Let’s Talk About Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic Floor Therapy at Penn Highlands

We get it; some topics are awkward to talk about even with your doctor. Men and women both experience pelvic floor dysfunction. This occurs when the muscles and connective tissue that support the pelvis area are too weak or too tight, causing bowel, rectum, bladder and sexual function issues. The good news? There are treatment options.

“Symptoms vary depending on the type of dysfunction,” said Physical Therapist, Melissa West, PT, DPT, who provides outpatient pelvic floor rehabilitation at The Rehabilitation Center of Penn Highlands Healthcare in DuBois. “Some common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include pelvic pain or cramping; pressure or heaviness in their pelvis; urinary urgency, frequency or incontinence; and painful intercourse as well as constipation.”

For people who are living with any of these symptoms due to pelvic floor dysfunction, specialized rehabilitation can help reduce the pain. Penn Highlands Healthcare offers pelvic function rehabilitation at The Rehabilitation Center in DuBois and the treatment will be offered at The Rehabilitation Center in St. Marys in the fall of 2023.

“Manual treatment – or hands on – proves to be the most effective treatment for most people who present with pelvic floor dysfunction,” said Mrs. West. “We provide a combination of patient education and strengthening exercises. For some patients, biofeedback is used as a way to teach them how to properly strengthen their muscles.”

When biofeedback is used at Penn Highlands, as patients are being taught their exercises, they can see how the muscles are performing on a computer screen while they are actually exercising them. This helps the patient gain confidence that they are doing the exercises correctly.

“When people know that there is a convenient treatment, they are more apt to seek care for their pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms,” added Mrs. West.

It is also important to note that most insurance companies cover pelvic floor dysfunction rehabilitation.

In addition to providing pelvic floor dysfunction therapy, The Rehabilitation Center locations in DuBois and St. Marys help patients recover from illness, injury and surgery as well as to regain independence after experiencing a disability. Both sites also offer hand therapy, lymphedema management, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and rehabilitation services.

The Rehabilitation Center in DuBois is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Tuesday from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM; and Friday from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. It is located in the Center of Excellence at 123 Hospital Avenue in DuBois.

The Rehabilitation Center in St. Marys is open weekdays from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM with hours by appointment. It is located in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Building on the campus of Penn Highlands Elk at 757 Johnsonburg Road in St. Marys.