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Pelvic floor muscles

What to Expect at Your First Pelvic Floor PT Visit

Pelvic floor muscles

By: Rachel Larson, PT, DPT, CLT

What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

A pelvic floor physical therapist is just like any other physical therapist you may have worked with in the past! We are musculoskeletal, neurological, and movement specialists. However, we also have additional training specifically for pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor physical therapists address diagnoses such as pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapses, diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles), low back pain due to pregnancy, and much, much more. We can even see you if you don’t have any issues and just want to proactively strengthen your pelvic floor!

Why Pelvic Floor PT?

While it’s more common than people think, it is not normal to pee your pants after having a baby or to have pain with intercourse! Pelvic floor physical therapy is a great, non-surgical solution to these problems. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, then your therapist can help retrain your bladder and strengthen your pelvic floor. Or for pelvic pain, rather than strengthening the pelvic floor, we can also help train your pelvic floor to relax. Please know that there is help out there for you for any of these problems you may be experiencing!

What will my first appointment be like?

Based on your main concern regarding your pelvic floor, you can expect your pelvic floor physical therapist to:

  • Start by having a conversation about what your area of concern is, when it began, and how we can help you
  • Assess your posture, gait pattern, lower back and hip ranges of motion, as well as your strength
  • With your consent and only if they believe it is appropriate for your specific case, your therapist can perform an internal assessment of your pelvic floor musculature. The purpose of the internal assessment is to test the strength and range of motion of your pelvic floor muscles to get a better idea of your specific diagnosis. The setup of an internal assessment is similar to the setup of your yearly OBGYN visit. You, and a chaperone if you wish, will be brought into a private room. The room is sanitized including sheets on the table and has sheets to keep you covered during the exam. Your therapist also won’t need to use stirrups or speculums! They will put on a clean pair of gloves and use a water-based lubricant to perform a manual exam. Any additional tools will only be used in follow-up treatments and not in the initial internal evaluation.
  • Prescribe a personalized exercise program that is tailored to your main concern to help return you to your daily life
What do I do next?

To schedule an evaluation with a pelvic floor physical therapist, you can either give us a call directly or you can see your doctor to be referred. If you have any questions or want to learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy and what we can offer, please give us a call!

Pediatric Speech Therapist

Understanding Your Child: Speech Intelligibility

 What is Speech Intelligibility?

Communication is crucial for children in early developmental stages. However, when communication is interrupted, children can start to fall behind the developmental curve. Parents often worry about their child not being understood by others. Speech intelligibility is the clarity of one’s speech to others or how much of someone’s speech is understood. Higher degrees of speech intelligibility are easier to understand than lower degrees of intelligibility.

Is Your Child on Track?

Dr. Peter Flipsen Jr. is a renowned speech-language pathologist who has taught at schools all over the country. Dr. Flipsen devised an easy formula to show how speech clarity typically develops in children. Dr. Flipsen suggests dividing the age of the child by four. For example, if your child is 2, then you divide 2 by 4 and get .5 or 50%. This means that, on average, someone meeting a two-year-old for the first time should understand around 50% of what the child is saying. Typically, parents will be able to understand more of their own child’s speech since they are around their child more often and therefore are more familiar with their child’s speech patterns.

Dr. Flipsen's formula for determining a child's speech intelligibility development

Factors That Affect Speech Intelligibility 

Many factors impact how well a child is understood. The most notable of these factors is the production of speech sound errors. A speech sound error is when a child says a sound the wrong way. For example, a common error is replacing “th” with “f” and saying “fink” instead of “think”. The number, type, and consistency of speech sound errors can affect how easily someone can understand what a child is trying to say. It is important to remember that 100% clear speech/well-understood speech does not necessarily mean there are no speech sound errors since some sounds develop at later ages. A child producing speech sound errors can still be understood when the errors are consistent enough so that people know the child’s speech patterns.

