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Female Pelvic Floor Therapy: What To Expect on Your First Visit

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Heather and her staff blog about male and female chronic pelvic pain, prostatitis, incontinence, upcoming events and more

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I think most people can remember a time when they were a kid and accidentally wet the bed.

The occasional accident is a normal part of childhood, however for some kids constant bedwetting may be a sign of an underlying pelvic floor issue.

Some kids with toileting issues will start to feel it affect their self confidence, ability to participate in social activities, and that’s when you might consider getting some extra help.

In this article we will discuss the signs of an underlying pelvic floor dysfunction in children and how pelvic floor therapy can help.

Read more: Pediatrics and Pelvic Health: Bedwetting - When is it a problem?

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Frequent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in children can be closely tied to bowel and bladder dysfunctions

According to the International Children’s Continence Society, frequent urinary tract infections (UTI) in children can be closely tied to bowel and bladder dysfunctions, which are closely tied to pelvic floor dysfunction.

UTIs can signal different things for infants vs. older kids

It’s important for your child to be under the care of a pediatrician. UTIs that occur frequently in newborns/infants can be caused by different issues than UTIs that occur frequently in older children. Under the guidance of a pediatrician, your child will receive more appropriate care.

Read more: Pediatrics and Pelvic Health: Chronic UTIs, Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction

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Skid marks and fecal accidents can be a sign of constipation in children

Here’s what you can do about it.

Does your child have fecal accidents or skid marks in their underwear? This may be a sign of constipation.

Encopresis is fecal soiling associated with functional constipation in a child. The soiling often happens in the underwear, where the child loses whole pieces of formed bowel, liquid bowel, or has fecal staining on the underwear due to the inability to get clean when wiping. Constipation and encopresis are common problems in children. Encopresis is most common between ages 3 and 7 years.

Read more: Pediatrics and Pelvic Health: Encoporesis, Skid marks, Poop Accidents, and Constipation

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September is Healthy Aging Month

We here at Fusion Wellness PT consider pain free sex an important factor of aging healthfully! Today we talk about two common orthopedic complaints when engaging in penetrative sex: achy backs and bad hips.

Orthopedic Considerations and Penetrative Sex

As we all know, sex is an important activity for many and an important aspect of quality of life, especially as we age. In this article we’ll cover some common orthopedic issues associated with penetrative sex that people have with sex as they age and some suggestions for what you can do about it.

Read more: Healthy Aging Month: Sex and Your Bad Back and Hips

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Did you know that chronic pelvic pain can happen to all bodies, regardless of your sex?

If you have a human body, you have pelvic floor muscles and these muscles can be dysfunctional, causing pelvic pain in the low back, pelvis, groin, genitalia, and hip region. Pelvic pain is often described as a "headache in the pelvis," but can often times have more acute pain areas including painful penis and testicles. Read on for more information. 

Men and people with male anatomy can often have pain and various symptoms including:

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As an approved way to get exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic in California and other places, people are dusting off their bicycles and riding the streets for exercise. 

Over the years, some literature has shown a connection between bicycling, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction including erectile dysfunction.  Fortunately, studies also show there are some specific preventative strategies in terms of how you’re riding and the equipment you’re using that can help mitigate the risks.

In the end, there are many health benefits to cycling, including improved cardiovascular health, better weight control, and decreased risk of breast cancer in women (Greenberg, 2019).

Read more: Cycling and Erectile Dysfunction: The Connection

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Doctors have known for decades that smoking affects lung and heart health, greatly increasing risk of both lung cancer and heart disease. In recent research, they have been finding that smoking increases risk to various urologic diseases as well.

Bladder Cancer

Cigarette smoking triples the risk for bladder cancer when compared with the risk in nonsmokers, about 50% of bladder cancer in men and 20% in women can be attributable to smoking (Freedman, 2011). Cigarette smoke contains about 60 different carcinogens, and many of these are identifiable in the urine of smokers (Manatonski, 1981). Cigarette smoking is one of the largest risk factors we can control to prevent the development of bladder cancer in men and women. 

