Pelvic floor rehabilitation is a term used to describe a systematic approach of strengthening the muscles which support the bladder, urethra and other organs within the pelvis.
A group of muscles called levator ani stretching from the pubic bone to the tail bone is referred to as the pelvic floor. These muscles put pressure on the urethra which helps prevent leakage of urine and also helps keep the bladder, uterus and rectum in proper position within the pelvis.
The pelvic floor muscles can become damaged or weakened through a variety of normal life experiences such as; child birth, surgery, illness and weight gain. Incontinence is not part of the normal aging process, but frequently women and men will postpone seeking treatment because they believe it is or are embarrassed, afraid or hope the problem will “fix itself”. In many cases incontinence can be treated successfully without surgery and with early intervention.
Pelvic floor muscle control is a complex neuromuscular skill that once weakened requires specific and consistent training to recover the functionality of the muscles.
Our program is designed to provide the patient with the basic skills to identify and isolate the muscles involved and then perform exercises to strengthen the muscles. In addition to pelvic floor strengthening patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight and work on strengthening their abdominal, adductor and hip flexor muscles that assist in support the pelvic floor.
Urology Northwest, PS utilizes EMG leads which are placed on the abdomen and rectal area. The probes are connected to a computer program which gives the provider (nurse practitioner or certified urodynamic technician) information on the patient’s ability to isolate the muscles and the strength of the muscles contractions.
Prior to the start of the therapy sessions, the patient will have an evaluation appointment with a physician or the nurse practitioner. The patient will then be scheduled for a maximum of eight (8) sessions one week apart. The sessions last approximately 30 minutes. At the end of the session, the patient will be given a home exercise plan for the week. Following the therapy sessions, the patient will have a follow up or “exit” visit with the nurse practitioner. At that visit the nurse practitioner will provider a final treatment overview.
• The patient may be discharged with continued home exercises and instructions to follow up with the nurse practitioner in 3 months,
• The patient may be referred to one of the urologists for discussion of additional medical or possibly surgical intervention.
It is important to note, that although this problem is seen more as a female concern, men face the same problems and would benefit from pelvic floor rehabilitation therapy.
Patients are normally referred by their PCP or OB/GYN physician to one of the urologists or urology nurse practitioner for evaluation of a diagnosis of incontinence. The urology specialist will determine if pelvic floor rehabilitation therapy is the most appropriate treatment option.
Urology Northwest, PS will verify insurance coverage and benefits prior to the start of the pelvic floor rehabilitation programs. Most insurance carriers cover this effective and less expensive treatment option. We ask that patients be prepared to pay their co-payment at each visit. Balances after insurance should be paid within 30 days. Payment plans are available by contacting the business office at 425-275-5527 or 5528.