Pelvic physical therapy is something that is unfamiliar to many people. I would say for about every 10 new patients that come to see us here Legacy Physical Therapy, about 7 or 8 of them start out their evaluation by saying that they have never heard of Pelvic Physical Therapy and they are not sure how we can help them.
We are passionate about helping women & men of all ages enjoy active, healthy lifestyles, by restoring confidence and dignity in pelvic, bladder, bowel, and sexual function, without relying on medications or surgery. We provide conservative treatment options for many conditions that people may be unaware that they even can do anything about.
Conditions Pelvic Physical Therapy Can Help
- Bladder Issues:
- Leakage, Urgency, Frequency, Painful Urination, Urinary Retention
- Bowel Issues:
- Constipation, Fecal Leakage
- Pain Conditions:
- Back Pain, Pelvic Pain, Tailbone Pain, Sacroiliac Joint Pain, Vaginal Pain, Rectal Pain, Vulvar Pain, Abdominal Pain, Penile Pain, Painful Sex
- Pelvic Prolapse Issue:
- Cystocele, Rectocele, Uterine Prolapse, Vaginal Vault Prolapse
- Pregnancy/Postpartum Related Issues:
- Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Diastasis Recti, Clogged Milk Duct, Episiotomy or C-section Scar Tissue Adhesions
Many people are surprised to learn that all of the above conditions can be helped by pelvic physical therapy. One of the things that we commonly see happen is that a patient will be referred to us by their urologist for bladder issues. Then once we get talking with them, we find out that they also have some back pain or hip pain issues that despite treatment aren’t going away. We teach the patient how all everything can be related.
Aren’t You Just Going to Teach Me to Kegel?
One of the things that we get asked all the time is, “I’m already doing Kegel exercises. It doesn’t help, why would coming to pelvic physical therapy help?” For those of you who don’t know a Kegel exercise is simply a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles like you are trying to hold back gas or pee. Muscle function is not simply about contraction. We need to make sure that we have a variety of different movements with the muscles. Muscles need to be able to contract, relax, stretch, and coordinate with other muscles.
As pelvic physical therapists, our job is to figure out how your pelvic floor muscles are working and coordinating with other muscles. We really take the whole body approach to looking at how things are coordinating together. It is never simply just about Kegel exercises. Those may be a part of your treatment plan, but it may not be. For some people, the problem is that they are doing pelvic floor muscle contractions or Kegel exercises incorrectly and that is actually causing more of the problem. For other people their pelvic floor muscles may be too tense or tight and trying to squeeze them more isn’t going to improve their symptoms. Instead, we need to actually teach them to relax and let go.
Pelvic PT Can Help Before or After Surgery
Another thing we hear commonly when we talk with patients on the phone is that I’m planning them to having the surgery so why would I need to see pelvic physical therapy. Our simple answer to that is if you’re planning on having shoulder surgery, neck surgery, back surgery, or knee surgery; 9 times out of 10, you’re going see a physical therapist either before or after the surgery to help make sure that you rehabilitate the muscles and that everything is working well together. Similarly, working with the pelvic physical therapist after you’ve had surgery for a bladder sling, prolapse repair, hysterectomy, or giving birth can promote return to optimal muscle function allowing you to have better, longer lasting surgical outcomes.
Pelvic PT Helps During Pregnancy & Postpartum
Females who have given birth are at a greater risk for pelvic dysfunction. Here at Legacy Physical Therapy, we feel strongly that every women should see a pelvic physical therapist for at least for 1 visit postpartum to identify any musculoskeletal issues that may be preventing her from improving her core and pelvic function postpartum. This should happened before she starts out with any type of exercise regimen, especially a high level one, to make sure that the pelvic and abdominal muscles are functioning the way that they should be. The therapist will also review movement patterns to make so she doesn’t develop any bad habits that will potentially lead to problems down the road such as bladder leakage or pelvic prolapse.
Pelvic physical therapists also work with women during their pregnancy. We help make sure that the pregnancy progresses as comfortably as possible and that you are able to be as active as you want to be. Pregnancy is a time that can be very stressful on the abdominals and pelvic floor because of the changes in your body. Working with the pelvic physical therapist to help you maximize pelvic and abdominal support and control can really make a big difference for a comfortable pregnancy.
You May Need Need to Advocate for Yourself
So now that you have learn a little more about what pelvic physical therapy is, you may be wondering why you haven’t heard of it before or why your doctor has not told you about it despite you mentioning some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware that pelvic physical therapy is an option out there to help their patients. Even the ones who do refer to pelvic physical therapy already may not be aware of all of the different thing that we can be doing to help patients. Because of this, you may have to be an advocate for yourself if you feel like you need to see a pelvic physical therapist. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a referral to pelvic physical therapy.
