitation includes strength and endurance training as well as functional retraining of involved muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor.
Dysmenorrheal or Menopausal Symptoms
Painful periods or dysmenorrheal and menopausal symptoms can be very painful for some women. Increased pain, bleeding or incontinence can cause increased stress and lifestyle modification. Often working with a trained professional can decrease your symptoms and return you to your previous lifestyle.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction/Prolapse
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction encompasses a large variety of diagnoses, the most common being pelvic floor organ prolapse. Prolapse is a bulge of organs into the pelvic floor often leaving patients with a feeling of “falling out.” It is a very common condition treated with pelvic floor exercise and retraining to lift and support the organs of the pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor tension or pain in the sling of muscles which support the bladder, uterus, and rectum can be caused by muscle, joint, and nerve problems. The patient may have difficulty sitting, pain during intercourse, or pain in the hips or lower abdomen. Rehabilitation includes pelvic floor relaxation training, manual therapy, and biofeedback.
Injury to the tailbone is quite common from many different mechanisms. You may experience pain with sitting or walking and constipation due to the position of your tailbone. Mobilization of the tail-bone, stretching, and strengthening will help to resolve the symptoms.
SI Joint Dysfunction & Lumbosacral Strain
Pain in the low back and hips is a common condition affecting many women in different ways. Due to the shape of the pelvis and other hormonal characteristics, females experience pain when rising from sitting, rolling over in bed, or simply sitting or standing for long periods of time. A physical therapist is trained to individualize an exercise program to relieve symptoms with manual techniques, strengthening, and other modalities to help alleviate your symptoms.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thin and brittle, and can break easily. Therapy programs include instruction in proper body mechanics for rebuilding bone density safely as well as pain control modalities such as heat and electrical stimulation to relieve pain.
With the stressors of everyday life, tension builds in the neck and shoulders tightening the muscles at the base of the skull. This may cause frequent headaches. Postural retraining and relaxation techniques are common tools used to treat these conditions.
Overall Musculoskeletal Function
Differences between the sexes do exist and whether a person is male or female matters in the prevalence and severity of a broad range of diseases, disorders, and conditions. The uniqueness of the female skeleton and its hormonal influences require special knowledge to improve a woman’s overall wellness throughout her lifetime. The individualized training programs offered here at OSPTI are specific to each woman’s needs, whether you are just beginning to exercise, or you are a highly competitive athlete, we will work with you to achieve your ultimate goal.