For many, it’s considered private property: No Trespassing. But it’s that kind of thinking towards the pelvic area—sacrum, sacroiliac joints, coccyx, and including vulvar and vaginal, penile and scrotum and colorectal regions—that forces people to live with pain and injuries that are easily treatable.
At Magnolia Physical Therapy, we understand that it can be uncomfortable to talk about the pelvic area, however, by starting a conversation and getting a private evaluation with a treatment plan, our therapists have brought relief to hundreds of people. Maybe it feels embarrassing to talk about topics like incontinence, constipation, painful intercourse, urinary leakage, rectal and prostate pain, and endometriosis, but isn’t it better to get help than to live with pain and dysfunction?
“What people need to realize is the pelvic floor is a muscle, just like any other skeletal muscle,” says MPT’s Christy Liriano Shea, a pelvic physical therapist. “It can become weak, tight and painful. As physical therapists, we are trained to work on the entire body, and, in my case, I specialize in the pelvic area.”
As an example of pelvic physical therapy, Liriano Shea refers to treatment for incontinence. Typically a weak pelvic floor causes incontinence and therapists will create a plan for strengthening the area, which involves kegels (doing them correctly, Liriano Shea stresses) and progressing with more exercises and one-on-one work with the therapist.
Pelvic physical therapy, however, can be used for much more than treating incontinence and it’s not just for women. Liriano Shea has received extensive post-graduate training, and can work with numerous conditions such as endometriosis, rectal and prostate pain as well as treating male patients after prostrate surgery. When she starts working with a new patient, Liriano Shea says she will spend some time educating them on the benefits of pelvic physical therapy.
“A lot of times it’s ‘my doctor said to come to PT, but I don’t know why I’m here,’” Liriano Shea says. “After we do an evaluation and start treatment, the patients sees results and realizes how effective physical therapy is for these kinds of conditions.”