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Treating Uterine Prolapse without Surgery: The PFPT Approach

Treating Uterine Prolapse without Surgery

Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) is the first step in treating uterine prolapse without surgery. Rigorous research shows a clear benefit of physical therapy as a first-line treatment for specific women’s health issues. In the PFPT approach, the physical therapist gives instruction on muscle strengthening, relaxation, and coordination exercises. Strategies also include manual therapy, biofeedback, and home exercises.

How do you fix a prolapsed uterus without surgery?

PFPT is the first-line treatment for uterine prolapse. A trained therapist can develop an effective treatment plan in most cases. However, surgery should be a last resort if less invasive treatments were unsuccessful or severe symptoms affect daily life.

What Causes Uterine Prolapse?

Uterine prolapse happens when weak pelvic floor muscles allow the uterus to descend into the vagina. This abnormal descent can cause a feeling of heaviness or fullness in the pelvic region. It can also cause back pain and problems using the restroom. Causes include:

  • Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth 
  • Weakening of pelvic muscles and tissue with advanced age and menopause
  • Conditions that put additional strain on the abdomen and pelvic area including obesity, chronic cough, and constipation.
  • Major surgery that causes decreased support in the pelvic region.

Is Treating Uterine Prolapse with PFPT Effective?

In 2014, the International Consultation on Incontinence report cited level 1, grade A evidence supporting the effectiveness of physical therapy in treating uterine prolapse. For example, a large study found PFPT improved prolapse symptoms after 12 months compared to those who received an educational leaflet or no treatment. Likewise, women who participated in a large Norwegian study showed improvement after pelvic floor muscle training under the supervision of a physical therapist. In addition, a meta-analysis published in the International Urogynecological Journal concluded that patients who received PFPT subjectively and objectively improved their pelvic organ prolapse symptoms and severity. 

Treating Uterine Prolapse without Surgery 

Uterine prolapse is not going away on its own. The best scenario is to treat it early and avoid surgery. Physical therapy can prevent pelvic organ prolapse from worsening and correct underlying causes. Pelvic floor muscle training such as Kegels strengthens the supporting structures around the uterus. An additional treatment option includes support pessaries—flexible devices inserted into the vagina. 

Physical Therapy for Uterine Prolapse

Physical therapy takes a multi-faceted approach to treatment. First, the therapist assesses the patients’ symptoms and lifestyle to develop an individual plan. The therapist begins with patient education, teaching them to avoid heavy lifting, reduce intra-abdominal pressure and engage core muscles when coughing, sneezing, and laughing. PT also includes core strengthening exercises and pelvic floor muscle training.

At COR, we have experts on staff to create and implement PFPT treatment plans. If your patients are interested in treating uterine prolapse without surgery, contact our referral office at 201-833-1333.

Enjoy the Run, Stop the Leakage: Physical Therapy for Runners’ Incontinence

Physical Therapy for Runners' Incontinence

Does going for a jog always make you need to pee? You’re not alone—over 40 percent of female athletes experience urinary incontinence. Fear not! The problem is usually treatable with specifically designed physical therapy for runners’ incontinence. 

Why do I need to pee every time I run?

Physical activity, such as running, puts pressure on the bladder, which may lead to leakage. This can occur when muscles of the pelvic floor, which work to support the bladder and reduce leakage, are weak or inefficient. Runners’ incontinence can happen to anyone at any age. However, it is most common in women, especially after vaginal delivery.

Let’s Talk about Urinary Incontinence

Most women don’t want to talk about leakage. Even though runners’ incontinence is uncomfortable and frustrating, 95% of athletes don’t speak to their doctor. Instead, they use the restroom before running to avoid leakage. Even with preventative urination, the problem can affect overall athletic performance. The good news is: you don’t have to live with leakage—effective treatments are available. 

