Painful Sex

Painful sex can happen at any stage of life for women, but it happens more often during a women’s childbearing years in approximately ⅓ of the population. It is often misdiagnosed by 5-7 providers before a woman receives the help she needs. She can often have pain in this region without any sexual activity. This pain can be present all the time or come and go.  It can burn, itch, be red or raw in the region. 

Why Diagnosis It? 

Once you understand what area the pain is being generated from and when it occurs, you can more accurately treat it.  

Three of the Most Common Diagnosis: 

  1. Vaginismus: Uncontrollable muscle spasms of the pelvic floor that prevents penetration. Pain with intercourse. 
  2. Vulvodynia: Pain with contact or without contact in the external genital region called the vulva. This includes the mons pubis, labia layers, clitoris, opening of vagina and urethra, the vestibule and all the glands. 
  3. Vestibulodynia:  Pain that occurs at the entrance of the vagina and can be felt with or without contact to the area.  Glands that produce lubrication for sexual activity are located there. The skin may be red or raw looking and they may have atrophic tissue there. Hormones, infections, stress, hypersensitivity, tight pelvic floor muscles often play a role in this. 

Can Painful Sex Be Treated: 

All of these diagnoses can be treated. It usually involves a multi-disciplinary approach between your Family Physician, OB/GYN, Urogenital MD and specialized Pelvic Health Physical Therapist. 

The Most Common Components With Painful Sex: 

  1. Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and short. These muscles then have pain and poor blood flow in and out of the region. Therefore, Improving the flexibility and the movement patterns of the floor muscles themselves  greatly improves these conditions. 
  2. Hormonal changes at different stages of life. Postpartum, breastfeeding, peri-menopause, menopause, oral contraceptives. 
  3. Use of Medications- oral contraceptives, acne meds, antibiotics, yeast infection meds. 
  4. Systemic Disease- Autoimmune diseases, interstitial cystitis,urinary tract infections, etc 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists  play a significant role in treating painful sex due to their understanding of the pelvic floor muscles and their nerve function. Our specialized Physical Therapists also know how to assist blood flow patterns, thereby decreasing painful swelling and bloating in the region.

Should I go to physical therapy after my cancer treatment?

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Cancer care physical therapy can be very helpful to get back to a better life after cancer treatment

Hip Physical Therapy

Annoying, unpleasant, and debilitating, hip pain is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors. Usually, the location of the pain can tell us a lot about its underlying causes.

Inside or groin pain means that there is a problem with the hip joint, while outside hip, upper thigh, or outer buttock pain is associated with muscle, tendon, and ligament issues.

The most common causes of hip pain are arthritis, fractures, bursitis (inflammation of liquid found between the bone and muscles), tendonitis (inflammation or irritation of the tendons), tendon or muscle strain, and so on.

Hip pain can further lead to the loss of range of motion, loss of strength, muscle activation decrease, and an inability to walk or run in a normal way.

Luckily, hip pain can be treated medically, using medication and physical therapy exercises. Physical therapy should always be carried out with a professional physical therapist, whose role is to examine the nature of the hip pain along with other relevant medical results and to design a set of exercises suitable for the particular patient.

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What Is Hip Physical Therapy?

Hip physical therapy, just like any other physical therapy is an exercise program designed to stretch and strengthen muscles and joints around the hip.

The exercises are gentle and include a range of movements like flexing, stretching, balance training, gait training, joint mobilization, or stabilization. The main goal of hip physical therapy is to restore strength and movement to your hip joint by promoting normal blood circulation.

The therapist will usually introduce you to a variety of exercises and teach you how to do them properly. Although you’ll stop seeing your therapist after some 4 to 6 weeks, that doesn’t mean that you should also stop exercising.

Especially among the older population, once introduced, physical therapy remains a life long practice.


How Does Hip Physical Therapy Help Patients?

Hip physical therapy exercises are geared towards restoring joint and tendon flexibility and elasticity. While in many cases of illness or injury, it remains impossible to restore their function to the fullest, more often than not, these exercises do help with living a normal pain-free life again.

These low-impact exercises help improve joint mobility and thus reduce symptoms of pain and discomfort caused by inner inflammatory processes.