If you feel like you’re dealing with any of these issues that we’ve been talking about, you may have to be the one to advocate for pelvic PT. You as a consumer, have the right to go wherever you want to go for your treatment. You do not have to necessary to go only to a place that is in your doctor’s office. You can seek healthcare from a pelvic physical therapist with whom you feel comfortable.
So, that is the brief introduction to pelvic physical therapy. If anything you have read about seems like something you are dealing with, give us a call at 636-225-3649. We are happy to chat with you about what you are experiencing to see if pelvic physical therapy would be a good option for you.
This holiday season we hope that you will help us give the gift of pelvic health. All too often at Legacy Physical Therapy we hear our patients say things like…
- “I have never heard of pelvic physical therapy.”
- “How come none of my doctor’s told me this was an option?
- “Why am I just hearing about women’s health physical therapy now?”
- “Every woman who has had a baby should see a women’s health physical therapist.”
- “Why isn’t pelvic physical therapy recommended to all pregnant or postpartum women?”
Our goal is to spread the word about pelvic health. We want women and men suffering with bladder issues, bowel dysfunction, sexual problems, pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and core weakness to know that they are not alone and there are options for treatment. We hope that we can count on you for your help.
Ways to Spread the Word about Pelvic Health and
Legacy Physical Therapy
- Provide a testimonial for our website
- In 2018, we would like to update our website with new patient stories in our testimonial section. You can greatly help us by writing, even anonymously, about your experience with our group. Email Us Here!
- If you are like me, you might need a little help to get your creative writing juices flowing. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What kind of impact has it made on your life coming to Legacy Physical Therapy?
- What was the reason that you came to Legacy Physical Therapy?
- What goals have you accomplished at Legacy Physical Therapy?
- What would your advice be to others who are thinking about coming to Legacy Physical Therapy?
- Write a review on Google or Yelp
- Get social with us and review us on Facebook
- Legacy Physical Therapy has a Facebook page where we love to share helpful pelvic health information. ‘Like’ our page and share our pelvic health information with your social circle. While you are there, leave us a review.
- Tell your doctor about your success with physical therapy!
- Your doctor would love to know that you are feeling better and achieving your goals. Please let them know about your success at your next appointment or by sending an email.
- Give us feedback!
- All feedback helps us improve our delivery of care, so please let us know if there’s something we are doing well or if there is something we can do better.
Happy holidays and cheers to a healthy New Year!!!
From the staff at Legacy Physical Therapy
Brooke, Jamie, Rosie and Abbie
Sex feels usually feels great, but what if it doesn’t? Painful sex is more common than you think—nearly 3 out of 4 women have pain during intercourse at some time during their lives. For some women, the pain is only a temporary problem; for others, it is a long-term problem. Pain during intercourse is known as Dyspareunia. It can make women avoid, reduce the frequency, or outright stop having sex. Women of all ages can experience dyspareunia.
Have you ever struggled with painful sex? You are not alone. Many women suffer in silence when sex starts to get painful. Others may be brave enough to bring it up with doctors, only to be given unhelpful advice such as “drink some wine,” “just relax,” “you had a baby recently this is normal,” or “just use more lubrication.” Each of these statements are real quotes from patients of ours here at Legacy Physical Therapy. We want to spread the word that there is hope and help!
Earlier this fall owner, Brooke Kalisiak had the pleasure of joining Angela Skurtu M.Ed, LMFT (AASECT) Certified Sex Therapist on her podcast About Sex. During this episode we discussed some of the common causes of painful sex, potential treatment options, and how pelvic physical therapy can help.
To listen to the episode you can go to:
Or you can watch the LiveStream Video below. Brooke Kalisiak brought along her pelvic anatomy model to the taping. Watching the video you will get to have a visual of some of the anatomy she is discussing.
If you or someone you know is dealing with painful sex, please know, first and foremost that you are not alone, and second that there is help. If you would like to learn more about potential treatment options for painful intercourse, you can reach us at 636-225-3649 to talk with one of our experienced pelvic physical therapists.
Dear friend and patient of Legacy Physical Therapy,
Please consider the following important issues impacting private practice physical therapy clinics such as ours. After reading this I hope that you will take action and contact your state senator and representative on our behalf so that we can continue to provide you with the top-notch care you have come to expect from Legacy Physical Therapy
Health Insurance Companies set up financial contracts with all healthcare providers in order to establish operating and reimbursement standards. These contracts are solely based on the bargaining power of the healthcare provider and the needs of the insurance company. These contracts have no relation to the quality of service provided by the hospital or clinic.
