By Amy Roberts

Most people hear the words “physical therapy” and think: back pain, surgery recovery, and injury rehabilitation. But what about urinary incontinence, painful intercourse or bowel dysfunction?

Heather DeFord is a physical therapist who specializes in “pelvic floor” issues such as these. She practices at Park City Hospital and says many people have never heard of pelvic floor PT, and even fewer understand its importance. According to Heather, pelvic floor PT can help women, and even men, alleviate and sometimes eliminate symptoms without surgery. Here are her answers to some common questions:

1. What is pelvic floor PT?
The pelvic muscles function to support pelvic and abdominal organs, assist in urinary and fecal continence, aid in sexual performance, participate in core stability, and act as a lymphatic pump for the pelvis. When there are imbalances in the pelvic joints or muscles, those functions may be compromised and/or pain may persist. Pelvic floor PT can help restore function and reduce pain with therapeutic exercises, manual therapies, postural education, behavior modification, biofeedback, and modalities.

2. Who can benefit from pelvic floor PT?
Anyone who suffers from incontinence, painful intercourse, constipation, prolapses, urinary frequency or urgency, PMS symptoms and infertility.

3. What can patients expect?
Private and individualized care, life-long strategies to maintain optimal sexual and bladder/ bowel functions, and balanced musculoskeletal and circulatory systems of the pelvic region to restore optimal functions.

4. What are some surprising facts about pelvic floor PT?
Men can also suffer from pelvic issues and can greatly benefit from pelvic floor PT, as well as people with chronic back, hip or pelvic pain.

To make an appointment with Heather, call Park City Hospital’s physical therapy department at: 435-658-7350

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