Stretches, for example, help improve joint mobility by taking pressure off the muscles, nerves, or ligaments. They also allow your hip to regain its mobility, thus decreasing compensatory movements that might have been the secondary causes of hip pain.

Strengthening and flexing, on the other hand, provide support for your joints, thus decreasing pressure on your ligaments and nerves. Muscle strength and activation can improve your overall mobility and help get rid of pain in your hip or groin area.

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How Long Is Physical Therapy for Hips?

Hip physical therapy rarely lasts longer than 6 weeks – it’s usually done in a timeframe of 4 to 6 weeks. It’s estimated that patients are capable of learning the exercises and building a routine within 1/1,5 months.

As for the sessions, they usually last 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the levels of your pain, mobility, and types of exercises.

Conditions Hip Physical Therapy Can Help

Hip pain is usually caused by either external wounding (fracture) or by inflammatory processes within the tissue.

These include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, iliotibial band friction syndrome, piriformis syndrome, sciatica, labrum tear, femoroacetabular impingement, trochanteric bursitis, tendonitis, tendons and muscle strains, core muscle injuries, fractures, traumas, torn meniscus, etc.

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Hip Physical Therapy for Pain

Hip physical therapy for pain mainly focuses on effective stretching of your hamstrings. These attach to the pelvis and play a role in bending your knees and extending your hips.=

Effective stretching of the hamstrings requires you to lie on your back with both knees out straight. After bending one knee and placing both your hands behind it, try to straighten it as much as you can. Remain in the position for a full minute and repeat three times on each side.

If you feel a pull behind your thigh, keep going as long as it’s not painful. If you feel immediate pain, pay a visit to your physiotherapist.

Hip Physical Therapy for Mobility

Hip physical therapy for mobility usually comprises of several stretching exercises. For example, you can lie on your back with both knees bent, and then cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Use your hand to move the knee in and out, thus rotating the hip in and out.

You can also sit down with your feet together and use your hands to press your knees closer to the ground. Pay attention to your back posture at all times and make sure to keep them straight.

Hip Physical Therapy for Recovery

Hip physical therapy for recovery, particularly surgical (hip replacement for example), can include a wide range of exercises, from the easiest ones, like ankle pumps (pushing your feet up and down while lying on your back) to walking, cycling, or extending your tendons.

Some of the simplest exercises involve ankle pumps, ankle rotations, or buttock contractions, as they’re all conducted while lying on your back.

More complex ones involve straight leg raises, standing knee raises, or standing hip extensions (moving your leg on the side and back).

As you restore mobility and flexibility in your hips, you may become ready to walk again, use the stairs with or without a crutch, or perhaps even jog.

Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Millions of women experience a form of pelvic floor dysfunction at some stage in their lives. Aging, pregnancy, childbirth, and trauma can all cause severe pelvic pain that can affect the quality of your life. However, women can improve their pelvic health and overall wellness with the help of licensed specialists.

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What Is Women’s Health Physical Therapy?

Women’s Health Physical Therapy is an umbrella term for the therapeutic treatments of all pelvic floor dysfunctions. Pelvic floor dysfunction includes a variety of symptoms that appear due to weakened pelvic muscles and ligaments. 


From infections, fecal incontinence, and prolapse to dysfunction with intercourse, and unbearable pelvic pain, the number of musculoskeletal conditions that can affect women is long,  but research proves that physiotherapy can help alleviate, treat and cure pelvic floor dysfunctions. Pelvic floor dysfunctions can also affect men and cause erectile dysfunction. These types of disorders can be caused by pregnancy, childbirth, aging, trauma, constipation, and chronic coughing. Additionally, pelvic floor dysfunction can be hereditary. 


It’s worth noting that pelvic floor dysfunctions are fairly common, in fact, research by the National Institute of Health shows that nearly 24 percent of U.S. women are affected with one or more pelvic floor disorders. However, many women decide to ignore the symptoms and not seek medical care which can lead to burning pain and a decreased quality of life.

How Does Women’s Health Physical Therapy Help Patients?