Physical Therapy for Runners’ Incontinence 

With the help of physical therapy, you can learn to gain control over your symptoms and reduce the need for pads and medical interventions. A physical therapist can create an individualized treatment program based on your needs. The PT may help with pelvic floor muscle coordination and bladder habits. The PT may also work to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles through specifically designed exercises. In addition, your PT will talk you through how to sense the movement of your pelvic floor and improve bladder control. Some methods include:

  • Bladder training/ behavioral modification – The therapist may use a “bladder diary” to learn about bladder habits. You may then learn various methods to improve bladder retention and urine emptying to improve function.
  • Kegels — These exercises involve tightening and releasing your pelvic muscles as if you are trying to stop urine flow. 
  • Strengthening Exercises — Specific exercises build muscle strength for surrounding muscles that support bladder function. It is difficult for many people to perform kegels correctly; a pelvic floor physical therapist can help. 
  • Biofeedback — Depending on your level of comfort, your PT may gently employ electrodes to measure muscle activity and give insight into how to best use your pelvic floor muscles. 

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we have expert PTs who know best practices when it comes to physical therapy for runners’ incontinence. Let’s talk about peeing. Schedule an appointment today.

The Importance of High-Quality Postoperative Physical Therapy

High-Quality Postoperative Physical Therapy

What a patient does after surgery is almost as crucial as the operation itself. The procedure lasts a few hours, but the rehabilitation takes months. High-quality postoperative physical therapy is crucial for restoring mobility and strength. Therapy only works when done correctly. Improper healing could make the area worse and lead to complications. When referring to post-op PT, providers want to know that their patients are getting the best care possible. 

Why is physical therapy important after surgery?

Improper exercises put increased strain on the joint. The healing process slows, and range of motion can diminish over time. Those who don’t engage properly in post-op rehab may see atrophy of supporting muscles and soft tissue. 

The Importance of Personalized Support

Physical therapy improves overall health following an operation. Personalized support means proper healing and faster recovery times. Patients who actively participate in their rehabilitation process have better outcomes than those who don’t. A good PT teaches patients the best recovery methods and helps them maintain wellness over time. 

Consistency is key. When patients see the same PT every time, their progress is monitored and tracked by a single provider. The therapist and patient get to know each other and develop a therapeutic relationship. Each learns to trust that the other is working hard to contribute to the treatment’s success. Over time, patients will return to their daily lives better than before. 

Evidence-based Best Practices

High caliber PTs integrate the best available evidence, clinical expertise and patient values into post-op care. Clinicians who provide the best care for patients will take the time to find and apply the latest research. Moreover, knowledge and skill are a key aspect of evidence-based practice. 

Each PT has a unique body of knowledge. A clinician’s education, training, and competency all factor into their quality of care. Taking the patient’s needs and wants into account is an important part of care following surgery. A skilled PT will consider the person’s values, culture, and needs when developing a comprehensive treatment plan. 

Common Types of Surgery Requiring Postoperative Physical Therapy

Any type of surgery can be traumatic for the mind and body. So, patients  need excellent post-op care especially following joint replacements. Common types of surgery that require physical therapy include:

  • Total Knee Arthroplasty
  • Total Hip Arthroplasty
  • Shoulder Labral repair
  • Spinal Laminectomy and/or Fusion
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Meniscus Repair
  • Knee Arthroscopy for various problems

        Total Shoulder 

         Replacement 

Benefits of High-Quality Postoperative Physical Therapy 

A carefully supervised rehabilitation plan is crucial. Therapy helps patients reduce pain quickly and avoid relying on opioids. It also improves emotional and psychological states. Exercise releases endorphins that improve mood. Plus, having the support and encouragement of a PT means patients don’t feel like they are recovering alone. Other significant benefits include:

  • Improved circulation and reduction in swelling
  • Reduced risk of postoperative pulmonary complication
  • Faster recovery time and return to prior level of function
  • Balance and coordination training
  • Gait analysis and instruction in proper mechanics
  • Manual therapy
  • Self-care education
  • Home exercise instruction

The COR Difference 

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we create treatment plans specific to each patient. Our trained PTs have in-depth knowledge of the different types of orthopedic surgery. In addition, we understand the importance of continuity of care. At COR, patients see the same PT every time they come in. If your patients need high-quality postoperative physical therapy, call our office at 201-833-1333.

