Dr. Kim Bryant gets a lot of questions about what she does. She is a licensed Physical Therapist whose practice specializes in pelvic health. Most people are familiar with Physical Therapy (PT), but many have no idea that there is a specialty that focuses on pelvic, reproductive and abdominal health. What exactly is that?
Well, first of all, a licensed PT has graduated from an accredited program (in Dr. Bryant’s case, with a Doctorate) and has passed a national board exam. To specialize in pelvic PT, the therapist then must take additional course work regarding all things within the pelvis, and abdomen.
Many people, especially women, have suffered from some kind of pelvic pain. The sources of this pain are varied and may include muscle tension, stress, depression, visceral pain, leaky gut, endometriosis, sexual abuse, childbirth and prolapse. Due to the complicated and varied reasons for pelvic health problems, the pelvic PT will spend time interviewing you and getting a detailed (and confidential) history. A pelvic exam may also be part of the process. Patients are always given the option to decline a pelvic exam, but, like a gynecological exam, it gives the therapist valuable information to use in your treatment.
Who might benefit from visiting a pelvic PT? Women (and in some cases, men) who:
- have any difficulty with bowel or bladder function (incomplete, pain, constipation or leaks)
- have painful intercourse
- have painful periods
- want to become pregnant
- are pregnant and want to prepare for labor and delivery
- have had a baby, at anytime and by any method (vaginally or Cesarean)
- have had any type of abdominal or pelvic surgery such as gall bladder, hernia, prostatectomy or hysterectomy
- suffer from chronic hip or back pain that gets a little better with “traditional” orthopedic treatment but never goes away completely