Jamie Justice, PT, WCS recently attended a continuing education class in November at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston. The class, titled Finding the Driver in Pelvic Pain, was an advanced level class to help physical therapists sharpen diagnostic skills when finding the main source of chronic pelvic pain. Jamie has her board certification in women’s health physical therapy, and has 11 years experience treating pelvic floor dysfunction. Please read on to find our some of Jamie’s thoughts from the class.
Recently, I attended a continuing education course called Finding the Driver in Pelvic Pain at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston. Since I began specializing in pelvic floor physical therapy 11 years ago, the field has continued to evolve and expand, playing a vital role in helping people heal from a wide variety of conditions. I left the course reflecting on how far the field has come in this time, feeling even more energized about my work helping women and men with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Still, most people don’t know what pelvic floor therapy is, let alone understand how this type of therapy has grown. This therapy centers on pelvic floor dysfunction–a fancy way of saying your pelvic floor muscles are not working correctly. This group of muscles surrounds the outlets for the bladder, rectum and (in women) the vagina. If these muscles are too tense, or too weak, this can lead to an assortment of problems. Bladder leakage, urgency, constipation, vaginal pain, and pain with sexual intercourse comprise just a few common issues that may be due to pelvic floor dysfunction. By treating the pelvic floor muscles themselves, we can often improve these sensitive issues.
Beyond these concerns, orthopedic physical therapists are now beginning to realize the impact the pelvic floor has on the core and the rest of the body. This therapy is not just about bladder and bowel problems. As pelvic floor specialists, we often know how to treat the key factor in lower back or hip pain that just won’t go away. We may understand why you continue to have tailbone pain years after you broke your tailbone as a kid. The key: pelvic floor muscle fibers insert directly with certain hip muscles; they work in parallel with your respiratory diaphragm; they support and stabilize your spine along with your abdominal muscles. We find a strong correlation between women that have hip pain and painful intercourse. The pelvic floor muscles are the link.
Finding the Driver in Pelvic Pain confirmed to me that we are doing something right at Creative Therapeutics–we look at the whole body when we treat your source of pain. Our advanced level of knowledge of the pelvic floor muscle group allows us to do that even better with chronic pelvic pain, which can affect not just the pelvis but the hips, buttocks and lower back.