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Physical Therapy helps Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

ValleyCare can help treat pelvic floor dysfunction and prevent urinary incontinence with a personalized treatment plan.

If you experience urine leakage when you laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise or can hardly make it to the bathroom in time, you’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 1 in 3 women in the U.S. experience pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD).

The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscles and connective tissue that help to hold in and release urine and feces, support organs and aid in sexual function. PFD encompasses many disorders of the pelvic floor.

Symptoms

Pelvic floor dysfunction can include one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or performing physical activity.
  • Strong, sudden urge to urinate accompanied with leaking.
  • Pain with intercourse, using tampons or during pelvic exams.
  • Feeling of bulging or falling out.

If you are diagnosed with PFD, your doctor will discuss various treatment options with you.

ValleyCare can help

One treatment option is physical therapy. ValleyCare physical therapist Lisa English specializes in pelvic floor therapy for women and will address your specific symptoms.

“Together we develop a personalized treatment plan that puts you back in control,” she says. “If you have an overactive bladder or tense and painful muscle spasms, I can teach you relaxation and refocusing techniques that will help calm your bladder or pelvic muscles.” 

English notes that a strengthening program can be developed if pelvic muscles are weak. Pelvic floor exercises target weak muscles and improve strength.

“Biofeedback is another helpful tool that allows patients to become aware of the pelvic floor, thereby helping them to strengthen these muscles,” English says. “ValleyCare has a Prometheus MR-20 biofeedback machine that lets the patient actually see the strength of her muscle contraction. This gives both of us important information in order to set attainable goals.”

Patients also receive a home exercise program. “We have found that patients who continue their programs at home maintain their strength and have a much more satisfying outcome,” English says.

Physician referral is required, so talk to your doctor about your symptoms. For more information, call Physical Medicine Services, Livermore, 925-373-4019.
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