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That is NOT normal!

Incontinence

No, that is NOT normal!

Ladies, today I am talking to you! Gentlemen, I appreciate your patience as we divert towards a “female issue” for this blog. I do hope the men folk will read this as you may be able to provide some helpful information to the women in your life.

Far too many times in my career I have been told by women that urinary incontinence after giving birth is normal. This may include leakage while coughing/sneezing, inability to run / perform jumping jacks / jump on a trampoline due to concerns of leaking, or keeping track of where the nearest bathroom is at ALL times! Well, that depends on your definition of “normal” is and what your definition of “quality of life” involves.

What is “normal”? It is true that nearly 50% of women experience some form of incontinence (lack of urinary control) immediately after giving birth. The research also indicates that 30-70% of these symptoms spontaneously resolve after 6-12 months. So, if you continue to suffer from loss of urinary control one year after giving birth, you are in good company. There are many, many women in your boat who are avoiding certain activities due to a lack of pelvic floor control. You are “normal”.

However, I would argue that your quality of life is affected as you limit participation in activities such as bouncy houses with your children, playing on the trampoline, or perhaps training for that 5K you have always wanted to try. I would further argue that this is not “normal”. Studies show that 50-75% of women who continue to suffer with urinary incontinence can benefit from Physical Therapy treatment of the pelvic floor to improve urinary retention during stressful activities (coughing, sneezing, jumping, running).

You may have heard of the infamous “Kegel exercises”. Your doctor may have told you to do them twice per day and that will solve the problem. But, how do you know that you are doing them right? Or why haven’t they worked for you? The truth is that there is more to the pelvic floor than just the sling of muscles holding everything up. The pelvic floor works in conjunction with abdominals and the low back muscles to provide urinary and fecal continence. Also, the pelvic floor attaches into the femur which means that a limitation in hip mobility may be affecting pelvic floor control.

At Physical Therapy for everyBODY, I perform a complete core evaluation of the hips, low back, all appropriate muscles, as well as a complete history to formulate a plan that will work for your body. No two bodies are the same which means that no two plans are the same. However, many patients can be treated with just a few visits and a comprehensive home exercise program that is not difficult and does not involve special equipment. I hope you will contact me today and begin your path to the quality life you and your body deserve!

Oh, and don’t get me started on pain during intercourse! That is NOT normal and can have a significant impact on your relationship. Call me, let’s talk!

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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