Pelvic health: It’s time to talk about it

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Millions of Americans suffer from pelvic floor disorders. Issues including pain and incontinence are widespread and affect men and women of all ages. They may affect your job, school, relationships, sexual health and self-image.

Pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to a variety of symptoms, including incontinence, pain or constipation. Pelvic pain may occur during and after pregnancy or after surgery of the abdomen or pelvis.

The pelvic floor is made up of several layers of muscles that work with your abdominal muscles and diaphragm. It can affect posture and breathing, provide stability of your pelvis during whole body movements and can help with sexual function.

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The National Institutes of Health report that 24 percent of women in the United States are affected with at least one pelvic floor disorder. Despite the frequency of these disorders, it’s a subject that many people are embarrassed about or don’t feel comfortable discussing.

Jaime Rogers, a physical therapist with LMH Health Therapy and Wellness, specializes in therapies designed to improve a patient’s ability to manage pelvic disorders.

“If someone is experiencing symptoms, they should talk to their physician,” Rogers says. After a physical examination, the physician may prescribe therapy, which can be scheduled at LMH Health.

photo by: LMH Health/Contributed Photo

Jaime Rogers, PT, DPT completed her doctorate of physical therapy at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. She has received specialized training through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute to perform pelvic floor physical therapy. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Section on Women’s Health.

“Therapy typically occurs one to two times per week,” Rogers says. “The duration of the therapy depends on how well things are going.”

Many of the causes of pelvic floor dysfunction are unknown, but Rogers says there are preventive measures you can take. Pelvic muscle exercises like Kegel contractions can help. Being aware of your body movement is also key.

“Anything you do where you can be mindful about your body will help you to be more body-aware,” she says. “If you can put your mind to those pieces, that can help you be more aware of how you’re moving and promote the mind-body connection.”

To hear Rogers speak and to learn more about pelvic floor issues and treatments, attend the LMH Healthy Living Series from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the LMH Health Maine Street campus auditorium. There is no cost to attend and no registration is necessary.

— Autumn Bishop is social media and digital communication specialist at LMH Health, which is a major sponsor of the Lawrence Journal-World’s Health section. She can be reached at autumn.bishop@lmh.org.

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