Ever since the #1 New York Times bestseller entitled "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" by John Gray was published, more and more people have asked the question "What makes men and women so different?". Gray's use of analogies and metaphors to highlight key differences between genders has made the book a modern classic.
Although Gray's work was focused on relationships between spouses, it is important to understand that there are several physical and physiological attributes that are unique to women, and physical therapy plays an important role in women's health, more specifically pelvic health.
Some of the fundamental physical differences between men and women include:
Men have more muscle mass than women.
Women tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. This fat is generally stored in the breasts, hips and buttocks.
Men tend to have more body hair (especially facial hair)
Physical therapists understand the physical differences (and unique needs) between the male and female population and we are uniquely qualified to assist men and women to live healthy, pain-free lives.
Exercises and techniques to treat issues specific to pelvic health may include:
Muscle retraining – This creates body awareness (how you get in and out of your car, how you bend to pick things up, how you sit, overall posture, etc.) and improves movement patterns. Muscle retraining is also beneficial for those struggling with different diagnoses such as incontinence, urgency, pelvic pain, and pre/post-pregnancy.
Exercise Therapy – helps improve mobility, strength, and endurance. This also strengthens bones and joints. One exercise many people know is the Kegel. The Kegel is one way to strengthen a weak pelvic floor and can be very beneficial, however some pelvic floor related symptoms require relaxation instead of the strengthening.
Modalities – Application of biofeedback, heat and/or ice, electrical stimulation therapy, and massage therapy to reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Manual therapy – helps improve joint and soft tissue flexibility and mobility by using repetitive and specific hands-on movements and motions.
A women's health physical therapist can also assist men with pelvic floor related complications. There are many other ways your women's health therapist can assist you with your specific needs. For example, did you know that a Women's health therapist can also assist men with pelvic floor related issues also?
At In Touch Physical therapy, each physical therapy program is different and is customized to the patient's needs. Women and men have unique physical and physiological attributes that physical therapists take into consideration. In fact, a section of the American Physical Therapy Association is dedicated to specialization in women's health. At our clinic we have two therapists who have been trained in treating pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Physical therapy can make a difference to every member in your family at some point. Give us a call today at 507-451-7888, and ask us about what we can do for you.
Just remember to #ChoosePT