Bladder Physical Therapy Near Grand Rapids

Bladder Physical Therapy

If you are looking for Bladder Physical Therapy near Grand Rapids and would like the best care available, you have found the right place.

Our patients travel from all over Michigan and surrounding states to receive their treatment with us because we have been doing this for years and our comprehensive and advanced treatment methods work.

Some people call us Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists

Other people call us Pelvic Health Physical Therapists

We may be called Bladder Physical Therapists

We could be called a Pelvic Physical Therapist

Sometimes we are called a Women’s Health Physical Therapist

Other times we call ourselves Specialists in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

All of these labels simply let you know that we are Doctors of Physical Therapy who have completed advanced post-doctoral training specific to pelvic health, which involves bladder, bowel, intimacy, pain and prolapse related issues.

At Purple Mountain PT because we specialize in bladder physical therapy right here in Grand Rapids and offer difficult-to-find expertise and treatment methods to help your bladder.   As pelvic health physical therapy specialists, we have knowledge about all the areas of the body.  This is because the pelvic floor, bladder and bowel have connections to the hips, spine, thighs, calves and feet, shoulder blades, diaphragm, rib cage and thoracic spine.  Therefore, a bladder physical therapist is truly an expertly trained orthopedic physical therapist who knows the specifics of how to help your bladder.

Bladder physical therapy will help optimize your bladder’s ability to fill up, hold urine without leaking, empty and have no pain!

Our patients come to us with problems related to any portion of the bladder function.  Common complaints we treat include

  • Stress  urinary incontinence:  the involuntary loss of urine when laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising
  • Urge urinary incontinence:  the involuntary loss of urine because you cannot get to the bathroom soon enough
  • Mixed urinary incontinence:  you have loss of urine that might involve both stress and urge incontinence
  • Insensible urinary incontinence:  Loss of urine simply happens, not necessary related to any activities or having a full bladder
  • Urinary retention:  you cannot empty your bladder at all.  Or you can only partially empty your bladder.  You may need to self catheterize
  • Urinary frequency:  You need to urinate more often than every 2-4 hours
  • Urinary urgency:  You experience sudden urges to urinate and cannot hold it long
  • Nocturia:  A person wakes up at night to urinate. This disrupts sleep.
  • Painful urination:  You feel pain anywhere in your abdomen or pelvis before, during or after peeing.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections:  You keep getting infections and don’t know why.  We find you may have incomplete emptying of your bladder that is related to dysfunctional voiding and pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Slow urinary stream:  you hear other people’s urinations in a public restroom and you are jealous, it sounds so much stronger than yours.  Your stream may stop and start.
  • Straining to urinate:  You must push your urine out, it won’t come on its own.
  • Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome:  You have a combination of pain and urinary frequency and urgency.  You may feel miserable.

As Pelvic Health Physical Therapy specialistis, we partner with you to identify how we can best optimize your bladder function

If you are wondering what does a bladder physical therapist do, the easiest way to explain it is that we help restore your bladder’s ability to function.  We do this using a combination of hands-on treatment directed anywhere from your neck to your toes and exercise based treatments designed to optimize the coordination and timing of your bladder control.

Our evaluation and treatment is holistic and designed to address all contributing factors in your bladder dysfunction.  These may include

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction:  including high tone pelvic floor, weakness, tightness
  • Impaired timing and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles
  • Improper breathing mechanics that strain the bladder
  • Low back and hip contributions to your bladder condition
  • Postural contributions to your bladder condtiion
  • Fascia restrictions in viscerosomatic convergence areas related to your bladder.  These include your thoracic spine, lower back, hips, thighs and abdominal wall.
  • Scar tissue that is impairing  your bladder.  This may be related to prior pelvic surgeries, endometriosis, pregnancy or postpartum injuries or trauma.
  • Food sensitivities
  • Bowel contributions:  an unhealthy bowel can set off a bladder and disrupt optimal bladder control.  If you have diarrhea, IBS, constipation or other bowel condition, we would like to partner with you to address this.
  • Non-optimal habits with exercise/fitness/running/jumping that overload the pelvic floor and overwhelm your bladder control system

If you choose to come for bladder physical therapy, we will partner with you and create a therapy plan customized to your body’s needs.

Our patients tell us that this has been the most important thing they have done for themselves.  Purple Mountain Physical Therapy provides expert bladder physical therapy here in Grand Rapids and the results we get for our patients help them live an active and full life again.  By getting high quality bladder physical therapy, they find their mood improves.  Their ability to be active improves.  They feel more like themselves again.  Research backs up our clinical experience, as well. This research article showed that high quality bladder physical therapy improved both quality of life and also reduced severity of urinary incontinence.

We understand that sometimes the idea of starting a new therapy is overwhelming and you don’t even know what to expect.  We wrote an article detailing what to expect at your first appointment, so you may be interested in reading that.

We treat women, men and kids who have bladder problems. And our treatment methods are specific to each person’s needs.  We do NOT simply apply “women’s health” bladder physical therapy treatment to a child or a man.  No, we are trained in the specifics of pediatric needs, male needs and female needs.

Male bladder needs are different than female.  Your pelvis tends towards getting tense/tight and your prostate may be contributing to your problems.

For example, a man’s bladder needs are similar to, but different than, a woman’s.  Our male-specific training gives a male exactly the right type of care.  We know how to rehabilitate a man post-prostatectomy, for example.

Pediatric bladder needs require specific training for kiddos. We offer that!

Pediatric bladder patients often benefit external treatment methods and exercises that may help them practice and learn how to listen to the signal of their body, address underlying constipation and direct their mindfulness to feeling when they need to urinate.  We use positive, encouraging methods with all of our patients and find our developmentally appropriate methods for little ones creates an uplifting and encouraging experience for them.

Women’s bladder needs are also unique.  We understand pelvic organ prolapse, pregnancy and postpartum recovery, female specific challenges across the lifespan.

You will receive customized treatment that addresses your unique needs.  Bladder physical therapy won’t work if we simply gave you cookie-cutter treatment.  At Purple Mountain Physical Therapy, we are devoted to clinical excellence for you, so that you get results.  That’s why we have established that each appointment is upto 55 minutes long, (not shorter than that, like you would get elsewhere), because our clinical experience has taught us that we must give you a full, complete treatment at each visit to get you the results.

If you are interested in learning more, call our office at 616.516.4334.  We are located at 847 Parchment Drive SE Grand Rapids, Michigan; this is near the I-96 and Cascade Road exit.  We have convenient parking and a warm, welcoming staff.  We are here to serve you and meet your needs.


Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT