How Do You Know if You Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Let’s clear up the mystery of knowing if you need pelvic floor physical therapy!

Quite often here is limited understanding of what the pelvic floor muscles do and whether these muscles might be a problem.   The pelvic floor muscles are located inside the bones of your pelvis and sit like a hammock inside you.  On top of this hammock you have all of your organs:  bladder, bowel, uterus/prostate.  These organs are supported by the muscles.  The muscles and the organs communicate with each other and work together as partners, so if you have problems in one area (such as your bladder control) you will have problem in the other area (the pelvic floor muscles).  Pelvic floor dysfunction presents itself as pain, bladder, bowel or intimacy problems.

This is a checklist of some common symptoms you may be experiencing that can indicate you have pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

If you have any of these then you know you need pelvic floor physical therapy:

*Pelvic Pain:  Any pain from the abdomen/spine through the pelvis/groin.  This includes mid and lower back pain, SI joint pain, pubic bone pain, groin pain, tailbone pain, abdominal pain.

*Lower Back Pain: This pain gets its own bullet point because research has shown us that people with persistent lower back pain typically also have underlying pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

*All bladder and bowel issues can also have an underlying problem with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.  This could be fecal smearing, unexpected loss of gas, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, painful urination, poor urinary stream, getting up at night to pee.

*Intimacy related struggles:  pain with penetration, pain with erection, pain after intimacy, poor intimacy response, inability to orgasm.

*Pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic heaviness, vaginal and pelvic pressure

*Pelvic muscle weakness, whether you can perceive it or not, is usually happening.  The muscles are commonly stiff, tight, have trigger points and operate slowly and deficiently.  Hence, the laundry list of symptoms here!  Kegels are often not the solution to the problem and, in fact, can make things worse.  So, seek expert care from a pelvic PT if you have any of these symptoms.

If you are interested to learn more about these muscles, here is a link to an article that briefly covers pelvic floor muscle anatomy.  https://www.continence.org.au/about-continence/continence-health/pelvic-floor

If you know you need pelvic floor physical therapy, what should you do?  Call us and we can help!

Well, we are here to help you!  We provide wholistic and comprehensive care to get you results!  Our compassionate, patient-centered treatment will identify underlying issues that are contributing to your problem and will treat each of these things.  This is key to your success!  By providing numerous assessment and treatment methods we can get your symptoms to improve.  We have a lot of techniques to help you improve such as:

  • Myofascial release
  • Trigger point release
  • Joint mobilization
  • Movement pattern restoration
  • Muscle firing and recruitment re-education
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Trigger point dry needling
  • Self-care education and modification of habits/behaviors that contribute to your symptoms
  • Instruction in optimizing nutritional healing to promote relief of symptoms
  • Postural correction and alignment

If you are pregnant or postpartum the pelvic floor muscles and the rest of your body change dramatically during this experience.  Unfortunately in our region of West Michigan pelvic floor physical therapy is not routinely suggested to a pregnant/postpartum person, even though we know that it helps improve how you feel!

At Purple Mountain Physical Therapy we provide a  comprehensive pelvic health physical therapy treatment program special for pregnant and postpartum women!  If you would like to read more about what we do, here is an article we wrote that details one of our postpartum patient’s experiences with us!

Purple Mountain Physical Therapy located in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a specialty pelvic health clinic that serves women and men who have any pelvic condition.  If you are still wondering “how do I know if I need pelvic floor PT?” then give us a call!  We offer a free phone consult to discuss your condition.  Call 616-516-4334 to schedule your free consult.  No problem is too simple or too difficult for us!  We commonly help people who have failed to get results from other interventions.  The men who come to us often have experienced years of pain and/or bladder & intimacy issues that have proven very frustrating, anxiety producing and depressing.  The women who come to us may also have pelvic pain or could be pregnant, struggling with postpartum recovery, have longstanding pelvic floor dysfunction that shows up as urinary incontinence, constipation, pelvic pressure, painful intimacy, “mommy tummy” or weakness in their back.  If any of these resonate with you, give us a call to schedule your free phone consult:  616-516-4334.

What’s holding you back from getting Pelvic Floor PT? All of your concerns addressed here!

We help women and men overcome their pelvic condition, naturally and wholistically, without pain medications, so that they can get back to an active life and have a smile on their face again!

You want results.  You feel uncertain about what pelvic floor PT is and, actually a little intimated by it.  You are also hesitant because your problem is personal and you don’t want to waste your time going to someone who doesn’t know how to help you.