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Physical therapy is performed by licensed clinicians who can evaluate the severity of pelvic floor dysfunction and treat musculoskeletal disorders. During their lifespan, women can experience a variety of pelvic floor disorders which, in many cases, can be treated relatively easily if a therapist is contacted for help. Your therapist will evaluate your condition and create a personalized therapy that usually lasts between three weeks and a couple of months. 


Women’s health physical therapy includes manual therapy, pelvic floor exercises, bladder training, and biofeedback


The therapy also teaches women how to help themselves, prevent new symptoms, and gain control over their bodies. Last but not least, physical therapists encourage women to take charge of their wellness and maintain their pelvic health.

How Long Is Physical Therapy for Women’s Health?

The length of the therapy depends on the severity of the symptoms. Usually, patients take six to eight weeks of treatment to alleviate the symptoms. However, the treatment can last several months for patients with severe pain. 


Once the symptoms start to improve, it’s very important for patients to do regular check-ups and periodically have treatments. Keep in mind that taking medications regularly is vital for the process to finish as soon as possible. Also, don’t skip physical therapy appointments and exercises because this will prolong your symptoms.

Conditions Women’s Health Physical Therapy Can Help With

The most common conditions treated by women’s health specialists are:


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Women’s Health Physical Therapy for Pelvic Health

Physical therapy can improve your overall pelvic health. It alleviates myofascial pelvic pain and can reduce the symptoms caused by pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Women’s Health Physical Therapy for Incontinence

A range of treatments is available to treat incontinence. Physical therapists usually determine the severity of the symptoms patients are suffering from by examining the type of incontinence, your overall musculoskeletal health, and the strength of your pelvic muscle. 


After the evaluation, your physical therapist would be able to develop an individualized exercise treatment program for your needs. This type of program can help patients avoid surgery and medication.


Incontinence is usually treated with the following methods:

  • Pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises involve contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises can help you strengthen and nourish the muscles around your bladder, bottom, vagina, or penis. They can alleviate severe pain, improve intercourse, treat pelvic organ prolapse, and help with urinary incontinence. Patients need to do the exercises several times a day, be consistent, and stay patient. The effect of kegel exercises is usually noticeable after one to three months.

  • Bladder training

Bladder training or scheduled voiding helps the patient have better control over their bladder. It’s recommended for the patient to not experiment on their own and do training solely under the supervision of a continence health expert. Bladder training is considered to be one of the crucial methods for the treatment of overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. The training can help patients reduce the constant need to visit the toilet, help them control the urges, and increase the volume of urine they can comfortably hold.

  • Biofeedback

Biofeedback therapy can help patients get a better awareness of automatic body functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate. This type of therapy can help patients take conscious control over their involuntary body functions. Aside from treating pelvic floor dysfunctions, biofeedback can also help with high blood pressure, anxiety, and pain, and improve your overall medical condition.

Women’s Health Physical Therapy for Prolapse

Prolapse is caused by the stretching of the pelvic organs and ligaments such as the uterus, rectum, and bladder. Physical therapy offers exercises that strengthen the core muscles (abdominal muscles) and lower back muscles, which can ease the symptoms of prolapse. They are usually practiced alongside kegel exercises and breathing techniques. These exercises can help patients with minor pelvic organ prolapse, while severe prolapse is usually treated with surgery.


If you have any questions concerning pelvic floor dysfunctions and treatments, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

Shoulder Physical Therapy

It’s a well-known fact that shoulder injuries are common. People experience shoulder injuries due to the type of sports they play or the work they do each day. But, just how common are shoulder injuries, and how can they be resolved?

Around eight out of 10,000 workers experience shoulder injuries in the workplace. And in 2006, approximately 7.5 million people reported shoulder injuries to their doctors, according to data from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

If you’re experiencing shoulder pain caused by something you did at home, school, or work, don’t suffer in silence. Instead, it makes sense to have shoulder physical therapy to help your body recover from your shoulder injuries.

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What is Shoulder Physical Therapy?

Shoulder physical therapy is a type of treatment customized to address specific individual shoulder injuries. The idea behind shoulder physical therapy is that it helps patients recover from their shoulder injuries or shoulder surgery and regain their mobility.

