Women's Health Physical Therapy Program

The Women's Health Physical Therapy Program at Baptist Health offers women renewed hope to ease pelvic pain, incontinence, osteoporosis and pain associated with pregnancy.

Respecting your privacy

Most women find it very difficult to talk about problems with pelvic pain or incontinence. All of the services available through the Women's Health Physical Therapy Program are provided by specially trained physical therapists in dedicated treatment rooms.

Women and incontinence

Many women think incontinence is a condition that is inevitable, untreatable and even a normal part of being female. This is not true.

Urinary incontinence affects 15 percent of all adults and 26 percent of all women between the ages of 30 and 59. Currently, 15 to 25 million Americans suffer with incontinence.

There are several types of incontinence, three that can be treated by medication and behavioral methods. Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine during physical exertion, exercise, coughing or sneezing. Urge incontinence can cause a strong, sudden urge to rush to the restroom or loss of urine without warning. Mixed incontinence is a combination of urge and stress incontinence.

During pregnancy and childbirth, pelvic muscles are stretched. After delivery, muscles should recoil, but sometimes they do not. Weak, over-stretched pelvic floor muscles can lead to urinary incontinence.

Specially trained physical therapists teach women about bladder health, diet and demonstrate behavioral techniques to help gain control over incontinence.

Therapists also teach proper pelvic muscle contraction and correct use of abdominal muscles using biofeedback, muscle stimulation and special techniques. Therapists can isolate muscles and teach patients exercises specifically designed to meet their individual needs in order to return to a normal life without incontinence.

Reducing pelvic pain

Women often experience both pre-natal and post-natal pelvic pain associated with their pregnancy. Pelvic pain can also be the result of trauma to the pelvic, abdomen or back.

Physical therapists can treat this pain by education in posture, body mechanics, bracing, soft tissue mobilization and management of back and pelvic pain. In addition to the techniques listed above, women who have had a Caesarean section or hysterectomy may also benefit from learning appropriate scar management.

Treating osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs when bone tissue becomes fragile, resulting in a loss of strength and support. Therapists can help women with osteoporosis by improving their posture, strength and regaining balance through exercise, including aquatics.