The September 17, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that nearly 24 percent of U.S. women are affected with one or more pelvic floor disorders. It describes the percentage of women affected by pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and fecal incontinence as well as the role that the pelvic muscles play in these conditions.

Most physicians and patients are aware that Physical Therapy can help a patient resume their life after an injury or surgery. But few know that physical therapy can have a major impact on a woman’s quality of life and health.

With an emphasis on fitness and wellness, today’s women know that they need to be aware of their body and its functions throughout their lifecycle. The specialized training of physical therapists can benefit women with a variety of medical conditions and help them to achieve their best.

Women’s health and fitness has many unique aspects that may require specialized attention and skills. Christina LaCoe, MSPT of ECRC-Physical Therapy specializes in Women’s Health. She has seen physical therapy improve the lives of women diagnosed with incontinence, painful pregnancies, and post-hysterectomy pain.

Incontinence is the loss of bladder or bowel control resulting in an involuntary loss of urine or stool. Pelvic floor weakness resulting in a loss of muscular support for the bladder, uterus or rectum may be the cause. But incontinence isn’t just a medical issue or a consequence of aging.

Urinary incontinence affects 200 million people worldwide. Women generally wait six and a half years to seek treatment. During that time they often change their lifestyle to manage the incontinence.

Ms. LaCoe, MSPT says that Depends are not the only option. Using a behavioral approach that may include electrical stimulation, biofeedback and exercise, physical therapy often makes a difference in just a few visits.

Pregnancy is usually a joyful time for women but not if they suffer with persistent low back and leg pain. Physical Therapy may alleviate pain which may result from pelvic joints or musculature, and can also address pain, incontinence, and/or weakness that can persist in the post-partum period.

Post-hysterectomy a woman may experience much pain and discomfort. Physical Therapy can help with loosening tight scars, loosening adhesions, strengthening pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles.

Physical Therapy can help women enhance their health and fitness and achieve a better quality of life at any stage in their life cycle. Through professional training and experience, Christina LaCoe, PT of ECRC-Physical Therapy has seen this happen.

Ms. LaCoe, MSPT can be contacted at ECRC-Physical Therapy 1-800-224-0150.