Pelvic pain and incontinence are two common conditions that affect men and women of all ages. Although it can be a sensitive issue for many to discuss, patients are beginning to open up about their discomfort and are seeking solutions to relieve symptoms. One method for treating pelvic floor disorders is physical therapy, which is a specialized outpatient service available at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH).
Pelvic Floor Therapy at NCH is a comprehensive rehabilitation program that offers one-on-one treatment and education for both men and women who are faced with a pelvic floor disorder. This includes – but is not limited to – treatment for stress and urge incontinence, pregnancy and post-partum conditions, as well as pelvic pain syndromes related to age, surgery, interstitial cystitis or abdominal myofascial restriction.
"Evidence has demonstrated that physical therapy interventions aimed at strengthening pelvic floor muscles can help both men and women with pelvic floor conditions," says Julia Monie, PT, MS, Rehabilitation Services manager at NCH.
One particular group of patients benefiting from pelvic floor therapy is prostatectomy patients. Research, as well as successful NCH patient outcomes, indicates that pelvic floor rehabilitation can improve urinary continence following surgery. Additional research suggests that teaching pelvic floor exercises before a prostatectomy may also improve continence after the surgery.
For any pelvic floor disorder, specially-trained physical therapists at NCH will design a rehabilitation plan that addresses the individual needs of each patient. Depending on the specific disorder and the patient's goals, therapy aims to relieve pain and retrain muscles back to the patient's optimal level of function to improve quality of life.
There is a wide array of methods for treating pelvic floor disorders including pelvic floor strengthening (Kegel exercises), relaxation exercises/stretches, and bladder and diet education, along with the use of biofeedback, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound modalities to regain proper pelvic floor muscle function.
"Our program serves as a resource for physicians while they manage their patients' care," adds Monie. "It's just one more option to consider when addressing pelvic pain or pelvic floor disorders."
Outpatient Pelvic Floor Therapy is provided at the NCH Outpatient Center in Rolling Meadows and at the NCH Immediate Care Center in Buffalo Grove. For more information about this program, please call Julia Monie at 847.618.3890.