Physical Therapy & Specialized Services
The physical therapists at Fort HealthCare Therapy & Sport provide specialized services for women’s and men’s health issues. Children with bladder or bowel leakage and voiding dysfunction, including bedwetting and issues with constipation, can also be treated and benefit from this therapy.
We also understand that women may require specialized care throughout their lives. Our therapists coordinate personalized care plans for patients with pelvic pain, continence issues, prenatal and postpartum conditions, osteoporosis, pre- and post-operative surgery therapy, and more. Care is coordinated with a primary care doctor, OB/GYN or urologist.
Women's Health Conditions and Treatment
- Women’s Health Rehabilitation – This service is provided by physical and occupational therapists with extensive training in designing programs and providing services to meet women’s specific needs. Therapists can assist with pelvic pain, incontinence, pregnancy-related disorders, lymphedema and other issues as needed.
- Pelvic floor pain and tension – The pelvic floor is a sling that supports the uterus, bladder and rectum. Increased tension in this area can cause discomfort in the pelvis, lower abdominal area, hips, buttock and lower back. Symptoms can also include painful bowel movements, constipation and/or straining with bowel movements. Discomfort can be present with sitting, standing, activity or with intercourse. Cause for these complaints can include: post-surgical pain, scar tissue or adhesions, trauma, pregnancy and more.
- Prenatal and postpartum conditions – There are many changes that occur during pregnancy including: muscle stretching, ligament softening and loosening of joints. A shift in posture due to pregnancy can create an increased load on the lower back causing the body to compensate. These changes as well as other predisposing factors and previous injuries lead to back pain, neck pain, pelvic or hip pain.
- Pelvic prolapse - Pelvic prolapse is a condition in women in which the pelvic muscles and ligaments have become weak, causing the pelvic organs such as bladder and uterus to drop. Many women who suffer urinary incontinence may experience symptoms of pelvic pressure caused by this condition. Patients may feel a bulge in the vaginal opening or have difficulty moving their bowels.
- Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose mass and become porous and fragile. This disease is most common in post-menopausal women. Back pain and postural changes are the most common presenting features. There is also an increased risk of fractures. Because there is no cure, the best treatment is prevention.
Incontinence is a problem 13 million adults face in the United States today. Of the 13 million Americans that experience incontinence issues, 85% are women.There are several contributing factors, ranging from life experiences such as pregnancy and menopause, to health factors like older age and obesity.
It's important to remember that incontinence is merely a symptom of an underlying cause, and our staff will seek to treat the cause, as well as the condition. Our Continence Care program is a cooperative effort of the Fort HealthCare Center for Women’s Health, Fort HealthCare Urology Associates and Fort HealthCare Therapy & Sport Center. The program offers a respectful, dignified and comprehensive approach to the treatment of bladder problems in both men and women.
If specialized care is required for any of the health conditions listed above, an individualized treatment plan is developed for all ages. Treatment may include:
- Bladder training – Training techniques may include prompted voiding (urinating on a schedule). You may be asked to keep a record of your usual urinary habits in a bladder log/diary.
- Exercise – Stretching and strengthening muscles may be used to relieve tension, improve circulation, improve posture and prevent health problems. Building pelvic floor awareness and strength using Kegel exercises (contraction of the pelvic floor muscles) alone or in conjunction with other pelvic strengthening exercise may be used to help control complaints of incontinence. Vaginal weights may also be used.
- Manual Therapy – When utilizing the integrated Systems Approach, multiple systems of the body are taken into consideration. Gentle techniques are used to improve mobility and integrity of the following tissues: joints, muscles, lymph tissue, nerves, organs, vascular tissue (arteries and veins) and connective tissue.
- Electrical Stimulation – Tiny amounts of electricity can be used to decrease pain and swelling.
- Biofeedback - Biofeedback is a neuromuscular reeducation tool that is used to determine if certain processes in the body are working properly. It is a painless diagnostic tool that uses a computer and a video monitor to display bodily functions that most people are unaware of. Special sensors measure the functions, which are displayed as sounds that can be heard, or linegraphs that can be seen on a computer screen. Biofeedback is used to gather more information about a condition to better develop an effective treatment plan, which may include techniques for improving strength, reducing tension and retraining uncoordinated muscles.
Meet Our Experts
Becky McConnell, MPT, BCB-PMD
Anne Klug, PT
A physician referral is necessary to begin services. Call (920) 563-9357 to schedule an appointment.