Over the last 20 years, large hospital systems have been given more favorable contracts than private practice clinics, especially in the field of physical therapy. Based purely on the size of the organization, insurance companies would be more willing to listen to the needs of the healthcare provider. More often than not, the needs of large hospital systems were taken into consideration because of the number of providers and services the system provided.
Conversely, the needs of private practice clinics and their owners are rarely taken into consideration when contracting reimbursement rates and patient co-pays. Without the benefit of having hundreds of providers and a multitude of services, private practice clinic owners are unable to negotiate for the basic needs just to maintain operations. Requests for reviews and appeals to the insurance companies routinely fall on deaf ears. Health Insurance companies are impeding Fair Trade Competition by deliberately paying large hospital systems more than private practice clinics for the same services.
Thus, we are taking our fight to the state legislature. We are fighting for fair pay and fair patient co pay amounts. The insurance industry routinely discriminates against small businesses by paying hospitals as much as 100% more than they reimburse for the same services we provide. I’m asking that you please contact your state senator and representative and respectfully request their support by co-sponsoring the bills that are at the bottom of this post. If you do not know your state representative or senator you may look them up at www.house.mo.gov and www.senate.mo.gov in the “Legislature Look-up” but a 4 digit zip code extension is needed. Your 4 digit zip code extension can be found at zip4.usps.com/zip4. For quick reference for Kirkwood patients:
Rep Dwight Scharnhorst (district 093) represents the Kirkwood area – 573-751-4392
Senator Eric Schmitt (distircit 015) represents the Kirkwood area – (573) 751-2853
Thank you for your help!
Brooke Kalisiak and the staff of Legacy Physical Therapy
After finding out your specific State Senator and Representative, please email, send a letter in the mail, or call to ask for their support on the following bills that are active in the 2012 Missouri Legislative Session (January thru Mid May):
Senate Bill 644, Sponsored by Senator Kurt Schaefer: Requires health carriers to reimburse a physical therapist in the same amounts as paid to a licensed physical therapist for rendering the same services regardless of the setting or venue. (Equal Pay for Equal Services Bill)
Senate Bill 687, Sponsored by Senator Eric Schmitt: Limits the copayment, coinsurance, or deductible imposed by a health insurer for physical therapy services by a licensed physical therapist to that for services provided by a primary care physician or osteopath. (Fair Co Pay Bill)
House Bill 1355, Sponsored by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger: Requires health carriers to reimburse a physical therapist in the same amounts as paid to a licensed physical therapist for rendering the same services regardless of the setting or venue. (Equal Pay for Equal Services Bill)
House Bill 1134, Sponsored by Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst: Limits the copayment, coinsurance, or deductible imposed by a health insurer for physical therapy services by a licensed physical therapist to that for services provided by a primary care physician or osteopath. (Fair Co Pay Bill)
What can Physical Therapy do for you?
Do you know who your physical therapist is? When asked, people can usually name their doctor, dentist, podiatrist, or OBGYN, but they may be hard-pressed to name their physical therapist. We want to take this opportunity to educate you on how physical therapy can be an important part of your healthcare team and why you should get to know your physical therapist!
- Recovery from a sports injury
- Balance problems
- Pregnancy- related pains
- Common aches and pains of muscles and joints
- Urinary/fecal incontinence
- Spine problems
- Recovery from a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury
- Pediatric developmental issues
- Running and overuse injuries
- Cardiopulmonary problems
- Work related injuries/ Work station ergonomics
- Post surgical recovery
- Pre & Post Mastectomy Issues
You are the most important member of your own health care team, and you are entitled to choose the most appropriate health care professional to meet your goals. The role of a physical therapists is to improve and restore motion to your life. As you make the important decisions about health care for you or your family, it is important to remember that physical therapists:
- Significantly improve mobility to perform daily activities;
- Provide an alternative to painful and expensive surgery, in many cases;
- Manage or eliminate pain without medication and its side effects, in many cases.
When it comes to health care, one size does not fit all. A physical therapist’s extensive education, clinical expertise, and “hands on” approach brings you a unique, individualized approach. When you are in the hands of a physical therapist, you have a plan of care that is safe and appropriate and addresses your individual needs and pre-existing conditions.
Freedom of Choice
You have the freedom to choose your own physical therapist. Most states allow you to go directly to a physical therapist without getting a physician’s referral first. In Missouri a physical therapist can evaluate you without a physician referral, but a referral is necessary for treatment. Keep in mind that your insurance policy may require a visit to the primary care physician first or may limit your access to preferred providers only so it is best to check with your insurance plan ahead of time.
You physician may make recommendations of where to go for physical therapy, but you as the consumer HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHERE YOU GO. You are not obligated to receive physical therapy in any specific facility and you want to find one that best fits your needs.
