Also known as pelvic floor rehabilitation, women's health diagnoses include pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and fecal incontinence. Over 13 million people in the US experience incontinence, women at two times the rate of men.
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the accidental release of urine. It can happen when you laugh, sneeze, cough, or jog. You many have a sudden need to go to the bathroom but can't get there in time. Bladder control problems are not uncommon, especially among older adults. They usually don't cause major health problems, but they can be embarrassing.
What causes urinary incontinence?
Incontinence is caused when the bladder muscle involuntarily contracts and pushes urine out of the bladder. This may be caused by an irritation of the bladder, emotional stress, or a brain disorder, such as Parkinson's Disease or stroke. Women in particular experience incontinence caused by physical changes to the body, like pregnancy and childbirth, menstruation, menopause, pelvic surgery, or weakened muscles around the bladder.
Our physical therapy department offers pelvic floor rehab, the retraining of the muscles that are the "floor" for the support and stability of the organs within the pelvis. Ask your provider for a referral or self-refer to Physical Therapy for a consultation.
What should I expect on my first visit?
You may ask your provider for a referral, or with direct access PT, you may self-refer and your therapist will give your provider a plan of care within 30 days. On the day of your first appointment, check in at hospital registration and you will be directed to PT. You will be provided with a questionnaire about your symptoms and history as part of your assessment.
In a private room, the therapist will visit with you about your past medical history as well as do a preliminary exam your pelvis and spine. The therapist may ask to do an internal assessment of the pelvic floor.
External biofeedback may be used to assist in muscle re-education, and gives the patient an opportunity to actually see muscle contraction. A home exercise program will benefit the patient's personal needs in order to meet the goals set by therapist and patient.
What is Pelvic Floor Rehab?
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation is a physical therapy specialty to retrain the muscles of the pelvic floor to stop urinary and fecal incontinence, treat organ prolapse, pelvic pain, tailbone pain, and other symptoms.
Meet our Therapists
Robin Hodges, PT, GCS
Robin Hodges has over 30 years of experience with a PT background that includes orthopedics, wound care, neurological disorders and incontinence programs. She has certification in geriatric physical therapy.
Pamela Askren, CPTA
Pamela is a certified physical therapy assistant, and has worked in rural health care for 8 years, 5 years with focus on pelvic floor rehabilitation.