Interstitial Cystitis Treatment in Grand Rapids!

Interstitial Cystitis Treatment in Grand Rapids. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Are you searching for Interstitial Cystitis Treatment in Grand Rapids?  Have you considered pelvic floor physical therapy?  It just might be the key to getting you back to your happy self!

We provide expert Interstitial Cystitis Treatment in Grand Rapids and our pelvic floor physical therapy can be a key part of helping you feel like yourself.  Do you remember the person you once were, before IC/BPS came into your life? The person who laughed easily, never considered where the closest bathroom option might be, the person who ordered any food that looked delicious without concern?  Are you tired of your bladder causing embarrassing interruptions in your workday?  Are you wanting peace of mind so you don’t have to worry about your bladder all the time?  Are you feeling constant lower abdominal pain and don’t know where to go to get relief?  Have you been to multiple providers who don’t seem to be able to get you better?  Do you want to be able to play with your kids and enjoy your family without being short-tempered due to being in pain?    There is hope, you can get your IC/BPS under control, your pain can improve and you can get back to being in a good mood, feeling like yourself again.

At Purple Mountain Physical Therapy we specialize in treating IC/BPS and all pelvic pain conditions.  We provide you clinical expertise and therapeutic treatment to help you overcome your chronic IC/BPS pain and bladder dysfunction.  If you are struggling with interstitial cystitis and would like to have a person on your team who knows how to help you to feel better, give us a call today at 616-516-4334 or click here for our contact info! We understand the challenges of living with Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder Pain Syndrome) because we have more than 20 years’ experience treating women and men who have IC/BPS. We have heard you and we know you need relief and a meaningful path forward so you can feel more like yourself. One thing we hear over and over from patients is “I wish I had known about you sooner” and that they had no idea that the right kind of pelvic floor physical therapy would help them so much.  Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT practiced for over 20 years in Chicago and is pleased to offer Interstitial Cystitis treatment in Grand Rapids, serving the West Michigan community with this top level, effective pelvic floor physical therapy treatment.

Our Treatment is based in the gold standard Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Urological Association.  This is why we are the Interstitial Cystitis Experts in Grand Rapids.  If you want expert pelvic floor physical therapy, you have found it.  

The American Urological Association published treatment guidelines for IC/BPS based on the best evidence available to help you.  This guideline is a focused road map detailing the systematic steps you should take to get proper treatment for your IC/BPS.  The treatments begin with what is called “First Line Treatments”, progress to include second line, third line, fourth line, fifth line and sixth line. Your treatment should begin with the First Line treatments, which are more conservative, educational, cost effective and usually impart no risk. As you progress towards Sixth Line treatments, you are incurring more risk, for things like surgery, and expenses are higher. For most people, a blend of multiple treatment interventions is best.

As part of our pelvic health physical therapy program to treat your interstitial cystitis, we include First- and Second-Line treatments into your care. The Interstitial Cystitis Treatment Guidelines state that First Line treatment includes:

  • Education regarding normal bladder function, self-care habits and behavioral modifications.
  • Education regarding the IC/BPS condition.
  • Coping techniques and the value of stress management.
  • Available treatment options and their risks or benefits.
  • Discussion that multiple therapeutic interventions is often optimal and trial of various options may be necessary.

The Second Line Treatments that we provide our Interstitial Cystitis patients are the specific myofascial manual therapy techniques noted in the guideline as well as manual therapy techniques for pain relief.

Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT has years of experience and advanced training using these techniques and knows how to best evaluate her patients to determine where to treat, how to treat and what to treat. The myofascial manual therapy techniques referenced in The Guideline are based on the work of Dr. Rhonda Kotarinos, DPT and are a compilation of several myofascial and manual therapy methods and techniques that have been researched in a nationwide National Institute of Health study specifically examining Dr. Kotarinos’ methods for providing physical therapy to help people who have interstitial cystitis.  Dr. Kotarinos and Dr. O’Keefe worked together, in the same office, for years. Dr. O’Keefe had the good fortune of learning from Dr. Kotarinos and treating complex pelvic pain conditions and severe bladder conditions, including Interstitial Cystitis.

If you are interested in receiving this Gold Standard Care, Contact us Today!

