Section: Highlights

Pelvic Health: Leave Your Symptoms Behind

04/04/2016
Pelvic Health: Leave Your Symptoms Behind

Pelvic floor rehabilitation: a phrase that a decade ago was almost unknown, yet today is one of the most promising and important areas of women’s health.

Our team of highly-experienced physical therapists specialize in helping women successfully overcome a wide range of pelvic floor issues, from incontinence to pelvic pain.

For some, the symptoms are new, caused by the birth of a baby, surgery or simple muscle weakness. For others, their symptoms — including bladder issues, bowel disorders, pelvic and back pain — have diminished their quality of life for years.

“Whether from embarrassment or misdiagnosis, pelvic floor problems too often go unidentified and untreated, with many women believing they must simply live with it,” says Marina Leontiev, DPT, PT, MHA, who has specialized in women’s pelvic health for 20 years.

The pelvic floor is a combination of muscles, ligaments and connective tissues that support the bladder and other pelvic organs. Weakness or tightness in these muscles, as well as scar tissue and a variety of medical conditions, can create pain or loss of bladder or bowel control “Symptoms as diverse as back pain and urinary frequency can be successfully treated by restoring strength and balance to the pelvic floor,” Leontiev explains.

One recent convert to the benefits of pelvic floor therapy is Susan Cook, 62, who kept going to her doctor thinking she had a bladder infection before eventually being diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (a chronic inflammation of the bladder lining). While the pain would come and go, at its peak it was 24 hours a day.

The active and otherwise healthy Chino Hills resident began individualized therapy to relax hypertensive muscles while strengthening weak ones, which included biofeedback and myofascial release.

“After every session with Marina I felt better with less pain,” explains Susan. “Now I’m back to climbing on the playground equipment with my grandson.”

Linda Nowell, 67, was referred by her doctor to St. Jude’s Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation after a partial hysterectomy and bladder repair, to correct the adhesions and restrictions often caused by scar tissue following a surgery. Her first thought: What in the world is pelvic floor rehabilitation?

“It helped so much, I honestly hated to see the sessions end,” explains the grandmother of three who says she wishes more women understood and took advantage of the benefits of pelvic floor therapy. “I learned so much about keeping my body healthy and strong — and the therapists were not only knowledgeable experts, but very nurturing and compassionate.”

If you suffer from incontinence, pain or pelvic floor disorders, talk to your doctor or call us at (714) 578-8720, visit stjudemedicalcenter.org/pelvicfloor.

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