Why Would I Need Physical Therapy?
If you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m sure you’re well aware that a multitude of health disparities exists within the community. We’ve been mis-gendered, we’ve had providers ignore the unique complexities of our transgender friends anatomy and physiology, we’ve heard harmful language straight from the mouths of doctors and WE’RE FED UP WITH IT!
While we can’t change the world, we do at least offer a safe environment for you to participate in physical therapy. There are certain unique factors that we consider for our LGBTQ+ patients when considering if physical therapy is right for you.
If you experience any of the following, then you might want to give us a call!
- Pelvic Pain
- Pain with Sex
- Body Dysphoria
- Urinary Incontinence
- Fecal Incontinence
- You Are About to Undergo Gender Affirming Surgery
- Lymphedema Following Gender-Affirming Surgery
- Post Surgical Mobility Difficulty
- Scar Tissue Immobility or Pain
What Exactly is Pelvic Floor Therapy?
EVERYONE has a pelvic floor. A common misconception is that only people who are assigned female at birth need pelvic floor therapy, but that’s just not true. Regardless of your gender or sex identity, we all have reproductive tracts, urinary tracts, gastrointestinal tracts, and musculature that supports the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor therapy addresses any dysfunction that occurs within the pelvis. Pelvic pain, pain with sex, erectile dysfunction, urinary “leakage” or incontinence, fecal incontinence, excessive urination, constipation, scar tissue pain, and vascular issues are some of the few things that we help to manage here. We use both manual techniques and exercise prescription to help reach your goals.
What is Involved During a Pelvic Floor Evaluation?
A pelvic floor evaluation may consist of an external examination where you may be asked to expose some parts of your body. While we maintain as much modesty as possible during the exams, we understand that you may need extra time to become comfortable in our clinical space. We will never perform hands-on examination without your full consent. Even if subjective information is all you are comfortable providing, we will still try our best to help you!
An internal examination, either rectally or vaginally, may also be performed. According to each patient, we can use different terms for these exams as necessary. As the patient, you of course have the option to deny this part of the evaluation or to discontinue the exam if you become uncomfortable. If you do wish to refrain from an internal exam, our therapist will explain the beneficial information we may receive from an internal exam, and let you know that you can change your mind at any time, but we WILL NOT pressure you.
Hormone replacement therapy is an exciting step! While it comes with a lot of incredibly welcomed effects on the body, it also may cause some unintended effects such as pelvic pain, difficulty with mobility, muscle aches, and more. Hormones can effect the density of your bones, your energy levels, the laxity of your ligaments, and other body structures that may cause these negative side effects. As a pelvic floor specialty clinic, we provide gender affirming care to any patient experiencing pelvic pain.
Beyond pelvic health, our physical therapist and personal trainers can help you build muscle where it’s needed in order to help contour your body to your preference. Whether you want broader shoulders, more narrow shoulders, a more robust waist — we can help. While this article discusses body contouring through a surgical lens, it provides great information about the musculoskeletal system and some of the challenges you may face – whether you are trans-masculine, trans-feminine, or somewhere in between.