This is your validation that you deserve to feel better and to get rid of your pelvic problem.  And that you have found the right place to receive your pelvic floor PT and help you!   What’s holding you back?

If your hesitation is that you don’t know where to go and who can help you.  Then. Stop. That. Excuse. Right. Here.  We offer expert pelvic floor PT treatments.

At Purple Mountain PT we specialize exclusively in providing wholistic, effective and expert care for pelvic floor PT. We treat all pelvic conditions that women and men experience.

When you choose Purple Mountain PT you are choosing to be proactive, to address your nagging problem and to get results.  You don’t want to waste your time, going to someone who doesn’t know how to help you.  We also understand you might feel nervous because your condition is in a private area and pelvic floor PT sounds a bit intimidating.  Rest assured, our patients tell us that their appointments are helpful, comfortable and educational, that they feel heard and understood.  In contrast to your fears and anxiety, we can assure you that your time with us will be uplifting, informative and encouraging!  Our pelvic floor PT is comprehensive, meaning a lot of our treatment occurs far away from the pelvis, such as at your shoulder blades or your thighs.  We also include lifestyle, exercise, nutrition, stress management and other wholistic interventions because these help you get results!

How can we say with confidence that we are the right choice for your pelvic floor PT?  Because our patients tell us that all the time.

If you give us a try, you will know within the first phone call if you think I may be able to help you. At your first visit you will receive an education and in-depth evaluation that is different from anything you have had with any other provider.  We’re not just making this up, our patients tell us this.  These are the types of things we hear from our patients:

I was hesitant to come to pelvic floor PT.  I didn’t know what to expect, now I wish I had come sooner because I could have felt better long ago!

I’ve gone to a chiropractor and pelvic PT for months and still have problems, I decided to try you because I like that you specialize in this.

I went to someone else, but they didn’t explain it like you.

You are my third PT and the first one to help me feel better.

My other provider never treated all the things you are treating.

At my other provider I felt like my appointments were too short to really treat everything I needed.

My other provider didn’t seem to know what my problem was and gave me a sheet of exercises to do that I knew wouldn’t help me.

I went somewhere else and they didn’t examine things nearly as in depth as you and didn’t ask me the questions you asked.  I can tell you know what you are doing here.

You get the idea.  I understand why you may be skeptical that pelvic floor PT could help you, especially if you’ve already gotten care that didn’t work.  But, many of our patients have been in your shoes and have found that by choosing Purple Mountain PT and getting wholistic and expert care, they finally feel hopeful and can see they will get better.

You will receive your pelvic floor PT care from someone who knows how to get you results!

Dr. O’Keefe has devoted her life and her curious mind to learning and treating pelvic floor conditions and all pelvic problems.  She has treated just about every pelvic condition you can imagine.  Pelvic floor PT is a path forward for you, proven in research to help you get better.  We have invested more than 2 decades into learning, studying, treating, teaching and post-graduate education focused on pelvic problems and wholisitic healing.  If you are wondering how qualified and what expertise Dr. O’Keefe has, here’s a glimpse:

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree with a capstone project on physical therapy indications in pregnancy, exercise in pregnancy and a focus on pelvic conditions
  • Masters of Physical Therapy Degree with a research project on the movement patterns of individuals with total knee replacement and a heavy focus on orthopedic injuries and clinical rotations working in busy orthopedic clinics.
  • Bachelors Degree, biology major and chemistry minor with research project on blood transfusion.
  • Division I volleyball player, athlete and exercise enthusiast.
  • Certification in dry needling.
  • Tons of post-graduate education taken all over the country specific to pelvic problems.  This includes:
  • Advanced training in pregnancy and postpartum recovery, diastasis recti, birth preparation, exercise in pregnancy, pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy and postpartum and more.
  • Advanced training specific to male pelvic health & pelvic floor dysfunction including prostate conditions, chronic prostatitis pain, post-prostatectomy recovery, male erectile dysfunction, male pelvic floor dysfunction, male pelvic pain, testicular pain, hernias and more!
  • Advanced training & treatments in all bladder conditions including overactive bladder, urinary frequency and urgency, urge incontinence, stress incontinence, nocturia (getting up at night to pee), urinary retention, neurogenic bladder, neobladder post-cancer.
  • Advanced training and treatments for interstitial cystitis.  In fact, the specific treatment methods we use were researched in a 6 clinic nationwide NIH study and because they worked, the guidelines for treating IC include this exact treatment you will receive!  Here is a link to the guidelines!
  • Advanced training and treatments for painful sex, vulvodynia, provoked vestibulodynia persistent genital arousal disorder, penile pain, anorgasmia and more!
  • Advanced training and treatments for all spine conditions.  Sub-specialty in spine problems including completing a post-graduate spine certification program that was one year in length.
  • Advanced training and treatments for all orthopedic pelvic problems including SI joint dysfunction, pubic pain, sports hernia, hip labral tears, sciatica, low back pain, neck and thoracic problems, hamstring pulls, coccyx pain and more!
  • Advanced training in pelvic floor dysfunction, core, diaphragmatic breathing and coordination of these muscles to control intra-abdominal pressure and optimize bladder control and reduce pelvic organ prolapse
  • Advanced training in pelvic organ prolapse, cystocele, urethrocele, hypermobile urethra, rectocele, rectal prolapse, uterine prolapse.
  • Advanced training and treatment methods for Pudendal neuralgia, sciatica, posterior femoral cutaneous nerve injuries, obturator nerve injuries and other pelvic nerve injuries.
  • Advanced training and treatments for myofascial mobilization and fascia release.
  • Advanced training and treatments for chronic pelvic pain, chronic pain syndromes, pain neuroscience education and overlapping pain conditions.
  • Advanced training and treatments for visceral mobilization.
  • Advanced training and work experience in busy orthopedic and rehabilitation clinics, including serving as the spine specialist for failed low back syndrome, working with athletes, treating individuals with spinal cord injury, neurologic conditions, post-stroke recovery, burns and complex trauma.