Some other factors that can be affecting your child’s speech development are:

  • Apraxia – when the brain has trouble sending the correct messages to the muscles of the mouth on how to move
  • Dysarthria – the mouth muscles are weak and cannot make the correct sounds
  • Developmental disorders and genetic syndromes – these are often noticed when a child is severely delayed in producing speech sounds and language
  • Brain injuries – these can cause a child to stop any progress they’ve made or forget things they’ve already learned about speech and language
  • Hearing loss – children experiencing hearing loss often have trouble developing higher frequency sounds such as “f”, “s”, and “th”. You may also notice a sudden decline in their speech intelligibility or an increase in speech sound errors.

Speech Therapy Can Help!

If your child does not meet Dr. Flipsen’s averages, they may benefit from skilled speech therapy services. Speech therapists can help to determine the source of the problem and then identify and correct the errors with interventions.

Speech therapists have exercises and activities they can utilize to help your child develop their speech skills, such as:

  • Play-based tasks that focus on producing sounds correctly and work on the child’s volume and enunciation.
  • Directed tasks at certain sound productions including visual models, descriptions, and assisting the child’s movement with touch. For example, if a child struggles to produce the sound “f”, a skilled speech therapist can verbally and physically cue them. A verbal cue would be a therapist saying “watch me, I’m putting my teeth on my bottom lip”. A physical cue would be holding cereal or a lollipop on the child’s lower lip to increase their awareness of touching the bottom lip.
  • Moving from single sounds to syllables, short words, phrases, and then finally to conversation

If you’ve ever thought your child’s speech could use some help, then making an appointment with a speech-language pathologist could be a great option! A speech therapist can target your child’s speech sound errors unique patterns and slow their rate of speech as needed. Speech therapy can help to improve your child’s overall intelligibility and communication skills and open more doors for them as they grow!

Schedule an appointment at one of our 12 locations throughout the Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg, Belton, Boiling Springs, Fort Mill, Powdersville, Seneca and Simpsonville, SC areas.

 

Thanksgiving feast

5 Tips for Enjoying the Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving feastAlthough the holidays are meant to be about family, connecting with people you care about and gratitude, the season often becomes much more about something else: food. Surviving the holiday season is no easy task! The primary focus on food around Thanksgiving can be challenging for many. Whether you stress eat or struggle to continue eating healthy when delicious foods emerge this time of year, Thanksgiving is tough! However, don’t panic and take time to enjoy the holiday. To help you survive the season, our Wellness Coordinators put together 5 tips for enjoying the Thanksgiving feast.

Something you can keep in mind: what you do on and following Thanksgiving Day will determine how quickly you recover.

Here are our 5 tips for enjoying the Thanksgiving feast:

1. Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

  • So, you ate a day and a half’s worth of calories in one sitting…? Half of America did the same! Whether it’s been five minutes since your Thanksgiving meal or it’s the day after, it is most important to get your mind right. You will not “undo” all the progress you have made up to this point in one day. Acknowledge it, accept it, and then move on. There’s enough stress already attached to the holidays, so don’t add ‘worrying about what you’re eating’ to the list. Start making better decisions immediately and remain positive!

2. Go for a Walk / Get Moving

  • Over the years, numerous studies have been published showing the benefits of walking and exercise; this data continues to remain true. Researchers have found that a post-meal walk, as short as 15 minutes, can help aid digestion and improve overall stabilization of blood sugar levels. So, get up and get moving with a family member – before OR after – your Thanksgiving meal!

3. Get Back on Track

  • The key to getting back on track is to do so immediately. This could be meeting up the next day with your trainer, hitting the gym with a friend, or going for a walk outside. It’s important to get right back into YOUR routine; no excuses! Put those calories to use. Physical activity is your secret weapon.

4. EAT

  • That’s right, EAT! One of the worst things people can do following a Thanksgiving binge is to NOT eat the next day. Your body still needs calories for energy and to function that day. Try eating smaller meals throughout the next few days. Be very mindful of what you eat. Eat your meals when you’re hungry, and continue to drink plenty of fluids. As always, choose foods that are healthy and full of nutrients, such as: whole-grains, quality proteins, colorful fruits and leafy greens.

