Women's Pelvic Health Services
Atlas Physical Therapy is recognized as having one of the most prominent Women's Health therapy specialists in the Jacksonville area. Each individual's program is designed to correct their particular circumstances. Typically, therapies to help pelvic floor disorders include:
- Musculoskeletal Evaluation
- Electromyography (biofeedback) evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles
- Bladder diary and pelvic floor education
- Instruction/training of the pelvic floor muscles during lifting and exertion coupled with proper breathing
- Pelvic floor muscle re-education/strengthening/training using biofeedback
- Instruction in proper posture for fecal elimination
- Electrical stimulation for pelvic floor re-education and strengthening (as needed)
- Abdominal stabilization/Core 4 exercises for pelvic girdle support
"What is Urinary Incontinence?"
Urinary incontinence refers to any time that you lose urine when you don't want to. Along with leaking, there may be other symptoms:
- Urgency: A strong desire to urinate, even when the bladder is not full. Pelvic discomfort or pressure sometimes accompanies this.
- Frequency: Urinating more than six to eight times a day or more than once every two hours (with normal fluid intake).
- Nocturia: Awakening from sleep because of the urge to urinate. This varies with age and is not necessarily abnormal until it occurs regularly more than two or three times a night.
"What is Fecal Incontinence?"
Fecal incontinence is having an uncontrolled bowel movement. Frank fecal incontinence is loss of solid or liquid stool. Precursor symptoms include soiling, fecal urgency, and flatulence (gas loss). Although a person may feel as though a bowel movement occurs when it is not intended, fecal incontinence refers to the repeated occurrence of unwanted bowel movements.
Causes of fecal incontinence:
- Muscle damage – Common in childbirth with forceps and episiotomy deliveries. This may also result from rectal surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, or an abscess in the perirectal area.
- Nerve damage - Childbirth, severe constipation, diabetes, spinal cord tumors, and multiple sclerosis can all have damaging effects on the nerves, especially the puedendal nerve, in the rectal sphincter that control bowel movements.
- Decreased elasticity - Surgery, radiation, and childbirth can shock and scar the rectum, causing it to stiffen.
- Anal sphincter mechanical dysfunction - Muscle and fascia strain sometimes occurs post delivery due to straining when voiding.
Physical therapists use a variety of methods to help their patients correct pelvic floor dysfunction. Physical therapy exercises and modalities can strengthen and coordinate pelvic floor muscles. Bladder retraining can assist by regaining regular urinary cycles. Additionally, lifestyle choices, such as different food and drink options, may be discussed so that the bladder will be less irritable. Together, you and your therapist can help you regain proper functioning of your bladder and life activities.
Maybe you are seeking help because you are having pain during intercourse and your significant other is becoming impatient. Maybe you are scared to leave the house for fear of leaking urine in public, so you have stopped your daily walks around the neighborhood for fear of running into a neighbor.
A women's health physical therapist is someone who has extensive training and knowledge about issues directly related to women as they move through different stages of life.