Bladder After Baby: Physical Therapy for Postpartum Urinary Incontinence

Physical Therapy for Postpartum Urinary Incontinence

Millions of women struggle with incontinence following childbirth. Physical therapy for postpartum urinary incontinence can improve the quality of life for these mothers. For some, pelvic floor dysfunction limits their daily activities, including caring for baby. Many women don’t feel comfortable talking about bladder problems. They try to juggle taking care of a newborn while wearing heavy pads, rushing to the bathroom, and bracing for coughs.

Will my bladder go back to normal after pregnancy?

Postpartum incontinence does not always clear up on its own. If left untreated, it can get worse over time. If symptoms persist following delivery, mothers should seek further treatment in order to regain bladder control.

Types of Incontinence after Childbirth

Not all cases of postpartum incontinence are the same. For example, women who delivered vaginally have different needs than those who had a c-section. The two most common types of bladder issues are stress incontinence and urge incontinence. 

  • Stress Incontinence —Bladder leaks caused by pressure on the abdomen from sneezing, laughing, exercising, etc. This is common following vaginal childbirth. 
  • Urge Incontinence — The sudden, strong desire to urinate associated with leakage. Scar tissue from c-sections can pull on the bladder and make women need to go more frequently.

Physical Therapy for Postpartum Urinary Incontinence 

A physical therapist can help you control your symptoms and reduce the need for pads, medication, or surgery. Kegel exercises are often prescribed for postpartum incontinence, however, this is just one piece of the puzzle. Because conditions vary from person to person, the PT will create an individualized treatment plan. Interventions include:

  • Education — learning to sense the pelvic floor muscles and how to do home exercises.
  • Kegel exercises — strengthening pelvic muscles by squeezing then releasing.
  • Biofeedback — gentle electrodes that monitor muscle activity check if exercises are correct.
  • Core exercises — strengthening your abdomen is vital to supporting the pelvic area. 
  • Lifestyle changes — Maintaining a healthy bathroom schedule and avoiding food, drinks, and activities that may exacerbate symptoms.

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we have experts on staff who specialize in pelvic floor and women’s health issues. If you need physical therapy for postpartum urinary incontinence, give us a call at 201-833-1333.

Physical Therapy for Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

 Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Living with arthritis can be a nightmare—pain and stiffness prevent you from opening the jelly jar in the morning, or your knees burn as you climb the stairs for bed each night. Fortunately, Physical therapy for arthritis relieves symptoms and slows disease progression. The physical therapist works to alleviate aching, stiff joints through manual therapy, targeted exercises, hot and cold therapy, and massage.

How effective is physical therapy for arthritis pain?

Physical therapy is highly effective in relieving pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. In a study published in the Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal, patients who received clinical treatment improved twice as much as those who did home exercise.

Arthritis Types and Causes

Arthritis refers to a couple of different conditions characterized by joint pain and range of motion difficulty. While the symptoms are similar, the causes differ. For example, Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes painful swelling that often feels worse in the morning or after rest. On the other hand, osteoarthritis comes from the wear and tear of the cartilage lining the joints and irritation of soft joint tissue. Different types of arthritis require individual treatment plans. A PT can help identify and alleviate the causes of pain based on the patients’ needs. 

Symptoms of Arthritis 

Arthritis can occur in many joints from the shoulders to the feet. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects weight-bearing joints in the knees and hips. In comparison, rheumatoid arthritis starts in the fingers and toes and migrates to larger joints such as ankles, knees, elbows, and hips. Moderate to severe arthritis can impair your ability to complete activities of daily living such as bathing, cooking, and walking. Early signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Reduced range of motion

Arthritis Treatments

Stretching, massage, and physical therapy are the least invasive treatments for arthritis. Other interventions include medication such as anti-inflammatories, steroids, and/or immunosuppressives for rheumatoid. Extremely severe cases of each type may require joint replacement surgery. Physical therapy is often the preferred treatment for arthritis because it is most effective and least invasive in the early stages of the disease. 

