3 Reasons You Might Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty that is now becoming more known as our health care providers are exploring more conservative options for treatment of pelvic pain and dysfunction. As a physical therapy provider, I see dysfunction across the spectrum, ranging from mild incontinence to debilitating pain which prevents people from getting out of bed. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a treatment provided by physical therapists aimed to strengthen the muscles that support our internal organs, function to assist in bowel/bladder voiding, and is important for overall sexual health and satisfaction.
If you are wondering if this is a service you might need, here are a few reasons why you might want to ask your MD to refer you to a pelvic floor specialist:
- “I pee when I sneeze.” According to the National Association for Incontinence, of the 25 million adult Americans suffering from some form of urinary incontinence, 75-80% of those are women. Whether you laughed too hard with your best friend, jumped too high on the trampoline, or simply got up from your chair too quickly, urinary leakage is something many Americans deal with (but don’t have to).
- “I have to go to the bathroom a lot… I always know where the exits are in case I have to go in a hurry.” The “norm” for urination is 6 – 7 times in a 24-hour period or once every 2 hours. Many people find themselves having intense urges to go, despite only having maybe a “drizzle” when they actually go. Often this can be a byproduct of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction since many people have a hard time “relaxing” those muscles in order to go to the bathroom. Think about your urethra as a garden hose and the pelvic floor muscles as a nozzle of that hose, if your muscles are “tight” or are not lengthened properly, urine will not have the opportunity to escape out of the hose. This may also be due to signals to your brain that are “overactive” which cause you to experience urgency even though your bladder isn’t full. A pelvic floor physical therapist can also discuss options for you regarding adjusting your bladder schedule, water intake, and discuss ways to sit on the toilet which will help you take pressure off so you have an easier time going (this goes for constipation too!).
- “I just can’t enjoy sex, it’s so painful.” If you are having difficulty with sexual intimacy due to increased pain or even difficulty with tampon insertion, you are not alone. Many women suffer with the same issue, which can lead to difficulty enjoying intimacy with their partner or even tolerating gynecological medical examinations involving a speculum. Often a pelvic floor therapist will give you the proper instruction and feedback to lengthen pelvic floor muscles and may even provide manual therapy to treat any muscle trigger points that may be associated with muscular pain. Your therapist will discuss treatment options that are right for you given your medical history and other factors involved with your care.
COMMENTS: No Comments
How can a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist decrease your recovery time.
If you’ve ever sat in the waiting room at Live to Move Physical Therapy & Wellness, you’ve probably wondered about the credential “COMT” that appears after Molly and James’ names. This stands for “Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist” and it’s earned after completing (and passing) a year-long program composed of lecture and lab style courses to further the physical therapist’s specialization of orthopedics and manual therapy.
The classes are taught by top local clinicians and professors and presented in an in-depth, outpatient-focused manner that just isn’t possible during the entry-level education of a Doctor of Physical Therapy. As a new therapist, I’m following in Molly and James’ footsteps and working my way through the COMT Program. So far, it has been just what I knew I needed plus a bit more! See, entry-level physical therapist education is like drinking through a fire hose – it’s impossible to absorb everything and, unless you’ve got a really big mouth, you’ll look clearly overwhelmed afterwards. The COMT Program, on the other hand, is like sipping on a glass of wine while taking the time to appreciate all the details – the ambience, shape of the glass, temperature of the beverage, etc. The aim of the program is to create truly exceptional clinicians in the specific practice area of outpatient orthopedics with a focus on utilizing manual therapy to compliment exercise prescription. Manual therapy refers to the ancient art and science of mobilizing bones and soft tissue to achieve increased range of motion, improved joint mobility, decreased swelling, decreased pain, and many other neurophysiologic effects.
The curriculum covers the human body from head to toe and across the lifespan. It contains an eclectic mix of foundational science concepts, pain neuroscience education, joint manipulation and mobilization techniques, purposeful tissue specific and irritability level exercise progressions, return to sport and life considerations, and movement impairment syndrome classifications. As a new physical therapist, I feel so fortunate and appreciative of Molly and James’ support and encouragement as I pursue this credential that so few physical therapists will earn. So far, my favorite part has been learning about modern pain neuroscience – how our perception of pain has little to do with the extent of actual physical injury and much more to do with our beliefs, past experiences, expectations, stress, etc. and how to empower patients to take advantage of this knowledge.
Patients benefit from being treated by a certified orthopedic manual therapist through improved outcomes in potentially less recovery time than if being treated by another PT without the advanced certification and education. Live to Move Physical Therapy & Wellness values the highest quality of care for our patients and strives to use the most up to date and evidence-based interventions for our patients.