Prostate Cancer

Although the cause of prostate cancer is not clear, some researchers believe it may be due to various factors including genetics, diet, inflammation, infectious agents, hormonal imbalance, or exposure to toxins like cigarette smoke (Dwivedi, 2012). A 2012 study by Dwivedi found that smoking increased

Read more: How Bladder Health Can Affect Prostate, Erectile Function, and Pelvic Health

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A 2019 literature review by Twitchell et al. shows there is ample evidence that sexual dysfunction is commonly reported in male cancer survivors regardless of age, cancer diagnosis, or treatment of cancer.

In their analysis, they also found that many of the men reported negative psychological effects from their sexual dysfunction including low self-esteem, body image, and mental health.

Commonly reported sexual dysfunction in male survivors of pelvic cancer including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and bladder cancer include ejaculatory dysfunction, low sexual desire, ED, and orgasmic dysfunction.

Procedures That Affect Sexual Function

Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are often used to treat cancer, including pelvic cancers. While surgeons and oncologists always use procedures to minimize nerve damage and tissue damage, these negative side effects cannot be completely avoided (Twitchell et al., 2019).

Read more: Male Sexual Dysfunction in Pelvic Cancer Survivors

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During this time of isolation, you can still feel connected.

A home program for our patients is something we have always emphasized, and with great success. The founder of Fusion Wellness, Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, even wrote a book that emphasizes self care.

While we are not denigrating the beneficial effects of hands-on therapy as one part of the solution for pelvic pain, incontinence, chronic pain, etc., there is still much to be gained from simply observing one’s movement and using that information to lead us towards the rest of our clinical exam.

Read more: Now Scheduling Telehealth Sessions

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Addressing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Concerns:

Updated 9/22/2020

Here at Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy, we are following COVID-19 along with the rest of the world. Our offices have always followed Universal Precautions and follow CDC infection control guidelines. LA Mayor Garcetti's Executive Orders have specifically listed Physical Therapy as EXEMPT from the order, allowing our offices to remain open at this time. In order to reduce patient and therapist risks, we have a number of policies in place to reduce exposure. Related to the COVID-19 per CDC’s website, “the White House Coronavirus Task Force and CDC advised Americans to wear cloth face coverings when leaving home" and to "Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others". Additionally Los Angeles County and the City of Glendale (where our Montrose office is located) mandates people have face masks going in to any business.

In addition, CDC recommends following everyday preventive actions, such as washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home when you are sick.”

Read more: Addressing COVID-19 Concerns

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Pain at the pubic bone is also known as pubic symphysis pain

This pain is often caused by instability in the pelvic girdle and can be exacerbated by sport injuries and pregnancy. Common sport positions that include deep squatting (hockey, catcher's position, soccer goalie) can exacerbate the discomfort. Pregnancy is also a common exacerbation, in a study by Mogren (2006), 50% of pregnant women have some type of pelvic girdle pain prior to 20 weeks gestation.

Pubic symphysis pain can make daily activities like working, walking, and doing chores, painful if not impossible, and can can also negatively affect quality of life and sexual life.

Read more: Pubic Symphysis Pain and Pelvic Floor Therapy

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When talking to some of my patients, I’ve noticed that lubricants have a negative stigma.

For instance, women believe that something must be wrong with them if they have to use a lubricant.

Yes, there are natural causes with aging that can cause vaginal dryness, but our society has also skewed the way we view our natural lubrication. Every woman has glands in their vagina that secrete various amounts of lubrication. My thought is why not add to the fun, because lubricants can definitely be that!

Using a lubricant can enhance the pleasure, decrease friction, prevent pain/discomfort, and prolong sexual excitement, so why wouldn’t you want to use it. Now finding the right lubricant for you can be a challenge, but no worries this will help you get started. We will start with some basics when looking for your soulmate lubricant.

Read more: Finding the right lubricant for you

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