Here’s a complete list of the Interstitial Cystitis Guideline Second-Line Treatments:

  • Myofascial manual physical therapy techniques to resolve pelvic, abdominal and hip muscular trigger points, lengthen muscle contractures, and to release painful scars and other connective tissue restrictions. Treatment to address pelvic floor tenderness and high tone. Avoidance of pelvic floor Kegel strengthening exercises. (Evidence Strength Grade A)
  • Multimodal pain management such as manual therapy techniques (Physical Therapy provides these), pharmaceuticals and stress management. (Expert Opinion)
    Amitriptyline, Cimetidine, Hydroxyzine or Pentosan Polysulfate are second-line oral medications (Evidence B, B, C and B)
  • DMSO, heparin or lidocaine are second-line intravesical treatments. (Evidence C, C & B)

If you would like to see the complete guideline, it can be found here:

What should you expect during  your physical therapy appointment? 

We understand it can take courage and a leap of faith to embark upon pelvic floor physical therapy for IC/BPS.  Rest assured, when you meet Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT you will find a compassionate and understanding place to receive your care, in a comfortable and therapeutic environment.   The best place to begin is with you telling me your story.  Most importantly, I want to get to know you, to understand your goals, your lifestyle, the activities and relationships that you want to improve once your interstitial cystitis has calmed down.  I give you ample time to tell me the details of your condition, to understand what makes it better and worse, to cover the therapies that you’ve tried and what has worked and not worked.   I am inquisitive because I’m trying to put the pieces of your puzzle together and I’ve learned over the years to look for certain clues that your experience will reveal to me that help point me in certain treatment directions. This problem solving and clinical wisdom is the hallmark of a good pelvic health physical therapist and it takes years to develop. We are like detectives, gently, yet doggedly discovering what your body needs to begin the process of restoring, recovering and rebalancing. We evaluate, develop a treatment plan, implement the treatment plan and assess your response to the treatment continuously and then modify and adjust as needed. Our evaluation is ongoing and continuous because your body’s needs today may differ from your body’s needs last week.

At Purple Mountain Physical Therapy we are here to get you results.  This means your appointments are a full 55 minutes long, so that we have time to treat both the external myofascial tissues and the internal myofascial tissues that are contributing to your condition.  You can expect your treatment may include your abdomen, low back, thoracic spine, hips and thighs.  Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy involves very gentle examination and treatment of the multiple layers of the pelvic muscles.  We will be working together to improve blood flow to all of these areas, to create space for the nerves, to ease fascial restrictions, to release trigger points and muscle spasms and to calm down the bladder.  We also include nervous system calming techniques to help dial back the pain and urinary frequency and urgency.  We use therapeutic exercise and fascial flow movements to address your tightness, weakness and muscle imbalances.  You will receive a lot of education regarding what is being found, why we are treating it, what you should expect to feel during and after an appointment and what you need to do between appointments to optimize your recovery.

Our patients often tell us following an appointment that they feel much better.

Following your treatment, we want you to monitor your body, to notice changes, to implement the strategies and changes suggested and to work on specific exercises that your body has revealed could help you.  When you choose Purple Mountain Physical Therapy for your care, you are choosing to feel better, to get results, to move forward with your life, to feel hope again.  I am thrilled to offer this effective Interstitial Cystitis Treatment in Grand Rapids.  These treatments are life-enhancing.  Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT is here to serve you and to help you discover that there is hope for you. That you can feel better. That life can be joyful and free from the worry that your bladder is going to ruin your day.  If you do not live in the West Michigan region and would like Dr. O’Keefe’s input on your condition, you can also schedule a telehealth visit by calling our office at 616-56-4334.

Call today to schedule your evaluation and begin to feel hope again! 616-516-4334

Keep your eye out for additional articles about interstitial cystitis physical therapy and pelvic floor physical therapy right here in Grand Rapids. For example, why do the guidelines specifically call out Kegels and advise against them? Can interstitial cystitis cause back pain? Why do some people have bloating with IC? Can IC contribute to painful sex? If you have specific questions you’d like us to write about, send us an email to: and we will do our best to help you out!

Author:   Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT   Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in pelvic pain, bladder, bowel and sexual health.