Another advantage of shoulder physical therapy is patients will receive advice on altering their daily activities to lessen the risk of such injuries occurring in the future. Shoulder physical therapy helps to strengthen the body, especially after shoulder surgery.

How Does Shoulder Physical Therapy Help Patients?

Virtually everyone will experience shoulder pain at some stage in their lives. The pain can be mild and only last a few hours or a couple of days. But, for many people, the pain can become intolerable and adversely affect their everyday lives.

When the pain stops being manageable and doesn’t go away on its own, shoulder physical therapy can help. The treatment offered aims to alleviate the pain and tackle the source of the problem.

Shoulder physical therapy isn’t just for people that have injured their shoulders or experience shoulder impingement. It’s also for patients that have had shoulder surgery and need to strengthen their shoulders post-surgery.

With the right shoulder physical therapy, patients will experience faster recovery times and enjoy a better quality of life.

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How long is physical therapy for shoulder injuries?

The duration of each person’s shoulder physical therapy will depend on several factors. Firstly, the nature of the patient’s injuries will dictate how long it will take that person to successfully recover.

Secondly, other factors such as general physical health and mobility will also play a part in the duration of their recovery. And third, the treatment offered will also depend on the rehabilitation activities the patient can do at home.

Shoulder Conditions Physical Therapy Can Help

Knowing the reason for your shoulder pain is the first step to treating it. Did you know that shoulder physical therapy can treat a wide range of shoulder injuries? They are as follows:

  • Sudden Injuries. Injured tendons, ligaments, nerves, strained muscles, broken and dislocated bones, and torn rotator cuffs are the main causes of sudden injuries to shoulders;
  • Overuse Injuries. Everyday activities can sometimes cause shoulder overuse injuries like bursitis, tendinitis, muscle strain, and shoulder impingement;
  • Less-Common Injuries. Sometimes, shoulder injuries can occur from problems such as irregular posture, osteoarthritis, and infections.

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Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Are you experiencing shoulder pain due to sudden, overuse, or less-common injuries? If so, you’ll benefit from physical therapy for shoulder pain. It’s a successful, non-surgical way of strengthening the muscles around your shoulders to facilitate function and mobility.

When you see a physical therapist for your shoulder pain, they will examine the affected shoulders and determine the best treatment plan for your needs.

Physical Therapy for Shoulder Surgery

Have you recently had surgery on one or both of your shoulders, or will soon have the surgery? Physical therapy for shoulder surgery will ensure the correct rehabilitation of your shoulders, resulting in a speedy recovery and restored mobility and function.

Your physical therapist will work with you to create a custom treatment plan specific to your shoulder surgery.

Physical Therapy for Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement is often caused by overuse activities, resulting in a tendon rubbing or getting caught on a bone. It can also mean that your shoulder is weak, and becomes more painful when you lift it.

Physical therapy for shoulder impingement aims to strengthen the shoulders and encourage good posture to speed up the recovery process.

Physical Therapy and Posterior Pelvic Floor Health

The posterior pelvic floor is a complex region. When it is working right we don’t even think about it, but when it goes awry our bodies become overwhelmed. Many of our women and men athletes have poor functioning of their posterior pelvic floor. We can often see pudendal nerve entrapment in the pelvic floor in our cyclists, long distance runners, cross fit and weight lifters. This can lead to bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction. 

What is the Posterior Floor

The posterior floor is responsible for posterior organ support, anal health and good bowel function.  The muscles there are striated  muscles like we have in our arms and legs. They respond as all muscles do,  when we use them in a coordinated fashion they work well, but if we overstrain them during training, then they will become dysfunctional. They are controlled by a set of sacral nerves that are highly sensitive and can become irritated and painful when the function of the floor muscles are not working well.   Neural “cross-talk” between pelvic organs shows an increase in sensitivity between the urinary, bowel and sexual organs function in the physiological system. This sensitivity appears to be related to the bodies need to have good daily regulation in these organs and often when one is affected they all become involved.

