Yes, I said it, urinary incontinence! I know it’s not the most glamorous subject, but it is a familiar term to many men and women. Have you ever laughed, coughed, or sneezed and felt something “leak” out? Have you ever had to the use the restroom so bad, only to not make it in time?? Has this left you feeling anxious, worried, or embarrassed? If so, we have great news, a Pelvic Floor Therapist can work to relieve these symptoms, without surgery, getting you back to the things you love!
Pelvic floor therapy is a branch of physical therapy that manages conditions related to the pelvis. Just like any muscle in the body, pelvic muscles can become tight, weak, or imbalanced. When this happens, it results in urinary or fecal leakage, pelvic pain, painful intercourse and more.
Stress incontinence (SUI) is the most common form of incontinence and is typically experienced by women but it can also occur in men after a prostatectomy. Stress incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine with coughing, sneezing, running, heavy lifting or jumping and is often a result of weakness and/or discoordinated pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles at the base of the pelvis that provide support to the organs, aid in pelvic stability, and help maintain continence.
Physical changes that can increase the likelihood of SUI include:
Now, let's get to the good news! Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can restore function, improve muscular support around the pelvis and retrain body movements to allow for optimal structural and organ function. We do this through a variety of techniques, which varies for each individual case based on patient history and symptoms. Please reach out to your local pelvic floor therapist for a consultation to learn more about your specific options.
What to expect during your pelvic floor therapy appointments
Due to the sensitive nature of this area, a compassionate and trauma-informed approach should be taken by your pelvic floor specialist. Your initial consultation should include a careful interview and discussion about your experience, including an account of symptoms as well as medical history and lifestyle.
To complete your assessment your pelvic floor specialist will look at posture, breathing, and pelvic alignment. With consent, they will do an external and internal vaginal and/or rectal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles . During this part of the exam they are looking for strength, endurance, tension, trigger points, and coordination of these muscles.
Treatment sessions may include myofascial and trigger point release, visceral mobilization, biofeedback, e-stimulation, and Pilates-based rehabilitation. Education on lifestyle and behavioral strategies that are shared will compliment your therapy.
Physical Therapists specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation offer highly effective, non-surgical treatments to relieve symptoms. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems impossible these days to turn on the news or even have a conversation with a friend, without the topic of healthcare costs coming up. According to the health insurance index report from eHealth, the nation’s largest private online health insurance exchange, the average family premium (without subsidies) is $1,021 which is 23 percent higher than the average in 2016 and the average annual deductible for families was $8,352 in 2017 up 5% from 2016. Now, take into consideration that a large number of healthy families will never meet these high deductibles. We are then, receiving care based on the terms negotiated by the insurance companies and still paying out of pocket trying to reach that high deductible.
These numbers are a painful reality for many Americans and the level of care is often less than impressive. As we all come to terms with this new reality, we are forced to take a more focused approach to our healthcare needs. With that, comes truly understanding our benefits and when they are actually working for us. Today I want to talk about the questions we should be asking to make sure we are really benefiting from using our benefits!
When choosing a doctor to be a part of our healthcare team, we typically consider the 4 pillars below
The two that create the most confusion, especially when comparing in-network vs out-of-network are price and quality of care.
Price is often the trickiest of the four to determine. Have you ever had a spouse on a different healthcare plan? If so, you have probably experienced something along the lines of going to the same optometrist for the exact same eye exam and receiving significantly different bills. What you pay is dictated by how well your insurance company has negotiated that particular service with that particular provider. So, what questions do we ask and where do we direct those questions, to prevent this from happening?
If it has been recommended that you see a Physical Therapist, we suggest you contact your insurance company and walk through your benefits with them and then call the PT’s you are considering and ask the below questions:
Ask your insurance provider:
Ask potential Physical Therapists
When comparing pricing, one thing you cannot forget to consider is quality of care. For example will you be receiving a one-hour session where 100% of your time is spent with a Doctor of Physical Therapy? This level of service allows for faster healing times and less visits. Progressively worsening reimbursement rates and pressure from insurance companies are creating incomplete and insufficient care. In-Network providers have to see at least 2 patients per hour, leaving technicians and assistance to provide most of the patient care. This creates the need for more treatments, sometimes up to 3 per week. A focused treatment plan with dedicated time with your PT is almost always the most effective treatment option.
After considering these factors as well as answering the above questions, most patients find it is in their best interest to choose a provider based on quality of care and the providers reputation in the marketplace, not whether or not the provider is in-network.
In-Network does not always mean IN YOUR best interest. Quality of care should be the number one priority when it comes to your health. Coverage and pricing should not be so confusing, but unfortunately, it is the nature of our healthcare system today. If you have any questions as you determine the best avenue for care, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Dr. Jennifer McCauley, PT, DPT, OCS, is a co-owner at Inspire Physical Therapy and Wellness. She graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2008. She is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and has also completed advanced training in Graston technique, Kinesio taping, Pelvic Floor Therapy through Herman and Wallace and Movement Links. Jennifer is a gifted teacher and healer. Her approach to care incorporates manual therapy, pilates-based rehab, and DNS to help eliminate pain, restore function, and enhance athletic performance. She is able to treat a variety of orthopedic, sport, and pelvic health patients. Her extensive “toolbox of tricks” helps her patients to not only recover from injury, but to thrive, living life to its fullest.