Physical Therapy for Arthritis 

The most significant benefit of working with a physical therapist is individualized treatment plans. Medications treat all pain the same—they treat  the symptoms rather than treating the cause. In contrast, physical therapy has the tools to provide targeted solutions to each individual’s pain. Manual therapy, hot and cold therapy, and therapeutic massage can dramatically improve the range of motion for most arthritis patients. 

Getting Help for Arthritis Pain

Is chronic joint pain impacting your life? It’s time to talk to a PT about tailored treatment options. If you need physical therapy for arthritis, schedule an appointment with one of our expert therapists today. 

Increased Time Spent in Physical Therapy Improves Outcomes

Time Spent in Physical Therapy

The amount of time patients spend with their Physical Therapist makes a huge difference when it comes to healing. Increased time spent in physical therapy sessions correlates with improved recovery rates. Patients have better outcomes when the PT gives time and attention to provide quality care and education. Rehabilitation outcomes and patient satisfaction increase when patients spend more time with their PT.

How Long Should Physical Therapy Last?

Physical Therapy lasts as long as it takes to reach individual recovery goals. Each case is different, and the amount of PT will depend on the patient’s needs and rate of healing. Factors such as overall time spent in therapy and adherence to home education speed recovery.

Impact on Rehabilitation 

Patients need to spend a lot of time in physical therapy when recovering from injury or surgery. The more time, the better. There is a positive correlation between total therapy time and regaining functional independence. According to a 2021 retrospective study, each additional hour of physical therapy was associated with “an increase of 7.55 functional independence measure (FIM) point gain.” All in all, more time spent in treatment produced improved rehabilitation outcomes. 

Patient Satisfaction

High-quality interactions with the PT improve patient satisfaction. The patient gets the most out of each session when the therapist takes time to explain, instruct, and educate thoroughly. Cost-cutting measures, high patient volume, and care extenders take time away from direct contact with the therapist. A survey published in the Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal found a strong correlation between patient satisfaction and quality interactions with the physical therapist, including spending time with the patient, strong listening skills, and clear explanations of treatment. 

Time Spent in Physical Therapy 

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we spend time getting to know each patient’s needs. Our highly-skilled PTs give each person time and attention. We know that time spent in physical therapy is essential for rehabilitation outcomes and patient satisfaction. Call us at 201-833-1333 to refer patients for treatment.

The Benefits of Manual Therapy for Patients

Benefits of Manual Therapy

Physical therapists employ many hands-on techniques to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal symptoms. Benefits of manual therapy include pain reduction and improved range of motion. Manual therapists use their hands to detect subtle changes in a patient’s muscles and joints to evaluate the causes and pain and restricted movement. This intimate approach allows for treatment tailored to each patient. The personalized methods underlying direct manipulation are designed to meet specific needs.

Is manual therapy effective?

The efficacy of manual therapy is well established for many musculoskeletal issues. However, effectiveness varies based on the type of manipulation and which condition it’s treating. Overall, manual therapy is effective at managing pain and mobility. These hands-on techniques work best when integrated as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Benefits of Manual Therapy

The direct, hands-on treatment provides many advantages for patients suffering from musculoskeletal restrictions. Manual therapy reduces pain and improves mobility. It applies to various conditions, and the diversity of treatments is adaptable to meet patients’ individual needs. 

Improved Mobility and Reduced

After injury or surgery, many patients have difficulty walking, bending, and reaching. Manual techniques can improve range of motion and mobility. The physical therapist carefully examines the patient’s gait, movement patterns, restrictions, and compensatory movement. A combination of hands-on techniques and mobility exercises helps patients return to normal functioning. Manual therapy helps patients move without pain and discomfort. Soft tissue techniques improve blood flow and relieve tension. And passive mobilization reduces pain and swelling around joints. 