How to Choose a Physical Therapist
Make sure that you receive physical therapy from a licensed physical therapist. Physical therapists are professional health care providers who are licensed by the state in which they practice. When choosing a physical therapist you want to ask if the clinicians specialize in working with your specific condition. Not all physical therapists work with all types of conditions For example, if you were seeking treatment for your urinary incontinence it would be important to ask if the facility had therapists that specialize in pelvic rehabilitation or bladder problems.
Ask the physical therapist’s clinic if it participates with your insurance company. Receiving care from a participating physical therapist should minimize your financial responsibility. There may be good reasons, however, to see a physical therapist who does not participate with your insurance plan. If you need a physical therapist who has special skills related to your particular condition-or if the location or other aspects of the care or the facility meet your needs-this may be a good choice for you.
Ask whether the physical therapist’s clinic will submit claims on your behalf to your insurance company. Some policies require copayments for services, and the amount of the copayment will depend on whether the physical therapist is part of the insurer’s provider network. You also will have to meet your deductible. Your physical therapist’s clinic should be able to help you calculate an estimate of your financial responsibilities.
Your first visit should include an evaluation by the physical therapist. Your physical therapist will perform an examination to identify current and potential problems. Based on the results of the examination, and considering your specific goals, your physical therapist will design a plan of care to include specific interventions and will propose a timetable to achieve these goals and optimize your movement and function. Your physical therapist will likely provide you with instructions to perform exercises at home to facilitate your recovery.
You should feel comfortable asking your physical therapist any questions regarding your course of care, including specifics regarding interventions and expectations. You physical therapist should be a partner in your healthcare goals!
We at Legacy Physical Therapy look forward to a chance to partner with you in your healthcare. Call us any time to schedule your FREE screening/consultation to see if physical therapy is right for you! 636-225-3649
Back in May, I posted about my own personal fitness challenge for National Women’s Health week. It is now almost 2 months later and I realized that I have not updated anyone on my status. If you remember I signed up for the Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis half marathon on October 23rd.
These past 5 weeks I have been trying to keep up with a training schedule for a 5K race, so that when it comes time to start the training for the half marathon at the beginning of August, I am in decent enough shape to do so. In this training program I am supposed to be running at least 3 days a week. I have to say that I am not succeeding at this too well. I am lucky if I get in 2 times per week.
It took me until now to make the connection, but now it is pretty obvious to me that my poor running and update frequency are linked! From now on I am going to use this link to help hold me accountable. Starting today, I will post weekly what I did in my training program, as well as give updates on how the running and attempt at weight loss are going. What better way to be held accountable than to openly post about your progress and get your friends and supporters involved. SO HERE GOES…
WEEK 5 Training
2 2.5 mile runs completed, both on the treadmill, which is not my favorite at all. I still have to do a run/walk combination, but that is getting better.
WEEK 5 Body Stats
Weight: 230 lbs Height 6’2″
Biceps 15″ Bust 44″ Waist 41″ Hip 48″ Thigh 29″
I am not going to post body stats every week, but I wanted to get these measurements down and out there so that I knew there was no turning back.
I hope you will join me in your own personal fitness challenge and we can motivate each other together!!
On June 4th, Team Legacy Physical Therapy participated in the 13th annual Cancer Survivorship Walk at Creve Coeur Lake Park. It was a hot morning, but there was a great turnout for the walk. To date the walk has raised $126,608.00 for the Cancer Support Community of St. Louis!
I am happy to report that Team Legacy Physical Therapy surpassed our goal of raising $500. Our 12 participants raised a combined total of $615.00. I want to send a big thank you out to the Pattengill family, the Hickman family, Jon and Jenn Hall, and Abbie Bradley for joining our teaming and making the walk both enjoyable and successful.
Below is a list of all of those people who donated to Team Legacy Physical Therapy. We want to send out a big THANK YOU to all of you. We really do appreciate your support.
- Hickman Family
- Pattengill Family
- Tina Pattengill
- The Bradley Family
- Jon and Jenn Hall
- Dana Evans
- The Gardner Family
- The Kalisiak Family
- Roger and Cathy Kalisiak
- Char and Dick Lockwood
- Meredith Lockwood
- Ernie and Laura Lockwood
We hope to make this walk an annual event for Legacy Physical Therapy. Keep us in mind around this time next year. We would love to grow our team and help to raise more money for a great organization.
Here are some pictures from the event. As you can see we had a pretty good time!
I have to say that this last picture is my favorite. Some of our younger team members took it upon themselves to get up on stage and dance to the great music there was playing. I don’t think we were the only ones who found it very entertaining!