The Role of Physical Therapy in Maintaining Self-Care

The con­cept of self-care — the par­tic­i­pa­tion in activ­i­ties that take care of our phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tion­al health — has been around for a long time. Self-care isn’t all about yoga class or read­ing a book with a cup of tea either!

Any­thing that improves our over­all well-being falls into the self-care cat­e­go­ry, includ­ing phys­i­cal issues or ail­ments impact­ing the qual­i­ty of your life that may be fix­able. This is where phys­i­cal ther­a­py can help.

Phys­i­cal ther­a­py is much more than just treat­ment for injury. In fact, with spe­cial­ty focus in wom­en’s and men’s health, phys­i­cal ther­a­py can play an impor­tant role in your over­all per­son­al well­ness and self-care. Our pelvic health phys­i­cal ther­a­pists are trained and expe­ri­enced in the treat­ment of pelvic floor con­di­tions and dys­func­tions that can sig­nif­i­cant­ly impact your qual­i­ty of life.

Wom­en’s Health

Growth, aging and child­birth can cause a lot of change and stress to the female body, espe­cial­ly in the pelvic area. Pelvic health cov­ers con­di­tions that are relat­ed to abdom­i­nal pain, pelvic pain, blad­der and/​or bow­el incon­ti­nence and sex­u­al dys­func­tion. Some com­mon pelvic con­di­tions for women include:

  • Pre­na­tal: pain in the low­er back, mid back, neck, groin and/​or leg
  • Post-par­tum: dias­ta­sis rec­ti, pelvic gir­dle pain, pelvic mus­cle weak­ness, per­ineal pain and pelvic organ prolapse
  • Uri­nary issues: stress and urge incon­ti­nence, uri­nary fre­quen­cy, urgency, hes­i­tan­cy and retention
  • Bow­el issues: fecal incon­ti­nence, con­sti­pa­tion, diar­rhea, irri­ta­ble bow­el syndrome
  • Sex­u­al issues: pain with sex or inti­ma­cy, inabil­i­ty to orgasm
  • Pelvic pain: vul­var, vagi­nal, cli­toral, per­ineal and anal pain, sacroil­i­ac joint pain, painful peri­ods, pain with sit­ting, dif­fi­cul­ty wear­ing jeans, pants and under­wear, pelvic organ prolapse
  • Post-sur­gi­cal rehab: hys­terec­to­my, pro­lapse repair, vaginal/​rectal reconstruction

Men’s Health

Men should be mind­ful of self-care too. Though a bit dif­fer­ent in nature, pelvic issues are just as preva­lent in men as they are women:

  • Uri­nary issues: stress and urge incon­ti­nence, uri­nary fre­quen­cy, urgency, hes­i­tan­cy and retention
  • Bow­el issues: incon­ti­nence, con­sti­pa­tion, diar­rhea, irri­ta­ble bow­el syndrome
  • Sex­u­al issues: erec­tile dys­func­tion, post ejac­u­la­to­ry pain
  • Pelvic pain: penile, scro­tal, tes­tic­u­lar, per­ineal, anal, tail­bone, sacroil­i­ac joint pain
  • Post-sur­gi­cal rehab: prosta­te­c­to­my, her­nia repair

What to Expect from Pelvic Health Phys­i­cal Therapy

It’s under­stand­able if you feel a lit­tle uncom­fort­able or embar­rassed dis­cussing pelvic issues with your phys­i­cal ther­a­pist. Don’t be! They’re well-accus­tomed to these con­di­tions and symp­toms and care about your well-being and recovery.

Your first vis­it will include a thor­ough review of your med­ical his­to­ry as well as a phys­i­cal exam­i­na­tion. This may include assess­ment of your pos­ture, move­ment, strength, breath­ing pat­terns, abdom­i­nal and pelvic tis­sues and an exter­nal and inter­nal obser­va­tion and assess­ment of your per­ineum and pelvic floor mus­cles. Your ther­a­pist will then diag­nose your con­di­tion and work with you to plan a course of indi­vid­u­al­ized treat­ment. Ongo­ing treat­ment can include a vari­ety of approach­es includ­ing: patient edu­ca­tion, biofeed­back, ultra­sound, elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion, man­u­al soft tis­sue mobi­liza­tion, vis­cer­al manip­u­la­tion, myofas­cial release, trig­ger point release, spe­cif­ic exer­cis­es, pos­tur­al edu­ca­tion and behav­ioral mod­i­fi­ca­tion. This plan will help improve your over­all well-being and qual­i­ty of life.

If you’re expe­ri­enc­ing pelvic issues, our pelvic health phys­i­cal ther­a­pists can help you feel back to nor­mal. To sched­ule an appoint­ment with one of our wom­en’s or men’s health phys­i­cal ther­a­pists, please call 630−967−2000 or sched­ule an appoint­ment online.

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