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The Pregnancy & Postpartum Physical Therapy Group (PPSIG) is a SoWH community of professionals having a common interest in the evaluation, treatment, and wellness of pregnant and postpartum women. The PPSIG will provide a space where this community may meet, confer, and promote these interests through education, clinical practice, and research.
I am so pleased to announce that the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy has a new Digital Media Coordinator. Margaret “Rita” Gillian, PT, DPT earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at MGH Institute of Health Professions in her hometown of Boston. Rita, who is currently living in Groningen, Netherlands has worked orthopedics at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Recognizing that few women’s health practices available for those who relied on insurance covered, she created a women’s pelvic health service to meet the needs of the community.
The excuses we give for not treating our incontinence and tips for overcoming them. For many of us, leaking (aka peeing our pants unintentionally) when we sneeze, cough, giggle, jump, or exercise (pretty much just enjoying and living our lives) has become an acceptable norm. It’s part of being a woman and a mother, right? When lucky enough to feel the possibility of a leak, we take the preemptive step of crossing our legs, but at less fortunate moments, we quietly hope the leaking aftermath can be managed with the absorption power of a bundle of stiff toilet paper from the nearest public bathroom.
It is important that your primary healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) know about everything that has to do with your body, your health and how you feel.
What is Urinary Incontinence? Urinary incontinence refers to accidental leakage of urine. There are several types of urinary incontinence including stress, urge, mixed and functional incontinence.
What is Pelvic Pain? Pelvic pain is described as an aching or burning pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, or perineum. The cause of pelvic pain can be complex, and the symptoms often fluctuate, making a diagnosis difficult. Both men and women can be affected, however women are most often impacted. If left untreated, pelvic pain can persist and negatively impact daily function and quality of life.
What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by decreased density and structure of bones, causing bones to become weak or brittle. These changes increase a person’s risk for breaking a bone. The lower one’s bone density, the greater the risk of fracture. Osteoporosis is a silent disease, meaning people are often unaware of these bony changes until after they break a bone. The spine, hip and wrist are the most common bones to fracture. These fractures impact a person’s mobility, functional independence, reduce height, and cause pain.
What musculoskeletal issues are common during pregnancy and after childbirth? Pregnancy and postpartum are times of great change for a woman - physically, emotionally, and hormonally. As the fetus grows during pregnancy, the musculoskeletal system is challenged by altered posture, muscle imbalances, and changes in spinal mobility. These changes may cause pain, difficulty with balance, and reduced activity. In the postpartum phase, physical changes experienced during pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a newborn may result in joint, nerve and/or muscle strain.
What is a “Kegel” exercise? A Kegel is a contraction of your pelvic floor muscles and is more accurately called a “pelvic floor muscle contraction” or “pelvic muscle exercise”. Performing a pelvic floor muscle contraction (Kegel) can assist with bladder and bowel control, since these muscles support the bladder, bowels, uterus, and rectum.
A Physical Therapist (PT) with specialized training in pelvic floor muscle dysfunction will perform a detailed evaluation in a private setting during your first visit. This will include understanding your general medical history, history related to your current condition, stress level, preferred activities and lifestyle, and your desired goals. You’ll be asked questions about your eating, drinking, and bathroom habits.