You don’t settle for anything in your life, why settle for pelvic problems, a less active life and less than high quality pelvic floor PT treatment?

Do you know there is treatment for:
**Stress incontinence: you don’t have to lose pee everytime you laugh!
**Urge incontinence: you don’t have to rush to the toilet and fear losing pee
**Urinary frequency: you don’t have a small bladder! You need treatment!
**Pelvic Organ Prolapse: this is a biggie! Ladies, if you have any prolapse you can optimize the pelvic region to provide better support to the area.
**SI Joint pain: This hurts! We know your pain and we can help it!
**Gluteal tendinopathy: Does your glute hurt? We can check you out and help you figure out why. If it is tendionpathy we have a treatment program for that! If it’s something else, we know what to do to help you!
**Pubic pain: This. Is. Frustrating. To. Have. & I can help you!
**Pudendal Neuralgia: The monster of pelvic pain. It can get better!
**Sciatica: ‘nuf said. It hurts. PT helps.
**Endometriosis: The long, painful, lonely road. PT helps endo pain!
**Interstitial Cystitis: Beastly bladder condition & I specialize in treating it!
**Recurrent urinary tract infections: You probably have pelvic floor dysfunction and we can get that better to reduce your risk of another infection
**Vulvodynia: Yep, we know you are suffering silently. We specialize in helping this. It’s awful & can get better!
**Painful sex: Sex shouldn’t hurt! There’s treatment for this!
**Painful cesarean scars or other scars: We can address this and get rid of that pain! Wouldn’t it be great if your clothing didn’t hurt your scar?
**Pelvic muscle spasms: Ouch. Yep, they feel just like you imagine. & I can help them go away.
**Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: All those muscles “down there” not quite working right? I can help that.
**Constipation & straining: Believe it or not, the pelvic muscles and involved in this problem and I can help you! Take care of it so you don’t give yourself a prolapse.
**Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain: My specialty!!
**Postpartum recovery: Again, this is my jam! I love to help you get back to feeling strong and confident as you recover.
**Birth trauma injury: I have seen them all & I can help you!
**Chronic prostatitis pain: PT is the way out of this problem!
**Testicular, penile or vulvar pain: PT works! I can help you!
**Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder: This. Is. Awful. I know it and I can help you!

Purple Mountain Physical Therapy, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a specialty pelvic floor PT clinic.  We help women and men with pelvic floor dysfunction recover so they can live an active life! We have been exclusively focused on pelvic health for over 20 years and offer a level of expertise and wholistic care that you won’t find elsewhere! If you are wondering if we may be able to help you, call 616-516-4334 to talk to Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT. We can discuss your symptoms and condition and determine if pelvic floor PT may help you!

Peace,

Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT

Endometriosis Physical Therapy Treatment in Grand Rapids

If you have endometriosis and want to reduce your pain naturally, we are here to help you. We offer expert, compassionate and proven endometriosis physical therapy treatment right here in Grand Rapids.

Endometriosis is Painful! And our physical therapy can help reduce your pain!

