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Pelvic Health Comes to RU Seattle!

Rehab United Seattle has recently expanded its services to include pelvic health!


pelvic floor physical therapist working on a patient


One in every four women will have experienced some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetimes. Yet, oftentimes, we see patients who have suffered from painful or embarrassing symptoms for years before hearing about pelvic floor physical therapy.


What is the Pelvic Floor?


The pelvic floor is a muscle group that lies within a ring of bones at the base of the torso. The pelvis! It sits like a hammock and acts literally as the floor of your torso. This muscle group is responsible for some pretty crucial functions that we often take for granted: bowel, bladder, and sexual functions as well as stability to the pelvic ring and support for the pelvic organs. As probably the most neglected muscle group, it is easily forgotten when training, exercising, and even in rehab until one of its functions fail.


What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?


Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty that treats symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and its surrounding structures. Your treatment depends on the symptoms you are experiencing, as there are a variety of reasons you might need pelvic floor PT.



What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?


Have you ever peed a little when you sneezed, laughed, or exercised? Ever have to urgently run to the bathroom and feel you have little control? Have pelvic pain in general? You don’t have to live with that! These are only a few of the commonly addressed symptoms our pelvic health team treats.


How We Treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

As you might imagine, rehab for your pelvic floor may seem a little different than rehab for your knee or shoulder. It is! But not a lot. Here’s what to expect:


Initial Evaluation


This is done in a private treatment room with your therapist (and some choose to bring a significant other, trusted family member, or friend). We start by chatting about your symptoms, answering and asking lots of pelvic floor-related questions (and trust me, there are no weird questions when you spend your days discussing poop, pee, and sex.)


Full-Body Movement Assessment


We do this because the pelvic floor never works in isolation! Expect us to check out your walk, your squat, your posture, and your lower extremities' strength and range of motion measurements. When necessary, we also do a pelvic floor assessment which is always optional and consensual, of course. This will involve a visual inspection of the affected area and an internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles. Once the evaluation is all done, we make an individualized plan of care which usually involves a combination of education, exercise, and hands-on therapy.


Treatment


Our plan of care includes a combination of hands-on therapy, education, stretching, and strengthening, all customized to your body and what we discover during our evaluation.


 

Here's what one of our San Diego patients shared with us about her experience in pelvic floor PT:


"To all the women out there, I was in PT for pelvic floor damage after the birth of my son and my PT was a Godsend after 18 months of pelvic pain and dysfunction. Her expert knowledge and care was the turning point for me in getting relief and healing. She was tuned in, intuitive, and always on top of my treatment plan and I'm happy to say that I have functionality that I had previously believed I would never regain. Also, during my 8 months of treatment, I had to bring my toddler to most appointments with me and I never felt awkward about it...the staff was so friendly to him, giving him space to play and engaging with him, greeting him by name every time we came in.” – Hannah B.


Interested in Pelvic Health?


If you have questions about your pelvic floor or if you think you could use therapy, give us a call and we'll be happy to answer any questions. Or, you can always take advantage of our free discovery visit. When you're ready, you can easily schedule by requesting an appointment here!


 

Sarah Shaw, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2019 from San Diego State University and has since been continuing her education in pelvic pain, women's and men's pelvic health, and Applied Functional Science. While the pelvic floor is her specialty, Sarah also treats other orthopedic-related injuries, ensuring a more well-rounded and holistic approach to pelvic health.


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