Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
with Kelsea Cannon from Elizabeth Rogers Pilates & Physical Therapy
At Acupuncture Northwest & Associates we love learning about other top practitioners in our community, especially those we think our patients may benefit from! With this in mind, I had the opportunity to talk with Kelsea Cannon, a PT and Pelvic Health Specialist at Elizabeth Rogers Pilates and Physical Therapy clinic. We consider this article a PSA, as the amazing benefits of pelvic floor therapy are not talked about enough!
As many of our patients know, finding a good physical therapist is key to a speedy recovery post sports injury or surgery. However, many folks are unaware of pelvic floor therapy which addresses a weakness or tightness in the female pelvic floor muscles (holding the vagina, bladder, rectum and uterus). Causes of this very common dysfunction include pregnancy, childbirth or c-section, poor posture, traumatic injury or continual high impact sports, as well as advanced age.
As Kelsea explained to me, the reasons to see a pelvic floor therapist are wide reaching. She most commonly sees patients experiencing pelvic pain, endometriosis, bowel dysfunction (ie, constipation), urinary incontinence (or leakage), pelvic organ prolapse, or in the prenatal/postpartum and perimenopause periods. A huge takeaway from our conversation, is that we both recommend pelvic floor treatments as a preventative measure, or BEFORE an issue becomes a daily disturbance. Like acupuncture, patients sometimes turn to pelvic floor PT as a last resort, when many of their problems could have been prevented had they started treatment earlier.
A prime example of this, seen in both of our clinics, is postpartum patients experiencing pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, or pain. Kelsea recommends expectant mothers start PT treatment during their pregnancy (rather than months or even years after), to prevent problems such as prolapse, incontinence, or persistent low back/pelvic pain down the line. She is also able to see postpartum women before their 6 week OB check-up, which also aids in prevention by providing patient education on protection of the pelvic floor and abdominal tissues during their early phases of healing.
Similar to our clinic’s practitioners, Kelsea takes a holistic approach to her work and focuses on whole body health. An interesting example of this is when she was treating a patient who was experiencing persistent pain in their neck, shoulders, and jaw muscles. During the intake, Kelsea discovered the patient was also experiencing mild urinary incontinence, an easily overlooked symptom. After the patient agreed to a pelvic floor muscle assessment, it was discovered that the patient was also holding tension in their pelvic floor muscles, causing the urinary leakage. By offering relaxation and lengthening techniques (called ‘muscle downtraining’) for both the pelvic floor muscles as well as the neck and shoulder muscles, Kelsea was able to simultaneously treat pelvic floor dysfunction and the tension held in their neck and jaw. So cool and right up our acupuncture alley!
Kelsea’s hour long treatments include manual therapy, patient education, and therapeutic exercises. She also uses a Pilates-based approach for muscle re-education for all patient populations. Because it takes 3 months for our muscles to strengthen and change, Kelsea’s course of treatments generally span this period, with more frequent visits in the beginning and less as a patient begins to get relief.
I loved learning more about pelvic floor health from a PT’s point of view, and this type of work may be beneficial for many of our patients! Thank you Kelsea for talking with me!
If you are interested in learning more about Pelvic Floor Therapy you can find Kelsea at the Mount Baker and Ravenna locations of the Elizabeth Rogers Pilates and Physical Therapy Clinic!