Health & Wellness

Q&A with SoFHA Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

Urinary incontinence, bowel conditions, prolapse, painful intercourse. Women ask us daily — is this normal? Is there anything that can be done about these ongoing symptoms of pain and/or dysfunction?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty that focuses on the rehabilitation of the muscles of the pelvic floor and all of the regions surrounding it that can contribute to the development of these issues.

State of Franklin Healthcare OB/GYN Physical Therapy’s goal is to not only treat your symptoms but understand why they are occurring and how to resolve them. Our pelvic floor physical therapists help patients with a variety of pelvic floor issues related to pregnancy, aging, lifestyle and other factors.

We work to improve the quality of life for women of all ages. Our team includes several women’s health physical therapists ready to help you feel like you again.

Q: What is Women’s Health or Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

A: Women’s Health Physical Therapy specializes in the treatment of conditions that a woman may develop throughout her lifespan.

Women often experience symptoms of pain, leakage, or other problems related to pregnancy, postpartum, menstrual cycles, sexual activity, hormone changes and aging that they have been told are normal. At State of Franklin Healthcare OB/GYN Physical Therapy, our therapists listen to your complaints and symptoms, perform an individualized assessment, and develop a treatment plan to help you obtain relief and a better quality of life.

Q: Who will be performing my care with therapy?

A: You will be evaluated and treated by one of our Women’s Health Physical Therapists. Our physical therapists have doctorate-level degrees with additional post-graduate training in conditions specific to women’s health. The therapist who performs your assessment will be the one treating you through the duration of your care.

Q: What can I expect during my first visit?

A: You will complete a medical history and symptom questionnaire to help aid your physical therapist in identifying issues that need to be addressed. This evaluation may be an external assessment of the pelvis, spine, and core, or it may include an internal pelvic floor assessment. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles inside the pelvis that control urinary, bowel, and sexual function. Our therapists have specialized training in assessing and treating these muscles. The therapist will always thoroughly discuss this process with you and obtain your consent before performing this assessment or beginning treatment.

Q: How many treatments are needed?

A: The length of physical therapy treatments is determined by the physical therapist at your first visit. Every patient is an individual with unique symptoms and conditions, but also specific needs in terms of scheduling, insurance, finances, and availability. Typical treatments are 30 to 60 minutes and can vary from as often as one-to-two times a week to one-to-two times a month depending on your needs. As symptoms improve, we need to see you less often, so we will gradually reduce how often you come as you get more independent in managing your symptoms.

A: My symptoms are not severe — I thought they were “normal.”

A: We hear this every day. Symptoms of leakage or pain with menstrual cycle, sex, pregnancy, postpartum, and with aging are common, but not normal.

One in four women have urinary incontinence, and in some research studies upwards of 60 to 70% of women report pelvic floor symptoms of some kind. On average, a woman waits six years from the development of symptoms to tell providers about her problems, and by then symptoms are often times much harder to treat and take much longer to rehab and resolve. The sooner you do something about your symptoms (even mild), the easier it is to fix, and the less chance you will have problems later in life.

Q: Who is appropriate for physical therapy?

A: We treat women of all ages. Women’s health or pelvic floor physical therapy is for all women that are struggling with symptoms in the pelvic region regardless of pregnancy, sexual activity, or age. It is appropriate to come to therapy anytime you are having problems.

We often see patients when they first become sexually active or develop menstrual issues, during pregnancy, after pregnancy, and as they age.

Q: What is the clinic like?

A: Our clinic is a beautiful spa-like space on the lower level of 301 Med Tech Parkway below our main OB/GYN office. It has a quiet and peaceful atmosphere with private treatment rooms, and also a main gym area for exercise.

Q: Is OB/GYN Physical Therapy covered by insurance?

A: Physical therapy is covered by most insurance plans, but coverage is individualized to each insurance and payer. At your first visit, your insurance benefits will be verified, and then reviewed with you by either the physical therapist or a staff member to make sure you understand your financial responsibility before beginning treatment.

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