Women's Health Jan 16, 2018

Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic Floor physical therapist Maureen Christian discusses pelvic floor health with KXAN News.

Pelvic floor therapist Maureen Christian, PT, discusses how this specific therapy focuses on women suffering from chronic pelvic pain with KXAN’s Amanda Dugan.

Doctors and medical professionals in Women’s Health, a clinical partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, are working together to change the conversation about pelvic health. They are creating a place where women can feel comfortable talking about chronic pelvic pain and what they can do to stop suffering and get relief.

What is the pelvic floor?

Pelvic floor physical therapist Maureen Christian explains that the pelvic floor is made up of a complex, hammock-shaped muscles that hold organs in place. These muscles contract to keep urine and feces from exiting the body when they are not supposed to, but also relax when it’s time for them to exit the body. Additionally, these muscles stretch and relax when it is time for a baby to be born and serve a sexual function as well.

What pelvic floor disorders do you treat?

Pelvic disorders manifest in many different ways. Women may be familiar hearing about urinary and fecal incontinence, but the Women’s Health Institute also treats conditions which benefit from pelvic floor therapy including chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, pain with sex, and vulvar conditions. Pelvic floor therapy can help by providing musculoskeletal relief for these conditions.

How successful is pelvic floor therapy?

Pelvic floor conditions are treated using a whole-person approach with the women’s health care team to help them navigate barriers that impede a woman’s recovery. As part of this multi-faceted care team, Maureen and Uchenna Ossai, DPT, PT, WCS, CLT, pelvic floor physical therapist and the Pelvic Health Program Manager for Women’s Health, work with patients to bring about successful treatment for pelvic pain. Maureen reminds patients that the problems women experience didn’t happen overnight, but with diligence, patience and hard work, pelvic floor therapy can help bring relief.

When should a woman talk to her provider about involving a pelvic floor therapist in their treatment?

Women should talk to their provider at the earliest signs of pelvic pain. Ms. Christian reminds women they do not have to suffer with pain, and urinary incontinence should not be considered a normal part of the aging process.

For more information about Women’s Health or to request an appointment, visit here.

About the Partnership Between UT Health Austin and Ascension Seton

The collaboration between UT Health Austin and Ascension brings together medical professionals, medical school learners, and researchers who are all part of the integrated mission of transforming healthcare delivery and redesigning the academic health environment to better serve society. This collaboration allows highly specialized providers who are at the forefront of the latest research, diagnostic, and technological developments to build an integrated system of care that is a collaborative resource for clinicians and their patients.

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.