Pelvic health physical therapy refers to the treatment of conditions related to the musculature of the inside of the pelvis, which affects bowel, bladder, breathing, and postural function. Treatment is conducted through manual, neuromuscular, and therapeutic exercises and behavioral interventions by a highly trained physical therapist.
Approximately one-third of U.S. women will have a pelvic health problem by age 60. Have you had a pelvic floor problem that you avoided discussing with your provider?
Men may have chronic pelvic pain from a number of disorders, including urinary dysfunction or irritable bowel syndrome.
Kids as early as 24-36 months, and up through adolescence and adulthood, can be affected by pelvic floor conditions and disorders.
Pregnancy and birth are stressful on the body. During pregnancy the weight of a growing baby places pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. These changes alone can lead to a pelvic floor that is more vulnerable to dysfunction.
When I first started seeing Dhara (pre-pregnancy) I had been experiencing months of unexplained pelvic floor discomfort and pain. After seeing many doctors (including my OB who told me he "didn't know what else to try/tell me") I was referred to Dhara and finally found someone who I felt really listened to me and believed me! I left my first appointment feeling heard, validated, and hopeful as she already had a list of things to try and several follow up appointments scheduled.
A few years later I became pregnant with my first son and Dhara supported me immensely both before and after the pregnancy. I had a hernia during my first pregnancy and she helped show me techniques to lessen the pain so that I could hold on surgery until after the baby was born. And when the baby arrived she taught me exercises to help with some mild diastasis and other pains that came about due to breastfeeding and carrying a baby. And in addition to all of that, she would take time to just talk with me, to ask "how are you doing?" and to listen. For a new mother to talk with someone like Dhara who is also a mother and who has just been through it and can relate is priceless. Sometimes I would come home and say that I felt like I'd gone to therapy in addition to PT!
I was so excited and lucky to be able to continue to have Dhara on my "team" as I went into my second pregnancy. For this pregnancy we met a few times prior to the baby coming to review pregnancy-safe exercises and help with the aches and pains of being pregnant. And of course, all of the advice I would get during each visit was invaluable! Dhara was also quick to call me at home when I went into panic mode thinking I had a blood clot and could not get ahold of my OB. Having someone call me and talk to me when I was in such an anxious state was invaluable and I am so thankful Dhara took the time to talk with me.
After my second baby was born, the stitches from my delivery were healing in a way that concerned my OB. She wanted to do surgery to open them back up and re-stitch the area. That sounded like the last thing I wanted to do with a 6 week old at home so I asked if I could talk to Dhara first before making a decision. I'm so glad I waited because Dhara took one look and said "oh yeah, we can fix this!". After a few appointments with Dhara, my OB saw a vast improvement and said "now this is why I love Dhara!" No surgery needed :)
Now that I have been working with Dhara for so long, I can't believe more people do not know about her. In my mind I feel like postpartum care like Dhara provides should be mandatory for new moms. Being pregnant and delivering a baby causes so many changes in your body - many of which are not talked about so it can be shocking and confusing when it happens. Dhara provides a place of learning and healing and I could not imagine going through either of my pregnancy journeys without her.