We understand that you are in pain.  What may have started years ago as a few days of month being in pain, now may be a daily pain problem.  It is likely you have been to numerous physicians.  You may have had multiple gold-standard excision surgeries.  You have been on birth control pills and now Orlissa.  We know the path you have been down. But, did you know that missing from this path is one of the most important and effective treatments for endometriosis pain?  This treatment is proper, expert pelvic health physical therapy. Even if you have been to physical therapy before, our endometriosis physical therapy treatment here in Grand Rapids is different from others.  It is more advanced, comprehensive and effective.  We have over 20 years experience working with endometriosis and chronic pelvis pain, therefore, we have techniques and knowledge not commonly found.

Endometriosis causes all sorts of musculoskeletal pain and we provide expert physical therapy treatment to get this to calm down.

You know that you have endometrial lesions and you know these hurt.  What you probably also know is that you have a lot of muscle spasms.  Your lower abdomen cramps, your back aches, your hips feel tight, sex hurts and feels tight, it can be hard to pee, you might constantly feel like you need to pee.  On top of this, you might have migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety.  You are an achiever and had high hopes for your career and life ahead. But now you are wondering if you will even be able to hold down a job.  We haven’t met you yet, but we already know a lot about you and when we meet in person you will feel the caring and compassionate expertise that we can offer you.  For over 20 years we have treated women just like you and we have helped them get pain levels down, for some women we’ve helped them get to no pain at all!  This is the most satisfying work we could ever have hoped to be privileged to be involved in.  We love working with you and seeing you step-be-step come back to life again.

Our Endometriosis Physical Therapy Treatment is Customized to you

We worked for more than 20 years in Chicago, working with top medical groups that serviced women and men in chronic pain, including top endometriosis providers.  We are proud to now off endometriosis physical therapy treatment in Grand Rapids that is effective, comprehensive, detailed and wholistic.  When we work with you, you can expect a detailed evaluation of your hips, low back, abdomen, legs and pelvic floor muscles.  We assess and treat all of your muscles, nerves, scars, joints and fascia.  One of the main things we aim to do is to reduce muscular trigger points and fascial restrictions while enhancing blood flow to these tissues.  We offer myofascial release, heartrate variability coherence biofeedback training, neural balancing, trigger point release, dry needling, neuromuscular re-education, scar tissue release and more.  Dr. O’Keefe is an active member of the International Pelvic Pain Society, a leading organization devoted to researching and treating chronic pelvic pain, including endometriosis. They have created a patient handout that details treatment options and you will see that physical therapy is a recommended treatment for endometriosis pain.

https://www.pelvicpain.org/common/Uploaded%20files/Patient%20Handouts/ENDOMETRIOSIS.pdf

Our patients tell us that this endometriosis physical therapy gave them their life back!

Here is a testimonial from one patient who lives in another state and flew to see us for an intensive 6 hours of treatment in one week:

My week with Maureen was the most encouraging, beneficial and life-changing time I’ve spent since my PFD began. Along with being kind and understanding, she is also incredibly knowledgeable, and has a sixth sense when it comes to understanding the human body. Unlike the other physical therapists who’ve treated my PFD, Maureen uses her training and intuition to treat PFD with a whole body approach.

I returned home feeling the direct positive benefits of Maureen’s physical therapy; with a better understanding of PFD and my body; and most importantly, a belief that I don’t have to just manage my pain: I can recover. In order to do so, I also returned with a significant list of brand new tasks and tools that I have slowly but successfully incorporated into my life. Maureen’s confidence that my body and soul will continue to feel better has given me newfound strength and patience to practice my new regimen as I heal.

-Woman with endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain

If you are interested in learning more about how endometriosis physical therapy treatment can help you, contact us today. We offer a free discovery call over the phone to answer your questions and determine if you are a good fit for our endometriosis recovery program.  We know you have already been to a ton of providers and we promise to offer you the best pelvic physical therapy treatment that is out there and that is unlike any other physical therapy you’ve ever received.

Peace,

Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPE specializing in pelvic health, pelvic floor dysfunction, chronic pelvic pain, bladder, bowel and sexual health conditions.

Are you looking for Painful Sex Treatment in Grand Rapids?

Painful Sex Treatment is Very effective and Helpful!

At Purple Mountain Physical Therapy one common condition we treat is painful sex.  The medical diagnosis for this is dyspareunia.  There are many causes of painful sex and we evaluate you gently and thoroughly to determine what is going on with your pelvis and contributing to your pain. A proper and thorough evaluation is key to getting the right treatment.  We do not offer prescriptive or cookie-cutter treatment for painful sex!  Your treatment is customized to your evaluation findings!  Dyspareunia is quite common and there are very effective painful sex physical therapy treatments that can resolve your problem.  We understand that painful sex is a private matter and we take your trust in us very seriously.  We promise to provide you compassionte, effective painful sex treatment here in Grand Rapids and help you to achieve your goals.

