Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
Pelvic floor rehabilitation aims to improve the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles. A group of muscles creates the pelvic floor by extending from the pubic bone to the tailbone. These muscles help support the bladder and rectum, help control urine and stool, and maintain sexual function.
With your physician's referral, you will be assessed and examined by a licensed physical therapist with additional training in treating pelvic floor disorders. All our treatments are done in a private treatment room. During your first visit, you will be examined by a pelvic floor physical therapist externally and possibly internally to assess your condition. The session may also include patient education to address urinary/bowel dysfunction and pain, as well as provide insight into the role of pelvic rehab and your plan of care.
Common Diagnoses seen by the Pelvic Floor Disorders team
- Diastasis Recti
- Levator Ani Syndrome
- Painful Episiotomy
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Post Hysterectomy
- Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence
- Pregnancy-related Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Pre/Post Bladder Suspensions
- Pre/Post Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repair
- Pubic Symphasis
- Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Special Care Services or Equipment
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Biofeedback (surface EMG)
Biofeedback is a neuromuscular re-education tool we can use to tell if certain processes in our bodies are working correctly. It is a painless process that uses a computer and a video monitor to display bodily functions that we usually are not aware of. Special external or internal sensors measure the muscle activity by visual and sound graphs. This feedback helps both the therapist and the patient understand if there are any muscle weakness or coordination issues that need to be addressed.
Your physical therapist will use this information to modify or change abnormal responses to more normal patterns.
Biofeedback along with a home exercise program has been shown to help greatly with different diagnoses such as fecal/urinary incontinence, constipation, pelvic pain and general conditions of core and pelvic floor disorders. However, the results vary from person to person.
Real Time Ultrasound
Real-time Ultrasound is used to look at how different layers of muscles contract and relax. It is also used to assess muscle activation when compared to the other side of the body. Real-time ultrasound can help to restore normal muscle function by giving immediate visual feedback.
Some of the conditions that could benefit from physical therapy with Real Time Ultrasound:
- Low back pain
- Pregnancy related back pain
- Hip and groin pain
- Pelvic floor disorders
- Shoulder girdle dysfunctions
The Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation team
- Nancy Branberg, PT
- Courtney Foley, PT, DPT
- Kristen Grandstaff PT, DPT
- Julie Janes, PT, DPT
- Pany Nazari, Senior PT, BCB-PMD
- Lauren Shaub, PT, DPT, CSCS
- Vaishali Sikotra, MPT
CLICK HERE to meet the Pelvic Floor Disorders team of the Outpatient Rehabilitation Department at Virginia Hospital Center.
“I had thought that pelvic floor physical therapy was for women only, I was wrong. After a life-long struggle with chronic urological inflammation and infections, I was willing to try anything. Pany Nazari spent time explaining the anatomical issues, gave me great advice on strengthening and better controlling my bladder, and patiently taught me how to exercise all the muscles related to the pelvic floor. The results were shocking -- I no longer have to urinate in the middle of the night, I feel in control of my bladder, and I'm now exercising daily. I'm losing weight and feeling better than I've felt in decades. Pany is smart, dedicated, and compassionate, and knows how to motivate you to improve. I even looked forward to my physical therapy sessions every week. THANK YOU, Pany! What a difference you've made for me!” - R.A., 2016.
“Ms. Sikotra put me at complete ease. She very clearly, completely and most professionally explained that my condition was not unusual, and it can be corrected. There’s not a day that goes by, and I cannot imagine a day going by in the future that I don’t think about the leakage problem I had, and how well my condition has been corrected. Ms. Sikotra is a professionalism personified at its best.” - Franklin B., 2015.
“Twenty years ago a heavy machine was pushed over on me, I pushed back to prevent being crushed and have experienced chronic pelvic pain since this event. The series of treatment I received under the control of Pany Nazari have been measurably helpful, they've relieved 30 - 40 percent of the pain I experienced daily; I anticipate more improvement in my condition. Pany Nazari's skill in communication helped me understand what is causing the pain and how to reduce this pain through exercise and neuro-muscular re-education”. - Saul C., 2015.
“Pany helped me understand how to retrain my muscles to make my new bladder work. She was a godsend.” - Richard, 2015.