How Physical Therapy Can Help During Menopause
Often called “the change,” menopause is a transitional period for women. Menstrual periods become less frequent until they stop altogether, and symptoms like hot flashes, memory lapses and mood swings may occur. Menopause typically begins when a woman reaches her early fifties, but can begin earlier or later, and last several years in different stages. This can be a frustrating time, and though many women look to medications one shouldn’t rule out the benefits of physical therapy to help manage certain symptoms.
This October, World Menopause Awareness Month, we look at ways physical therapy can ease certain conditions associated with menopause.
Pelvic Health Therapy
Loss of sexual libido, pain during intercourse, urinary tract infections and incontinence are just a few challenges women face in middle age. Bon Secours’s Pelvic Health Therapy program is designed to treat patients and help them regain their vitality and control bladder functions. Treatments may include specific strengthening exercises in the pelvic region, biofeedback and electrical stimulation, and diet modifications.
Physical Therapy for Osteoporosis
As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen. This can contribute to reduced bone and muscle mass and lead to conditions like osteoporosis if not treated. Regular exercise is one way to prevent serious injury and help strengthen bones in advanced age. A physical therapist can guide you through the best weight-bearing exercises for improved bone health and weight management.
While there is no concrete evidence that menopause can lead to arthritis in older women, there are correlations between decreases in hormone levels and joint pain symptoms. Some research suggests that a loss of estrogen allows for a higher perception of joint stiffness and discomfort. If arthritis becomes an issue during menopause, it must be addressed in order to maintain quality of life. At Bon Secours, our trained physical therapists aid arthritic patients in increasing flexibility and mobility while managing pain.
Aging is a natural part of life, and for women that means the added challenges that come with “the change.” Researching your family’s history of menopause may help determine how and when you will experience these symptoms, and consulting with a Bon Secours physical therapist can start you on an innovative program of wellness to see you through this period. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.