Women’s Health

The health science emphasis on women's fitness & wellness has illuminated a need to attend to the female body throughout recreation, work and life. Our physical therapists have specialized training designed to benefit women with a variety of medical conditions. Skilled evaluation and treatment of female clients promotes and enhances health throughout their lifespan. All treatments are individually designed after a thorough evaluation. 1

Examples Of Conditions Treated:

  • Dyspareunia 12,14
    Pain in the absence of organic disease localized to the vagina or lower pelvis with penetration. Treatments to decrease pain and improve function include: stretching, strengthening, heat and cold modalities, and desensitization techniques.
  • Fibromyalgia 1
    Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition with persistent and widespread musculoskeletal pain along with specific tender points. A variety of other symptoms, varying patient to patient, include generalized stiffness, fatigue, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Treatments to reduce pain and promote function include stretching and strengthening exercises, heat and cold modalities, and instruction in proper body mechanics and posture to incorporate throughout daily activities.
  • Vulvodynia 7,8,9,10,11
    Chronic vulvar discomfort characterized by the patient’s complaint of burning, stinging, or redness. This can result in an inability to have penetration without pain lasting longer than 6 months.
  • Urethral Syndrome 14
    This is also characterized as pain with urination. This is a symptom complex of dysuria, frequency, urgency, super pubic discomfort and voiding dysfunction.
  • Pelvic Floor Tension and Pain 6
    Pelvic floor tension or pain in the sling of muscles which support the bladder, uterus, and rectum can be caused by muscle, joint, or nerve problems. The patient may have difficulty sitting, pain during intercourse, or pain in the hips or lower abdomen. Rehabilitation includes pelvic floor relaxation training, manual therapy, and biofeedback.
  • Vaginismus 13,14
    Vaginismus is defined as the inability to penetrate the vagina because of muscle spasm of all three pelvic floor muscle layers. This can be a protective response to muscle thinning, vaginal infection, or a presence of a fistula or fissure.
  • Incontinence 2
    Incontinence is the loss of bladder or bowel control resulting in involuntary loss of urine or stool. Pelvic floor weakness resulting in a loss of muscular support for the bladder, uterus or rectum may be the cause. Incontinence of urine may be termed stress, urgency, or frequency incontinence. Treatment may include: electrical stimulation, biofeedback, and exercise with or without vaginal weights.
  • Lymphedema 3
    Lymphedema is a persistent swelling of the arm or leg. It may occur after mastectomy, when lymph nodes are damaged or removed following infection or scar formation which blocks the lymphatic fluid flow. Lymphedema may occur weeks, months, or years after the initial injury. Exercise, massage, and custom-made compression bandaging and compression garments are among the treatment choices.
  • Osteoporosis 5
    Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thin and brittle, and break more easily. Therapy programs include instruction in proper body mechanics and exercise, fitting of braces or orthotics, and treatments like moist heat and electrical stimulation to relieve pain.
  • Obstetrical Dysfunction (Orthopedic and High Risk)
    Pregnant women may suffer from pain or aching in the back or shoulder blades, rib cage, groin area, or wrists due to changes in posture, weight and hormonal factors. Not only are these women more susceptible to injury during pregnancy, but related orthopedic problems may persist or begin following pregnancy. Maternity supports, manual therapy, strengthening or retraining techniques are typical treatments. For a woman in a high risk pregnancy, bed rest is often necessary. The physical therapist designs an individual program of exercises and positioning as well as incorporating relaxation training into the patient's overall program. Post-delivery rehabilitation including strengthening and endurance training is also included.


  1. Section on Women's Health Brochure. "Fibromyalgia". 2001
  2. Section on Women's Health Brochure. "Incontinence". 2001
  3. Section on Women's Health Brochure. "Lymphedema". 2001
  4. Section on Women's Health Brochure. "Obstertrical Dysfunction". 2001
  5. Section on Women's Health Brochure. "Osteoporosis". 2001
  6. Section on Women's Health Brochure. "Pelvic Floor Tension / Pain". 2001
  7. Spadt S: Suffering in silence: managing vulvar pain patients. Contempt Nurse Practioners Nov/Dec 1995.
  8. MacLean A: Benign and premalignant diseases of the vulva. Brit J Obstet and Gynaecol 102:359-363, 1995.
  9. Reid R: Vulvodynia: What is it and how can we break the pain loop? Presentation to the Int Soc for the Study of Vulvar Disease. Quebec, September, 1993.
  10. Marinoff S: Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: An overview. Am J Obstet Gynecol 165:1228-33, 1991.
  11. Secor M: Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome. Nurse Prac Forum 3:3:161-168, 1992
  12. Glatt A: The prevalence of dyspareunia. Obstet Gynecol 75:433, 1990.
  13. Hall S: Vaginismus as a cause of dyspareunia.W.J. of S.,O.&G, 117-120, March 1952.
  14. Steege J, Metzger D, Levy B: Chronic Pelvic Pain An Integrated Approach. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, 1998.
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