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Published on September 11, 2017

Pelvic floor PT can help improve your patient's quality of life

Do you have a patient with incontinence, bowel troubles, pelvic pain or dyspareunia? Have you considered a referral to physical therapy?

Tiffany Calteaux, PT, DPT, WCS, CSCS

Tiffany Calteaux, PT, DPT, WCS, CSCS

Pelvic floor physical therapy can be an easier, more cost-effective treatment option often resulting in less need for pain medication, shorter recovery time after surgery or an injury, improved strength and balance, more independence and better quality of life.

Gundersen Health System physical therapist and women's health clinical specialist Tiffany Calteaux, PT, DPT, WCS, CSCS, says one in three women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. This broad term is used to describe pain and disruption of bladder, bowel and/or sexual function due to restrictions of the muscles and nerves of the pelvis. It's not just a woman's problem; men and children can be affected, too.

Gundersen has a team of physical therapists, specially trained in pelvic floor physical therapy, to help adults and children. Please consider a referral for patients with:

  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Bowel and GI disorders, including constipation
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Low back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Dyspareunia
  • Pain during or after pregnancy
  • Diastasis recti
  • Coccydynia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor posture or deconditioning after an injury
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Side effects of cancer treatment

While some conditions are a result of surgery or injury, others can develop over time due to repeated stress on the body. Tiffany says incontinence, for example, may develop slowly over the years until the problem becomes very disruptive to everyday life.

"Many people think that having incontinence or other pelvic symptoms are normal, especially as they age or after childbirth," says Tiffany. "We want people to know there are things they can do to take control of their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Physical therapy is one of the options."

Following a thorough assessment by a Gundersen pelvic floor physical therapist, treatment is customized to meet each patient's needs. This may include: muscle strengthening or relaxation, behavior modification, biofeedback, proper body mechanic instruction, exercise recommendations, manual therapy, braces/assistive devices or electrical stimulation.

For a consultation or referral appointment in La Crosse, Onalaska or Winona, contact the Gundersen Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy team via MedLink at (800) 336-5465 or 775-5465 in La Crosse. To make certain insurance covers treatment, please indicate "pelvic floor dysfunction" on the referral.

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