The pelvic floor muscles consist of layers of muscles and they have a complex integration system. There is a superficial layer which consists of the anal sphincter and deep muscle system that creates a sophisticated sling like set of muscles that integrates with the gluteal muscles, the hip adductors, rotators and  hamstrings. These pelvic floor muscles make up part of our “core” region. The “core” needs good functioning of the floor to remain healthy.  Any core muscles that are not functioning well will disrupt the system.

Physical therapy for pelvic floor health is a key integration as PT’s are movement specialists and their ability to coordinate the “core” and retrain the floor is needed. The signs and symptoms are key to knowing if posterior pelvic floor health is an issue for you. 

Signs and symptoms of Posterior Floor Dysfunction: 

  • Posterior pelvic pain and pressure 
  • Bloating, sense of non-complete evacuation of bowels 
  • Low back,sacroiliac joint and/or lower abdominal pain
  • Chronic prostatitis  
  • Pain with prolonged sitting 
  • Non-relaxing pelvic floor disorder with tight hip muscles 
  • Hemorrhoids 
  • Anal Fissures 
  • Burning and Irritation to the Pudendal nerve in floor, around base,shaft of penis 
  • Anal receptive intercourse 
  • Fecal incontinence 
  • Chronic constipation 
  • Pelvic floor dyssynergia-external anal sphincter dysfunction 
  • Type A personality -anxious mood 
  • Pelvic organ prolapse,Perineal Body decent due to obstetric trauma, multiple births vaginally 
  • Can begin in childhood 
  • Often have dysfunction bladder voiding as well 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Interstitial cystitis (IC)

Daily Health Habits Needed:

  • Comfortable lightweight clothing ie cotton underwear for breathability. 
  • Sleep hygiene 7-8 hours a night for healing.
  • Increased water intake.
  • Healthy diet with fiber, dosing magnesium. 
  • Wean off use of laxatives. 
  • Relaxation training- Meditation, breathing ex’s. 
  • External and internal pelvic floor mobilization for increased blood flow. 
  • Physical therapy for education instruction on pelvic floor health mobilization, stretching 
  • and muscle coordination and integration of the floor 5-20 mins a day. 
  • Natural paraben free Lubricants -increased need for lubrication upon bowel mvts and anal intercourse.  
  • Education and instruction on health bowel habits- positions for improved function, decrease straining for bowel mvt and focus on relaxation and taking time for evacuation. 
  • Night time propping of hips and legs up on pillows for floor relaxation for 20-30 mins a day. 
  • Improved sitting postures to decrease floor pressure.

Physical therapy is an integral part of pelvic floor health. Please get a referral to a pelvic health PT for the restoration of the muscle function of the floor and to restore correct re-integration of the core. As much as we need our athletes to be strong, we also need them to have the coordination and balance to be able to relax the floor and have down time as well, for overall pelvic floor health.

Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy and she and her amazing  staff are here to help you during your athletic endeavors with good pelvic health. Please call for an appt. tomorrow Cda office (208)667-1988, Spokane Valley(509)891-2623, Hayden (208)762-2100, Post Falls (208) 457-3435.

Pelvic Floor Therapy for Constipation

Pelvic Floor Therapy for Constipation lake city pt

If you are suffering from constipation, you should consider pelvic floor therapy. This treatment can help ease the symptoms of this condition, as explained below. 

Constipation is far more common than most people realize. Indeed, one study has revealed that approximately 52 million people, or 16% of the American population suffer from some form of chronic constipation. As you age, this issue becomes far more prevalent and causes numerous people to visit the doctor to treat the problem. There are even over 700,000 visits to the emergency room each year related to constipation. If you are looking for relief from this condition, you could consider pelvic floor physical therapy. 

Get in touch now and we can book you in for an appointment immediately, helping you reduce issues with this condition.  

What Is Pelvic Floor Therapy For Constipation? 

Pelvic floor therapy focuses on issues with the pelvic floor. These muscles control various processes in the body including:

  • Urination
  • Defecation
  • Intercourse

Constipation can cause numerous issues including infrequent bowel movements as well as the sensation that the bowels are never fully empty. Many people who suffer from constipation do have issues with pelvic floor dysfunction. While there are numerous lifestyle causes of constipation, this is certainly a contributing factor. 

