New Physical Therapy program addresses issues seldom discussed

Published 5/1/2018

Being a mom can take a toll on your body. It can be hard to pay attention to your body’s needs when you’re taking care of someone else. But the effects of childbirth and aging go beyond weight gain and sleep deprivation.

“Labor and delivery is a trauma to your body,” says Beth Doucet, PT, DPT of CMC’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services. “We check and repair the big things after childbirth, but don’t necessarily consider the healing component. Even ten years later, you can be experiencing problems because you never totally healed.”

Common issues – even for women who’ve not had a child – include pelvic pain, incontinence, and pain with intercourse. “A lot of women think they just have to live with it, that it’s what happens when you get older, and that’s not the case,” says Doucet.

A new physical therapy program being offered at CMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Services focuses on
retraining the reproductive area to relieve those symptoms. Much like healing from a stroke or shoulder injury involves strengthening and retraining mind and muscle, physical therapy for women’s health is a combination of exercise and brain-to-body communication.

“Physical therapy should be the first line of treatment, especially for incontinence, and can be more effective than oral medication or surgery,” says Doucet. “We forget that we have all of these internal muscles that we can control, whether it’s the bladder or pelvic muscles being tight.”

If you’ve had any of these common symptoms, ask your primary care provider or gynecologist about how CMC’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services can help