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
“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.