Answering your questions about pelvic floor physical therapy, from a licensed physical therapist.
Women need a healthy pelvic floor. Though, most people don’t realize the important role it plays in our bodies and in our everyday lives. The body’s pelvic floor enables bladder and bowel function, as well as supports a woman’s uterus.
Because the pelvic floor is such a significant aspect of women’s health, The Woman’s Clinic is proud to now offer Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy at our clinic in Jackson, Mississippi.
To provide even more support and knowledge for patients, we sat down with Abbie Joiner, PT, DPT, UDN-C with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, of MOJO Pelvic Health to discuss must-know information about pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT). The MOJO Pelvic Health team will be facilitating all pelvic physical therapy at our clinic, sharing their combined 30 years of expertise in the PT field.
“We love teaching people about their bodies and helping patients with issues they are afraid to talk about, taking away the worry of what other people think. We talk about what is really going on, and why it is normal to feel that way, while emphasizing that it is possible to fix their issues. That’s what makes us most excited about our work,” Abbie says enthusiastically before diving into the heart of our conversation.
What Is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
“Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty within physical therapy that helps with bowel or bladder issues, sexual pain or issues, period pain, and other similar issues that arise in the pelvic region,” she states. Currently, the top symptoms of PF issues MOJO Pelvic Health sees in patients are pain with sex or with tampons, urinary or bowel leakage, bowel discomfort or constipation, and pain or heaviness with prolapse.
She explains that a PT can perform this type of therapy on women across all age ranges. And the earlier women start caring for their pelvic health, the better. “The issues we treat impact how women feel about themselves, issues they deal with on a daily basis– personal issues– that aren’t talked about because they often feel uncomfortable,” she says.
The more we talk about these issues, the more we can help people feel comfortable in their bodies and unafraid to seek help. The Woman’s Clinic and MOJO Pelvic health strive to create that comfortable place of ease, from consultation all the way to post-care.
What to Expect from Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
“First, we sit down and talk about what is bothering them and how we will address their issues,” Abbie explains, when asked to walk through a typical session for a patient. After the initial consultation is complete and your PT conducts any necessary mobility exams, postural checks, strength checks, and pelvic floor assessment, therapy begins and is catered towards the individual patient and their needs.
A common question among newcomers to pelvic floor physical therapy is attire; what do you wear to a therapy session? “You don’t have to wear anything specific to a therapy session,” Abbie continues, “but we do recommend wearing something comfortable.”
What About Postpartum, Pregnant, or Expecting Women?
Good news for moms or soon-to-be moms: pelvic floor physical therapy is perfectly safe for you and your baby, and it can help with postpartum symptoms, too.
“A clinic we partner with has reported a 40% drop in perineal tearing/episiotomy rates for women who have done pelvic PT prior to having a baby,” she elaborates, “Doing pelvic floor physical therapy for birth prep before birth helps the body prepare for labor and decreases back pain and other issues during pregnancy, which enables women to be more active during pregnancy. Also, it can lead to less leakage during and after birth.”
On the postpartum side, pelvic PT helps: strengthen the abdomen and pelvic muscles, helping with posture and torn muscles. For women who have had a baby this year, you have likely already met your deductible, which means receiving pelvic PT can be at little to no cost to you.
Does Insurance Cover Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Yes, pelvic floor physical therapy is covered by most insurance companies. “Many times it is just a copay or coinsurance, and you don’t have to pay extra money out of pocket,” Abbie goes on, which is excellent news for anyone considering pelvic floor physical therapy as a healing modality.
Heal Your Pelvic Floor Health at The Woman’s Clinic
Women of all ages and stages of life greatly benefit from a healthy pelvic floor, and it all begins with a simple conversation, “Talk to a doctor at The Woman’s Clinic, and they can refer you see one of our pelvic floor specialists. We have a private treatment room available, and I look forward to working with you to help you meet your goals.”
If you are experiencing any discomfort, weakness, leaking, are pregnant or postpartum, or are just interested in learning more, we encourage you to reach out to The Woman’s Clinic today at (601) 354-0869.