Diverse Applications

A significant benefit of manual therapy is the variety of different problems it can help with. Physicians may refer patients to a physical therapist for many joint and muscle conditions. Manual therapists can help drain lymph nodes, reduce edema, and stretch joints. Manual therapy can be an effective treatment for:

Adaptable and Personalized Treatment

The various techniques employed by manual therapists let them target specific problems. Soft tissue mobilization breaks adhesions in the muscles, ligaments, and fascia. These techniques lengthen muscles and tendons, reduce edema, and restore range of motion. Joint mobilization techniques use passive movement to reduce pain and improve mobility. Therapists slowly move joints based on the patient’s condition and pain tolerance. 

Manual Therapy at COR

Manual therapy is a huge part of what we do here at Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation. Our skilled practitioners use their hands to help patients return to pain-free function and improve their quality of life. We offer massage therapy, spinal care, joint rehabilitation, pelvic floor treatments, and many more options that help patients reduce pain and regain their lives. Call us at 201-833-1333 to talk about your patients needs.

Experiencing Pelvic Pain? Try Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

pelvic floor physical therapy

Despite all the tests and scans, many women can’t pinpoint the cause of their pelvic pain. Sometimes it’s misdiagnosed as various gynecological conditions or dismissed as “unexplained pain.” Problems with the pelvic floor muscles, called myofascial pelvic pain, are associated with around 20% of chronic pelvic pain and more than 75% of bladder pain syndrome. Unfortunately, this cause often goes unidentified. Gynecologists often focus on organs, not muscles when diagnosing pelvic issues. Physical therapists can help address the underlying problems using pelvic floor physical therapy.

What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that run from the pubic bone to the tailbone. This “hammock” supports the bladder, bowel, rectum, and uterus. These muscles are essential to elimination control and sexual functioning.

What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

Throughout the lifespan, women can experience pelvic floor dysfunction in the form of symptoms such as urgency, frequency, leaking/incontinence, sexual symptoms such as pain with sex, thinning of vaginal tissue during and post menopause, and bowel symptoms such as constipation, urgency, rectal pain, and incontinence. The musculoskeletal components of these dysfunctions can be addressed by a pelvic health PT specialist.

If you are experiencing pelvic pain, a specially trained PT can design individualized treatment for myofascial pelvic pain. The therapy involves internal and external manipulation of the pelvic floor muscle. While some women may find these methods awkward, a well-trained PT creates a trusting rapport and relaxing atmosphere to help clients feel at ease. 

What to Expect

The first step is learning about the client’s history. The PT and client will have a conversation about medical issues, medications, and sexual/gynecological history. Next, the PT will do an orthopedic evaluation to look at the lumbar, hips, gait, and posture to look for joint issues that could impact the pelvic muscles. An internal pelvic exam can also help determine the best course of action. However, PTs are always sensitive to individual needs and won’t start internal techniques until the client is ready. Each treatment plan is designed to meet the client’s specific goals, such as reconditioning the muscles, improving sexual function, and alleviating pain. Treatments may include:

  • Manual internal and external manipulation
  • Exercises for conditioning, stretching, and relaxation
  • Biofeedback for muscle strengthening 
  • Education in self-management
  • Ice, heat, or electrical stimulation

When to Ask for Help

Chronic pelvic pain is when discomfort below the navel and between the hips persists for six months or longer. The pain may be severe or dull, steady or intermittent. Women may experience sharp cramps or deep pressure. Other times, women have pain during intercourse, while using the toilet, or after sitting or standing for a long time. It may be challenging to know when to seek medical attention. Contact your doctor if the pain lasts six months or longer, disrupts daily life or seems to be getting worse. A medical professional can help diagnose the problem and work with the patient to develop treatments, including medications and pelvic floor physical therapy. 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy at COR

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we care strongly about women’s health conditions. Our doctorate-level female PTs are here to help with issues such as diastasis recti, urinary incontinence and urgency, pregnancy, post-partum, c-section scar restrictions, and painful penetration. If you are suffering from chronic pelvic floor pain or any other women’s health condition, schedule an appointment online today.