How’s your sex life been during this time of Covid?

As I write this, we are in August, 2020 and here in West Michigan our county posted 28 new cases of coronavirus today. Doesn’t seem like that many, actually. But our state had 19,000 more confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 30 days and if you turn on the news it never sounds encouraging. Has this stuff stressed you out? Here in America we are about five months into the reality of living with coronavirus. When this all began, I heard whispers to expect a baby boom in 9 months. So, we shall see if that occurs starting in December, 2020 and going into early 2021. In reality, a newly published study coming out of Italy and looking at sexual function and quality of life of women living with a partner during Covid-19 reveals another grim reality: people were not connecting like normal during the Covid crisis.  If you’d like to read the entire study, here it is:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7462585/pdf/main.pdf

We didn’t have Covid, but we also didn’t have sex… This study, admittedly small, looked at 89 Italian women ranging in age from 28-50 years old, who live with a partner. These women, before Covid had already completed several questionnaires regarding sexual function and satisfaction, so 4 weeks after Covid restrictive measures were put into place they were asked to complete those same questionnaires again.

What the authors found was that the mean sexual intercourses/month decreased from roughly 6x/month to roughly 2x/month.

Oh boy, that’s not good! A closer look at validated questionnaires given to these women found a plummet in their satisfaction and arousal. In fact, all measures of their sexual function decreased including desire, lubrication and orgasm. Being stressed out can also tense up the pelvic floor muscles, causing pain.  If a person has tight pelvic floor muscles then the painful sex physical therapy treatment we provide in Grand Rapids is very effective.

We’re all stressed out! Analysis of psychological effects of living through this coronavirus crisis revealed that high rates of stress, depression, anxiety and dissatisfaction were prevalent. Even though the women in this study lived with their partner, the effects of these stressful times dampened their sex life. The emotional impact of living through this pandemic cannot be understated. It is more important than ever that each of us take good care of ourselves. What are your self-care habits? Have they fallen by the wayside during this pandemic? Do you normally see your friends and go to the gym? Do you normally attend church, volunteer, get massages? If all of the good self-care things you do have been cancelled, then what have you replaced them with?

You’re not alone! If you and your partner have fallen out of the habit of intimacy, consider reconnecting one moment at a time. Give yourself a break and realize that this worldwide pandemic has altered intimacy patterns, so you are not alone if it has been a while for you and your partner. Sometimes the best place to begin is simply with the basics. Holding hands, spending time with each other, creating opportunities for positive engagement and discussion all can lay a foundation to foster enhanced opportunities for connection and intimacy. Working on your mind, your thoughts and your anxiety and stress management are key aspects of preparing yourself for a return to intimacy.

Consider Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy if you are experiencing painful sex or other pelvic conditions that prevent you from participating in intimacy

If pelvic pain is holding you back from intimacy, consider pelvic health physical therapy. We specialize in providing compassionate, effective and private painful sex physical therapy treatment right here in Grand Rapids.  We treat women who have painful intercourse (dyspareunia), vulvodynia, pelvic floor dysfunction, genitourinary syndrome of menopause or other problems that contribute to your pain during intimacy.  We treat men who have penile pain, pelvic spasms after intercourse, testicular pain and other conditions related to sex.  We have heard from countless women and men whom we’ve helped get back to intimacy that they are forever grateful and they never knew that painful sex physical therapy treatment was even an option.

During these trying times, we must all remember to first take good care of ourselves, then we can be a partner and caregiver to others. If you would like to have a confidential call to learn more about our pelvic floor physical therapy program to help your pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain, painful sex, incontinence or other pelvic condition contact us today!

Peace!

Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT specializing in pelvic health, pelvic floor dysfunction, bladder, bowel and sexual health conditions for men and women


References:

Schiavi MC, Spina V, Zullo MA, et al. Love in the Time of COVID-19: Sexual Function and Quality of Life Analysis During the Social Distancing Measures in a Group of Italian Reproductive-Age Women. J Sex Med 2020; 17:1407–1413.

Wang C, Pan R, Wan X et al. Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020; 17(5) 1729.

To find a sex therapist you might consider ASSECT: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. https://www.aasect.org/

For Kent county data on coronavirus: https://www.accesskent.com/Health/covid-19-data.htm