Women's Health Issues

Rehabilitation services offered at Skagit Regional Health for women's issues include education and therapy for incontinence, lymphedema and pelvic floor pain.

Incontinence
Physical Therapist, Skagit Regional Health, Mount Vernon, WAIf you have unintended leakage of urine, don’t let embarrassment keep you from getting treatment.

Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects 13 million Americans. As a result of pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and the structure of the urinary tract, women are more likely to experience this condition than men. Urinary incontinence is not an inevitable consequence of aging. It is treatable and often curable. Improvement is shown with treatment in 80 percent of cases.

A physical therapist specially trained in this type of therapy can provide treatment for stress incontinence (leakage with physical activity, coughing or laughter) and urge incontinence (sudden need to urinate). Therapy includes:

  • Strengthening exercises for pelvic floor muscles 
  • Biofeedback techniques to ensure correct pelvic floor strengthening (such as Kegel’s)
  • Electrical stimulation to re-educate muscles
  • Bladder "fitness" education
  • Bladder retraining

If you feel you would benefit from an evaluation by a physical therapist, contact your gynecologist or family physician and request a physician referral to the Skagit Valley Hospital Rehabilitation Department therapists who specialize in women’s health issues.

Lymphedema
Lymphedema is characterized by a swelling of the arm or leg due to a gathering of lymph fluid following breast or ovarian/uterine surgery or for treatment of Hodgkin’s lymnphona or sarcoma cancer with removal of lymph nodes and/or radiation therapy. Physical therapists in the Rehabilitation Department provide:

  • Education regarding precautions, safety tips and activities to avoid.
  • Therapeutic exercises and aerobic exercise to increase motion, strength and stimulate lymph flow.
  • Compression bandaging and compression sleeves to decrease swelling.
  • Manual lymphatic drainage massage to improve lymph drainage.

Treatment is initially focused on decreasing lymphedema and then on education for long-term self-management. If you think you may have lymphedema, speak to your gynecologist or family physician for a referral to Physical Therapy.

Pelvic floor pain
Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts who can augment a physician’s therapy to address pelvic floor pain.

Therapists work to teach patients correct techniques for pelvic floor strengthening exercises and assess if a patient is doing them correctly.

Therapists are also able to assess pelvic floor strength, perform biofeedback evaluations and emphasis home care for patients.

If you feel you would benefit from an evaluation by a physical therapist, contact your gynecologist or family physician and request a physician referral to the Skagit Valley Hospital Rehabilitation Department therapists who specialize in women’s health issues.
 
For more information, call the Skagit Rehab Center at 360-814-2184.