Physical Therapy for Women
UnityPoint Health - Meriter hospital's physical therapists provide specialized services for women of all ages. A variety of conditions affecting women can dramatically impact their enjoyment of daily life. Depending on the condition, an individual may endure pain, fatigue, embarrassment or stress. Many women find relief through physical therapy.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. The term Fibromyalgia means pain in the fibrous tissues of the body (muscles, ligaments and tendons).
Treatment may include:
- Individualized stabilization and strengthening exercises
- Training in body mechanics
- Activities of daily living geared to minimize pain
- Instruction in home management of pain
- Strategies to relieve muscle tension
Stress is body or mental tension that can contribute to disease and fatigue. We offer an eight-week program that offers strategies for reducing stress and for handling the effects of stress. Taught by a physical therapist, the program includes:
- Breathing techniques
- Physical exercise
The goals of exercise include improving strength and movement coordination.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction is provided by physical therapists specially trained in the area of gynecological physical therapy. They follow guidelines established by the Section on Women's Health of the American Physical Therapy Association.
On your first clinic visit for pelvic floor dysfunction, you will receive a thorough evaluation/examination (including an internal exam). Depending on your symptoms, the evaluation may also include a urinary diary and tests to measure the strength of the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Tension and Pain
Discomfort in sitting, painful intercourse, lower abdominal pain, and buttock pain are symptoms of increased tension in the muscles that make up the pelvic floor, the sling that supports your uterus, bladder and rectum. Treatment may include:
- Relaxation training
Incontinence/Pelvic Floor Laxity
Pelvic floor laxity is a loss of muscular support that can result in the dropping of organs (mild cystocele, enterocele, rectocele or uterine prolapse) leading to increased urgency or frequency of urination, pressure or discomfort. Incontinence is the uncontrolled loss of urine, gas or stool. Treatment to ease and improve these symptoms includes:
- Electrical stimulation
- Behavioral techniques to strengthen and retrain the affected areas
Orthopedic problems during or after pregnancy can include:
- Lower or upper back pain
- Pain in the pelvic joints (pubic bone, sacroiliac joints)
- Neck pain
- Rib pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Other pregnancy-related problems
- Joint mobilization, massage, exercise and maternity supports are among the treatment options available.
Many services are available for women in high-risk pregnancies. If you are confined to bed (in the hospital or at home), you may benefit from:
- Gentle toning
- Range-of-motion exercises
- Relaxation training
- Positioning for comfort
- Exercise programs for pregnant diabetic patients are also available.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose mass, becoming porous and fragile. If you have this condition, you can reduce your risk of future bone fractures by improving your body mechanics and posture, increasing your strength through an individualized exercise program and utilizing fall-prevention strategies – all of which can be taught by our physical therapists. If you already have an osteoporosis-related fracture, physical therapy will focus on rehabilitation and managing pain.
Lymphedema, the build-up of fluid in the tissues just under the skin that causes edema (swelling) in specific parts of the body, may be a complication following some types of surgery or as a side effect of cancer treatment. The condition may be temporary or chronic in nature. Treatment may consist of specialized massage techniques, compression bandaging and/or garments and exercise.
We treat both upper and lower extremity patients with lymphatic deficiencies related to trauma or cancer treatment. Treatment may include:
- Manual lymphatic drainage
- Compression garments and/or bandaging
- Compression pumps