Pelvic Floor Health with
Lisa of Momumental PT

Happy Friend Feature Friday!

...that's what I'm calling it, anyway! On Fridays, I do my best to introduce you to a new provider or resource, and this week I want to introduce my friend, Lisa of Momumental PT!

"Hi, I'm Lisa Smiley, the physical therapist at Momumental Physical Therapy. I'm a Doctor of Physical Therapy with post-grad training in pelvic health and obstetrics, and a mom of one! I am also a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach.

I am passionate about helping people have comfortable pregnancies, prepare for labor and delivery, and feel confident in their postpartum recovery!"


Lisa shared more about what Pelvic Floor Therapy is, and it's information that EVERY woman should know about!

---------------------------------------


Why did you become a physical therapist?

I have always been interested in the human body, and knew I wanted to go into the medical field in some way. I know a lot of people become physical therapists because of their own personal experience with injury and rehab, but I fortunately never had a bad injury. I really grew interested in physical therapy because of the relationships you develop with patients; we actually get to spend a lot of time with our patients compared to other medical professionals.


Can you tell us what pelvic floor physical therapy is?

Pelvic floor physical therapy can be viewed the same as all other physical therapy: we are looking at the musculoskeletal system to determine a cause of the patient's pain or symptoms. This just involves the pelvic floor muscles, which are the group of muscles at the base of your pelvis. We treat things like leaking with sneezing, coughing, or exercise; urinary frequency; bowel conditions; pain with intercourse; pregnancy pains; and provide postpartum rehab. Pelvic floor physical therapists assess the same things you would for another body part: strength, range of motion, flexibility, endurance, and pain of the muscles. Sometimes this involves an internal examination and other times it's through asking the right questions and observing movement patterns that can give us some answers.


What made you choose pelvic floor physical therapy for your specialty?

I honestly had never heard of pelvic floor physical therapy until I was in physical therapy school, and one of my professors was a pelvic floor PT. She taught an elective that I took in our third year, and that is what really peaked my interest in the field. I was learning about how many times we should actually be going to the bathroom and what happens to your muscles during pregnancy and childbirth, and really thought this is information that everyone should know. The pelvic floor is important for so many integral functions and it wasn't getting talked about often enough. Selfishly, I knew I wanted to have children some day and I wanted to know what I could do for my own pelvic health.


What is the most common misconception about pelvic floor physical therapy?

That it's only about doing kegels. In reality, many people actually have an overactive pelvic floor, and would benefit from learning how to relax the muscles. Also, a huge part of pelvic floor physical therapy is looking at the whole body and how it works together as a system to determine contributing factors to your symptoms.


Is pelvic floor physical therapy just for women who have complications postpartum?6. When can/should women work with a pelvic floor physical therapist?

Pelvic floor physical therapy can be for anyone with a pelvis (i.e. everyone) and at any stage of life. Women and men should work with a pelvic floor PT if they are experiencing leaking of urine, feces, or gas; pelvic girdle, low back, or tailbone pain; pain with intercourse; difficulty fully emptying bladder or bowel; straining to empty; bladder urgency or frequency; prolapse; diastasis recti; or want to prepare for labor/delivery and postpartum recovery!


If you could tell women just one thing that could change their pelvic health?

It's often not just the pelvic floor that is contributing to your pelvic health. Your stress levels, diet, sleep, habits, posture, breathing, movement patterns, etc. all influence your pelvic floor.


 What is your favorite part of your job as a pelvic floor physical therapist?

I love helping women feel more confident in their life, especially moms. We're slowly changing the narrative that moms can be active to the same level as pre-pregnancy, it just takes a mindful and strategic progression postpartum. You no longer have to sit out from your favorite activity or from playing with your kids because of embarrassing symptoms: there's help for that!


Tell us about the 6-week

 Postpartum Rebuild Program and why every birthing woman needs it!
I wanted to create something that would support my patients and those that couldn't come to in-person visits. Your body has gone through major physical, hormonal, and physiologic changes being pregnant and having a baby, and it's time that there is rehab to reflect that. This program starts at the foundation with deep core activation exercises and stretching to develop a routine, then transitions to resistance exercises to rebuild your strength. I worked really hard to make the workouts achievable for busy moms, while still preparing you for all of the things moms do everyday: lifting, carrying, feeding etc.
Stay tuned: this program is soon transitioning to a 12-week program that will include a progression into impact exercises like running and jumping.


Anything else you want to share? 

Every person who has delivered a baby deserves at least one visit with a pelvic floor physical therapist soon after delivery. Just one visit can give you some invaluable information about your individual body and recovery timelines, and set you up well so you're not experiencing symptoms down the road.
Lastly, it's never too late to make improvements in your pelvic health! It's a muscle group, which can be trained at any point!

_________________________

If you're looking for more physical support during pregnancy, postpartum... or just life... reach out to Lisa to schedule an appointment with her!

Created with Showit
© 2020 Erin Brier

erin brier

BIRTHING