It’s amazing to see the larger cultural trend of increased numbers of pelvic health providers. There’s more widespread education about pelvic health, pregnant people have more access to preventative care, folks with pelvic pain have more resources to experience pleasure. The list goes on! This is how it should be. But what if your pelvic floor challenges began when you had a baby 10, 15, 30 years ago? Your doctor might have sent you home with some highly prescriptive information about kegels, and maybe that was it. Maybe you were forced to accept that leaking or weakness was just going to be a part of your life forever. Maybe you’re resentful that no one was talking to you about the pelvic floor when your specific challenges began.
You might be thinking, “Is there even a point to see a pelvic floor therapist now?”
The answer is: YES! It is NEVER too late.
Will your rehab look different than someone coming in with newer challenges? Yes. Your body may have developed compensatory strategies for dealing with core weakness or incontinence. You may have more ingrained motor patterns that are causing
you to walk, sit, or stand in a certain way that exacerbates dysfunction. Although the neural pathways that support motor learning may decrease with age, there’s great research to suggest that continued motor learning is beneficial for cognitive and physical functioning. So seeing a pelvic floor therapist might be beneficial for your body AND your mind.
In a typical session, your pelvic floor therapist may look at posture, gait, and functional movements like sitting down, standing up, or squatting. We may look at your breathing mechanics, and evaluate the muscle strength of your hip and pelvic floor muscles. We assess more restricted or tense muscle groups and may use manual therapy to support lengthening of the muscle or relaxation.
It’s never “too late” to see a pelvic floor PT or OT. You don’t have to accept pelvic floor dysfunction as part of your life. You deserve easeful and meaningful participation in the activities that matter most to you, at any age.
Are you interested in starting your healing journey no matter how long you've been dealing with these issues?
This article was written by Mirah Sand OTR/L. They are a pelvic floor occupational therapist who is certified Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, and
has received advanced pelvic health training through Herman and
Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.
Tseng, B., & Craddock, C. Old Dog, New Tricks: Learning Novel Motor Tasks May Enhance Brain Health in Older Adults. Imaging, 38(5), 1169-1176.