When you think of physical therapy, you might think of treatment for sports-related injuries or rehabilitation after joint replacement surgeries. But physical therapists also partner with women throughout the lifespan to help them prevent and manage women's health issues?
Here are four common ways that physical therapists help to advance women's health:
Supporting the weight of the baby, hormone changes, and lack of core strength can affect a woman during pregnancy. Many women assume these are permanent changes they must learn to cope with in the long-term. But that's not true. Physical therapists can help with many related issues, including:
- Body mechanics and flexibility
- Safe exercise plans before and after childbirth.
- Improving the function of pelvic muscles.
2. Gastroenterological and Urological Conditions
Conditions that fall under these categories, such as bowel incontinence and constipation, are often ones that women do not feel comfortable discussing or may not even know that these issues can be treated. Women's health physical therapists have specialized education and expertise and frequently help women with these issues.
3. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Gynecological Conditions
Pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, and pain with sexual intercourse are some of the issues that many women deal with silently. Physical therapists can help with solutions that often do not involve surgery or long-term use of prescription medications.
Menopause can mean significant changes for a woman, including weight gain, insomnia, and hot flashes. Physical therapists can design an aerobic exercise plan to help with those effects, while also improving strength and balance, which in turn helps with building muscle and maintaining bone density and reducing the risk for problems related to osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.