PT eDigest

PTD0914_Menopause News Flash: Physical Therapy Relieves Menopausal Symptoms

If you are starting to experience symptoms of menopause, you may wonder whether physical therapy can help in some way. The answer is yes! We can customize treatments to address the areas the most important to your current and future health. Physical therapy can help with these common issues associated with menopause:

  • Bone density, strength and balance. Using free weights, weight machines or exercise bands, you will strengthen muscles and maintain bone density, balance and flexibility to reduce the risk of falls and of serious fracture if you do fall. Bonus: Building muscle increases metabolism—the rate at which you burn calories—even at rest.
  • Insomnia, hot flashes and weight gain. While these issues have some association with reduced hormone levels, research indicates that regular aerobic exercise can keep them in check. If you do not have a favorite sport, such as biking or tennis, that promotes aerobic conditioning, we will help you design a low-impact walking or swimming plan to help you become much more physically fit and less susceptible to these symptoms.
  • Insomnia, part two. Therapeutic massage is effective for menopause-related insomnia. Massage can also help alleviate other difficulties sometimes associated with menopause, such as anxiety and depression.
  • Painful intercourse. Dyspareunia—experiencing pain before, during or after sexual intercourse—affects millions of women. When the root cause rests with pelvic tissues and muscles that need to be relaxed and/or strengthened, several months of pelvic floor physical therapy can make a significant difference. We can teach you specific exercises you can perform yourself, along with how biofeedback can help you track your progress. Special soft tissue techniques may also help alleviate dyspareunia.
  • Urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help with this problem, too. We can teach you the proper way to do classic Kegel exercises, the repeated contraction and release of the pelvic muscles, including those that surround the bladder and affect urinary flow.

Do not be embarrassed about consulting us. We are trained to help patients at all stages and phases of life. Early intervention is key to keeping everything under control and helping you feel comfortable during this period of your life.

Download the PTe Digest for August 2014