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Sault physiotherapist focuses on pelvic floor treatment for all ages

A number of diagnoses can benefit from pelvic floor rehab, says physiotherapist Megan Doyle

All too often the numbers we rely on are really just approximations at best.

With incontinence, for example, it is said that one in four women have the condition.

“They think, actually, that that’s still very underestimated because a lot of times it’s not talked about, even with physicians. It’s that common feeling that, well, this just happens to women as we age—and that is an unfortunate misconception,” says physiotherapist Megan Doyle.

She mostly sees both women and men between the ages of 50 and 75. That represents the majority of her clientele, but it’s changing and that’s a good thing. “We’re starting to see women come sooner, from the ages of 35 to 55. I think that’s because there’s more awareness now of what can be done for these conditions during any time of life,” she says.

Doyle can also see children who may be experiencing issues, whether it’s pain, incontinence or night wetting. She sees people across the lifespan.

A number of diagnoses can benefit from pelvic floor rehab, including urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, dysfunctional bladder, sexual dysfunction, hip and sacroiliac joint dysfunction, frequent constipation, pudendal neuralgia, and many more.

For many years, Doyle worked at War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She pursued training in pelvic floor rehab at the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. She received special training, which allows her to treat both men and women with pelvic floor dysfunction.

When patients come to see the physiotherapist for the first time, they can expect their first visit to be about an hour long. After that, individual treatments come in 30, 45 or 60-minute blocks. Patients can be seen one or two times per week, but of course everyone’s situation is unique. Some come once a week, others once every two weeks or just once a month.

Treatment can take anywhere from one to three months—and lots of homework is given. Doyle caters each treatment plan to what each patient needs and will work best with their schedules. “Typically, people will see improvement in as early as a month,” she says.

Women and men give up a lot by not pursuing a remedy for their pelvic floor issues. When you experience something like pelvic pain or incontinence, it really affects your quality of life. “A lot of people stop doing what they like to do. They even stop going out to places because they’re afraid that they’ll lose control,” says Doyle.

With treatment, it’s not necessarily a question of needing surgery. “We can actually do a lot to prevent surgery,” says the physiotherapist, “but even if it is necessary, we can help prepare the body for it so that people can recover faster.” She also sees patients post-surgery.

Doyle is also seeing a lot of pre- and post-natal patients, women who are pregnant, experiencing back pain, weakness or incontinence. Many have just had babies and want to be able to return to exercise safely.

Thankfully awareness does seem to be increasing, with more patients realizing that something can be done. They’re doing their own research, hearing about rehab and treatment via word of mouth or being referred by health professionals. People seem to be talking more openly about symptoms. Certain physicians, too, are more aware of the care that physiotherapists provide.

“A big issue too is the waitlists to even get in to see an ob/gyn or a urogynecologist, especially in the Soo, so it’s a good stepping-stone. People can get the help they need without having to just sit and wait with no way of feeling better.”

For more information, visit Radiance Physiotherapy or call 705-574-0390.