Commentary by Andrea McMath
Many people have heard of rehabilitation or physical therapy, and many may know that some hospitals offer a wide array of rehabilitation services for men, women and children. Still, few fully understand the wide array of services that rehabilitation services cover. In fact, some therapies are rarely discussed.
There are many therapy services offered for pelvic pain (in both men and women), but you rarely hear people talk about the men’s therapies and pelvic pain.
Typically, people see or hear about women’s pelvic health issues, such as incontinence after childbirth or surgeries, or tailbone pain. Men also suffer from pelvic health issues and will usually see multiple doctors before going through physical therapy. We find that for many patients, going through physical therapy first will better prepare the body for surgery, or sometimes help them avoid surgery all together.
Spring and summer tend to be the times of year that we see more pelvic health issues in both men and women. This could be as a result of the fact that with warm weather in the Midwest comes more bike riding – we see many avid bike riders among our male patients – and more time playing outdoors and at the pool chasing kids around, which causes leaking and other pelvic issues in women.
Some rehabilitation services offered for pelvic health issues include exams, exercises, and manual techniques to help with the pain. At IU Health North Hospital, for instance, computer-assisted exercise is deployed when applicable, and it lets patients see how their muscles are reacting to exercises. For many patients, visuals help with the exercises.
Lymphedema therapies help to work through scar tissue or swelling that is often associated with cancer and removal of lymph nodes. Therapies for craniosacral issues assist patients who have complaints of headaches, chronic pain, TMJ, and fibromyalgia. Problems can be acute or chronic, and therapies typically involve gentle hands-on techniques.
Even better, all of these types of therapies are outpatient therapies, which don’t require hospital stays.
Andrea McMath, physical therapist at IU Health North Hospital, is a certified lymphedema therapist and is trained in techniques for craniosacral therapy and pelvic health. For more information, call 688-2021.