We hear one question really often from our patients, and it is the question ‘Why didn’t my doctor tell me about pelvic physical therapy?’
As you may or may not know, pelvic physical therapy can be very helpful for many different conditions such as bladder leakage, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, postpartum issue, low back pain, and abdominal issues such as diastasic rect and/or core weakness. It is a conservative treatment option that can really have a powerful effect on your day-to-day life and activities, all with very little to no side effects.
One of the things that we commonly hear from our patients is that they had no idea that pelvic physical therapy existed and their doctor didn’t tell them about it. So they are wondering, why aren’t doctors referring to pelvic physical therapy more?
To answer this question, let’s share a few scenarios that we commonly see. Names are changed to protect the patient’s identity. We had a patient recently who we’re going to call Judy.
Judy finally got a referral for pelvic physical therapy from the 7th doctor she saw for her pelvic pain issues. She had been dealing with pelvic pain in her posterior pelvic area. She saw seven different doctors, and not a single one had recommended coming to pelvic physical therapy. They had all recommended potential surgical options or medication options. Judy even tried a few of the medications but nothing seemed to help her symptoms. She was almost going to go down the surgery route when she talked with one of her friends.
Her friend was the one who recommended that Judy try pelvic physical therapy. Judy reached out to the last doctor that she saw, and he was willing to write a prescription for her to come to pelvic physical therapy.
We’ve seen that scenario a lot where the patient has to ask for a prescription for physical therapy themselves.
Another scenario where patients often have to ask to see a pelvic physical therapist is in the postpartum period. Last week we saw a new patient named Carrie, who was nine weeks postpartum and dealing with some pain with intercourse.
At her 6 weeks check-up with her OBGYN, Carrie got the green light to return to intercourse. We she and her husband attempted intercourse it was extremely painful, so much so that they had to stop. The next day she called her doctor’s office about her symptoms. The “medical” advice that she was given was that she just had a baby so it may take a bit for sex to feel comfortable again. She should drink some wine, try to relax, and it will get better.
These answers didn’t see like the best solution to Carrie so she did some of her own research online. When she came across our website she saw that there are things that she can be doing in the postpartum phase to help overcome her pain with intercourse. She called her doctor, asked for a referral for physical therapy, and was able to get the help she needed.
Both Carrie and Judy’s stories are common scenarios that we hear often at our practice. Many patients are frustrated that they weren’t told about the often of pelvic physical therapy earlier, especially when they see how helpful it is.
There is a growing awareness in the medical fields of the benefits of pelvic physical therapy. However it is still not out of the ordinary that you may have to be the advocate for your own care. What we’re hoping for is that over time, as more and more women advocate for this, it’s going to become more and more the standard of care.
If you think you are dealing with a pelvic issue, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to us at 636-225-3649 to speak to one of our experienced pelvic physical therapists.
Click here to ask speak to a pelvic physical therapist. (https://legacytherapystl.com/phone-inquire/)