– Clancy Nelson, PT, DPT
COMMENTS: No Comments
4 Simple Tips to Help with Plantar Fasciitis
- Try to keep your level of activity consistent from day to day, especially with walking and running. For instance, do not walk 5 miles one day and then not walk for 4 days in a row. Instead, try to walk 1 mile each of the 5 days and spread it out, providing your feet with more rest breaks in between. You should also try to vary the type of activity you do each day like rowing or biking to mix things up. Exercise and walking are still good for you, but in the right dosage.
- Stretch your calf muscles and massage the bottom of your feet first thing in the morning which will help you to get moving more quickly with less pain. Improving your flexibility early in the day will help prepare you for the day to come.
- Put a golf ball in the freezer than you can use to massage the bottom of your foot on the ground. This is a good way to help relieve pain after a long day of walking and standing when you get home at the end of the day!
- Single leg balance! Practicing balancing on one leg is an easy way to begin strengthening multiple muscles in the foot and ankle which will provide you with more support. This is one of the simplest exercises to add into your routine right away that gives you the most “bang for your buck.” You can easily perform this while doing dishes, folding laundry, watching TV, etc. Make sure you have something stable to hold onto if you need it! Come see your physical therapist at Live to Move for additional exercises more tailored to your specific needs!
(For any other questions you have about PF, please see our additional blogs and videos)
COMMENTS: 3 Comments
3 Tips to Help You Eat Plant-Based
Make the change gradual-
Like many other major life changes, you will have more success when making the change from your current way of eating to plant based. If you are a person more set in your ways with eating, then you may need to start with cooking one plant-based meal a week. Others may do better with having one full day a week where they eat fully plant-based. You may even need to start by cutting out meat from these meals first before dairy if you tend to eat a very animal-based diet. This is a process that cannot happen easily overnight. It is best to let your brain and body adjust to a new way of eating. Give your taste buds a chance to accommodate to new foods!
Surround yourself with support-
Again, like any lifestyle change, you will have more success if you surround yourself with a support system of others who also eat plant-based. This could involve online groups where you can share recipes and tips as well as encourage one another. Eating plant-based has gained a lot of traction in recent years and you will find a lot more people who are also eating this way as well as restaurants that are fully plant based or at least have plant-based options. Encouraging your family and friends to join you on your journey can also be very hopeful since you will have someone to cook and eat the same foods with!
Live to Move offers nutritional counseling centered around a plant-based whole-food diet, which is also a great way to have someone hold you accountable and support you through the change!
Knowledge is power, and gleaning information about what a plant-based diet is and what it can do for you is limitless. Watching documentaries and reading books and current research regarding the physiologic benefits of whole food plant-based eating can be a helpful tool. Learning about the ways in which eating plant-based can benefits the environment can be another strong motivating factor towards eating a more plant-based diet. You can start your knowledge journey by reading our website and scheduling an appointment with our certified nutritionist on eating whole food plant-based!
COMMENTS: 2 Comments
3 Primary Types of Arthritis
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is chronic inflammation of a joint, or multiple joints, which can cause deterioration of cartilage and other structural abnormalities over time such as bone spurs. Between 2013-2015, 54.4 million (22.7%) adults had physician-diagnosed arthritis, and 23.7 million had arthritis-attributable activity limitations. There are hundreds of different kinds of arthritis with various causes; the most common type is Osteoarthritis, followed by Rheumatoid Arthritis, and then Psoriatic Arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis (OA): According to the CDC, Osteoarthritis affects nearly 32.5 million US adults, and is one of the most expensive conditions to treat when joint replacement is required. Joints that weight bear are most commonly affected, such as knees, hips, spine, and feet. OA can be caused by anything that put excess stress or “wear and tear,” such as injuries, obesity, or age. A sedentary lifestyle can also be a risk factor for OA.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune disease leading to inflammation of the joint lining causing pain, swelling, and stiffness which is often worse following rest. Wrists and hands are the most commonly affected areas, occurring symmetrically on both sides of the body. This type of arthritis can also cause overall fatigue and muscle weakness.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriasis is another autoimmune disease initially presenting as a dry, flaky, red skin rash that can spread to the joints causing inflammation and swelling. Other symptoms include nail bed changes and general fatigue.
Diagnosis of Arthritis:
- Arthritis is diagnosed through a combination of X-ray imaging, pattern of stiffness of the affected joint with rest and activity, as well as decreased function and range of motion.
How can physical therapy and physical activity help treat arthritis?