5. Plan Ahead

  • ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail,’ as the old saying goes. There are many strategies to keep you from overeating: using a smaller plate, drinking water before and after your meal, eating a salad first, eating slowly, etc. Most importantly, however you go about your Thanksgiving meal, make sure you enjoy the foods you look forward to every year, while avoiding other foods you might pick at just because they’re there.
    What about next day leftovers? Keep tempting items out of sight or get them out of the house altogether. Try making a few meals for the day and stick to those. Plan, plan, plan!

Overall, remember to enjoy the holiday season. One bad meal won’t break a healthy lifestyle, just like one healthy meal won’t fix it. So, go ahead; dive into that turkey and stuffing… And, don’t forget to enjoy some desserts, too!

Your Health Is In Your Hands

Manage Your Back Pain

Let’s set the scene…you’re experiencing back pain that won’t go away. You’ve tried everything you can think of, from over the counter pain medication to a few stretches you found online. You’ve asked for recommendations from your Facebook friends. You finally decide to go to your doctor, who swiftly prescribes physical therapy to address your problem.

Choose the Right Physical Therapy Team For You

Did you know, as a patient, you have the right to choose your physical therapy provider? If you find yourself in a situation where you’re being referred to physical therapy, request Elite Integrated Therapy Centers!

Why Elite?

Since 2006, Elite Integrated Therapy Centers has been a privately owned and operated practice, with a mission to provide the most enjoyable physical therapy experience in the Upstate. Being an independent healthcare provider, we have the freedom to offer comprehensive, individualized care to our patients. We take time to listen to you, address the cause of your issues, and work alongside you to achieve your recovery goals!

Private practice has its challenges, but because of the loyalty and support of our surrounding communities, we’ve been able to continue to grow and improve our ability to serve you over the last 13 years. With 9 offices across the Upstate, we’ve got you covered!

DO YOU NEED PT NOW?

No problem! If you find yourself in need of our services, remember that you can be treated by one of our therapists for up to 30 days without a physician’s script. We are here for all your Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Wellness needs! Schedule an appointment at one of our 12 locations throughout the Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg, Belton, Boiling Springs, Fort Mill, Powdersville, Seneca and Simpsonville, SC areas.

Cervicalgia – Causes & Treatments

Cervicalgia is a general term that is used to describe neck pain. The pain and discomfort that you can experience with cervicalgia may be caused by joint restrictions and muscular tightness, but there are also other causes. These include degenerative disc disease, whiplash, a herniated disc, pinched nerves, poor sleeping positions, and posture issues.

Symptoms associated with cervicalgia include persistent neck pain that can be accompanied by spasms in the neck muscles, impaired neck movement, headaches, dizziness, numbness, and nausea.

What Causes Cervicalgia?

As mentioned above, there are quite a few reasons for cervicalgia occurring. Some of the most common include:

  • Poor posture for extended periods of time with your neck at an awkward angle
  • Injuries that involve a sudden neck movement. This can happen from impact sports or a car accident (whiplash)
  • If you have a bone condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis
  • You suffer from a disease or a condition that affects the spine such as spinal infections or meningitis
  • Long-term stress that causes clenching of neck and shoulder muscles

Physical Therapy as A Treatment for Cervicalgia

Once the true cause of the cervicalgia has been found, physical therapy can help to relieve the symptoms and alleviate the cause of the pain. Research has shown that physical therapy is a better treatment than surgery or pain medication for relieving many cases of neck pain. In fact, it can often help people avoid the need for surgery or pain relievers altogether.

The goals of physical therapy for neck pain include:

  • Reducing pain and stiffness
  • Improving the range of motion
  • Improving posture
  • Strengthening the neck and its supporting musculature
  • Developing strategies to prevent neck pain from recurring

Schedule an Appointment to Relieve Your Neck Pain

If you are experiencing neck pain, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist at Elite Integrated Therapy Centers today. We have multiple locations throughout Greenville, Anderson, and Spartanburg, SC, and provide numerous physical therapy services.