SoCal Flipbooks


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 11

8 | Health Matters: Providence St. Jude Medical Center Pelvic Floor Therapy Restoring the health of new moms, grandmothers and every age in between. P regnancy and birth take a toll on a woman's body, and often, along with a new bundle of joy, comes one or more pelvic floor issues. Incontinence, painful sex, and pelvic or back pain are frequently experienced by new mothers. Some women try to live with their symptoms, not seeking treatment until years after they 've given birth, when the seemingly small problems—a "little" pain or leaking—have grown into larger, more serious issues. Fortunately, says Denise Diener, one of several physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor issues at the St. Jude Centers for Rehabilitation and Wellness, attitudes are changing. "Today, new moms aren't willing to spend years buying incontinence products or missing out on intimacy because of pain," she explains. "They 've done their research, they know their symptoms are treatable and they 're not waiting for a doctor to suggest pelvic floor therapy—they 're asking for a referral." For pregnant women, therapy within Providence St. Jude's Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation program is often focused on resolving back or pelvic pain and preparing the pelvic muscles for a successful delivery. After birth, the priority is restoring strength and function to a weakened or injured pelvic floor and helping women fully heal. "When you hurt, leak or can't sit or stand for long periods, it's hard to be the kind of mom you want to be," comments Diener, a board-certified clinical specialist in women's health physical therapy. The pelvic floor is a combination of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that support the bladder, bowel, uterus, pelvis and back. Weakness or tightness in these muscles, scar tissue from surgery or cancer treatment, and medical conditions—from interstitial cystitis to endometriosis—can create pain, dysfunction or a loss of bladder and bowel control. "That symptoms as diverse as back pain and urinary frequency can successfully be treated by restoring strength and balance to the pelvic floor is beginning to be understood by physicians and patients alike," she explains. The program's holistic, evidence-based approach includes therapeutic approaches ranging from biofeedback, to help "reeducate" muscles and improve pelvic floor coordination, to myofascial release for pain relief. Every day, the program's experienced pelvic physical therapists shatter two common misconceptions: "Everything works differently after kids" and "I'll just have to live with it." Explains Diener, "When the symptoms are gone, it often changes a woman's life." To schedule an appointment, please call 714-578-8720.

Articles in this issue

view archives of SoCal Flipbooks - HM_StJude_Winter21