- Addressing muscle imbalances and strengthening surrounding musculature can decrease the stress placed on the affected joint
- Manual therapy can improve range of motion, decrease swelling and pain using soft tissue massage, traction, and joint mobilizations
- Physical therapy can help to improve daily function, slow the progression of arthritis, as well as decrease the risk of arthritis in the future through preventative care.
- Regular physical activity is an important strategy for relieving pain and maintaining or improving function in people with arthritis
- Nearly half of adults with arthritis report no leisure time physical activity. Not being physically active is detrimental for arthritis and is a risk factor for other chronic diseases.
- Regardless of the type of arthritis you are diagnosed with, the physical therapists at Live to Move can help you achieve your goals for the future and desired level of function
- Barbour, K. E., Helmick, C. G., Boring, M., & Brady, T. J. (2014). Vital Signs: Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation — United States, 2013–2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 66(9), 246-253. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6609e1
Arthritis Google trends: Diclofenac, Hydroxychloroquine, voltaren gel, nodule, hand pain, seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, topical medication, immune system, are tomatoes bad for arthritis?, NIH worst foods for arthritis, compression gloves for arthritis, is arthritis an autoimmune, how is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed
COMMENTS: 1 Comment
6 Common Myths About Physical Therapy
- You need a referral to see a physical therapist.
False. Most people believe you need a referral to be evaluated by a physical therapist, which is not true. The state of Texas has direct access where you are able to see a doctor of physical therapy for evaluation and treatment within 10 business days before you need a physician to approve further care.
- Physical therapy is the same as massage.
False. While soft tissue massage may be part of your treatment plan, manual therapy performed by a physical therapist also includes joint mobilization and manipulation techniques. This is done prior to strengthening and therapeutic exercises that restore function to help you move with less pain.
- Physical therapy is only for injuries.
False. Physical therapy is used for more than just recovering from an injury through strengthening and stretching. Doctors of Physical Therapy also have skills to diagnose and prevent potential future issues that may be associated with your current injury or presentation.
- Surgery is more effective than Physical Therapy (or “surgery is my only option”)
False. There are many cases in which physical therapy can restore function and reduce pain without surgery. There is new research coming out everyday that shows many pathologies, such as partial rotator cuff tears and meniscal tears, often have the same outcomes whether surgery and physical therapy is performed or physical therapy alone. According to the new information, conservative options such as physical therapy should be tried prior to other more invasive means such as surgery.
- Physical therapy is painful
False. Doctor’s of Physical Therapy play a crucial role in helping those with acute and chronic pain to become pain-free. They work within your pain threshold to achieve the level of function you desire. While a minimal amount of pain can be a part of the rehab process, causing moderate-severe pain with physical therapy can be counter production. Only a very minimal amount of pain shoulder be anticipated with physical therapy.
- I can do physical therapy on my own
False. While you can perform many of the exercises from physical therapy on your own, it is initially important to have guidance in regard to appropriate form and dosage of each exercise. Without appropriate supervision and guidance you will be at increased risk for injury and are not likely to gain optimum results.
COMMENTS: 18 Comments
What Is Physical Therapy
COMMENTS: 4 Comments
Physical Therapy for Foot and Ankle
COMMENTS: 7 Comments
Sports Medicine of Pearland & Manvel
What is Sports Medicine and Who Can Benefit From it?
- Sports medicine, sometimes referred to as sports science, is a branch of medicine geared towards preventing and treating injuries caused by sports or physical activity. Professional athletes as well as individuals who play sports or exercise recreationally can benefit from sports medicine for diagnostic, curative, rehabilitative, and preventative services.
- Individuals who may potentially benefit from sports medicine includes those wanting to participate in various activities such as going for a walk around the block, a swim, returning to soccer practice, or even attending a ballroom dancing class. You do not have to be a competitive athlete to benefit from sports medicine in helping you regain function and return to the physical activity of your choice.
- Doctors or Physical Therapy (DPT) are able to administer Sports Medicine Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. Live to Move Physical Therapy in Pearland and Manvel area is equipped with the knowledge to not only heal you to normal function, but adequately prepare you for the activity you wish to return to. We also have DPTs on staff who are Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists if you desire to continue your health and fitness journey after your therapy with our strength and conditioning classes!
Massage Therapy / Physical Therapy
COMMENTS: No Comments
Low Back Pain?
Here are a Few Reasons Why Physical Therapy Should be Your First Choice!
Did you know approximately 60-80% of the population will experience non-specific low back pain at some point in their lives?? This is the majority of people, making low back pain extremely prevalent around the world. Although many risk factors have been identified including occupational posture, depressive moods, obesity, body height, and age, the cause of low back pain remains obscure making diagnosis difficult.
COMMENTS: No Comments