Pelvic Health / Incontinence

 Therapists (l-r) Erin Camburn, Barbara Cliffe-Miller, and Leslie Hagerty specialize in pelvic pain and incontinence issues.


Oaklawn now specializing in pelvic health physical therapy

 

      Pelvic health deals specifically with problems related to the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that support the pelvic organs or pelvic floor (e.g. the bladder, rectum, and uterus). While men sometimes experience pelvic disorders, it is estimated that one in every three women will have pelvic pain or dysfunction during their lifetime. Oaklawn physical therapists have undergone extensive specific training in treatment of pelvic issues and are pleased with the results that their patients are experiencing.

      Many patients with pelvic pain, urinary or bowel leakage (incontinence), and/or sexual symptoms often have dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles. When the muscles are tight they can cause pain and/or dysfunction of the bladder, bowel, and genitals.

     Childbirth, heavy lifting, and the effects of menopause and aging can cause weakening of the pelvic floor and lead to a variety of disorders. While the incidences of pelvic issues increase with age, young women can also be affected.

      It’s estimated that over 60% of women with pelvic pain or disorders fail to seek treatment, perhaps partly out of embarrassment. Some sufferers end up bed-ridden for two-to-three days a month. It’s important for those who suffer to understand that there’s treatment for these symptoms. 

      Last year Oaklawn Sports Rehabilitation Center (OSRC) Director Barbara Cliffe-Miller, DPT, and therapists Erin Camburn, DPT, and Leslie Hagerty, PTA began the thorough process of becoming certified in the treatment of pelvic health. Requirements for this certification are quite rigorous and include a number of classes, 2,500 contact hours, a written examination, and two scientific reviews. 

      "Although pain is one of the most common reasons patients consult with physical therapists,” said Cliffe-Miller, “most PTs have not undergone specific training in how to examine and treat patients with pelvic health issues. It is not a focus of general PT curriculum, but it’s becoming a more talked about disorder and we’re experiencing good success in alleviating many pelvic issues.” 

      OSRC now offers treatment for a number of diagnoses in both men and women.  Included are colorectal conditions, urinary leakage (often when coughing or sneezing), obstetrical and postpartum rehabilitation, most types of pelvic pain, and many more. 

      The center has specialized equipment and each patient receives a regimen specified for his/her specific needs. A variety of treatments may be used, including manual therapy (stretching, massage, etc.), lifestyle and/or behavioral modification, electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback, electrical stimulation, education (diet, posture, etc.), and therapeutic exercises.

      “Pelvic muscles are like any other part of the body that can be treated with physical therapy,” says Camburn. “Muscle stimulation and relaxation can treat pelvic pain in ways that medication can’t. Through a variety of methods, we can help control pelvic pain and give patients methods to treat themselves.”

      Most patients require a physician referral for physical therapy. For additional information call Oaklawn Sports Rehabilitation Center at (269) 781-6030.

 

 

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