Pelvic floor therapy for constipation is used to manage any tightness that exists in the muscles or through the intestines and the diaphragm. Any constrictions here are going to make issues with constipation a lot worse. 

With pelvic floor therapy, therapists use internal treatment to help with the issue of muscular tension as well as breathing and relaxation exercises. In doing so, it’s possible to help key muscles relax more. 

Who Is Qualified To Perform Pelvic Floor Therapy For Constipation? 

Pelvic Floor Therapy for Constipation lake city pt 1

There are numerous people who will be qualified to complete pelvic floor therapy. For instance, a doctor may recommend a gynecologist, a urologist, or even a urogynecologist. It largely depends on the issues that a patient is suffering from. 

For constipation, it is best to contact a pelvic health physical therapist. Experts in the field, we are trained specifically to assess and treat a wide range of different pelvic floor problems. Be aware that constipation can impact men and women as well as children. 

If you are experiencing issues with constipation, we encourage you to contact us today. A friendly member of our team will book you in for an appointment so that we can work to resolve your issue. 

Does Pelvic Floor Therapy Work For Constipation? 

Many patients do experience new levels of relief when they start using pelvic floor therapy for constipation. Studies have shown that pelvic floor therapy can be highly beneficial for this issue because it helps ensure that muscles do relax which makes it easier for patients to complete a bowel movement. 

While there are other issues that often contribute to constipation such as diet and hydration, pelvic floor therapy can provide the level of relief that patients need. It can even ensure that they feel less pain and discomfort when dealing with a condition like this. 

Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises For Constipation 

As well as providing internal treatments as well as expert advice, we also recommend pelvic floor therapy exercises for constipation. These exercises are based on helping you relax the vital muscles that will be causing you issues. 

While there are various exercises and stretches that can help, many are based on yoga poses such as child’s pose and happy baby. 

Happy baby involves lying down on your back with your legs in the air. You can then pull your knees towards your chest, holding your feet before pulling your legs apart. Alternatively, childs pose involves spreading your knees wide and allowing your belly to rest on the floor. You can then rest your forehead on the floor as well. 

Be aware that the exercise used will depend on which muscles are causing you problems and which ones feel tighter than they should. 

Furthermore, we can also teach you abdominal massages. These are beneficial for relieving tension and pain that can be caused by constipation. If you are struggling with painful issues, it can be helpful to try kneading and stroking the abdomen in a pattern that remains consistent. This is a popular method that is commonly used during therapy sessions. 

Do you need more support? If so, please contact us today. Our professional support and expert treatment methods have helped numerous patients gain relief from issues with constipation and we’re confident we can help you too. 

What is a postpartum sitz bath?

What Is A Postpartum Sitz Bath?

If you have just given birth then you may have heard about postpartum sitz baths. If you haven’t and want to know more about them, then this is the guide for you.

A postpartum sitz bath is essentially a special bath which is used during the postpartum period to try and help you to ease pain while promoting healing. It also helps you to maintain a high standard of hygiene for the perineal area. This is very useful if you have had an episiotomy, or a tear during birth. The great thing about a postpartum sitz bath is that it can help you to drastically reduce any perineum swelling you have, and if you have a swollen labia, it’s great for that as well. If you feel too sensitive for a postpartum sitz bath, then there are other options out there that can provide you with some relief, so don’t be afraid to check them out. Remember that everyone is different and what works for one person might not work for another. Take a look below to find out more about postpartum sitz baths and if they could benefit you.

How Often Should I Take a Sitz Bath After Delivery?

If you have never had a child before then the recovery time may be a little longer. You may need to take a sitz bath or two every day for the first week. If you have had a child before then you may find that one bath every couple of days is enough to soothe you.

Does the Hospital Give You A Sitz Bath?

What is a postpartum sitz bath lake city pt

In the hospital, there’s a chance that you will be given a portable sitz bath. This essentially sits over the toilet. You will fill the container with warm or cold water and then sit on the bath. The water will flow over your sensitive perineum and this will help you to heal and cleanse yourself. You can easily add medication or even herbal preparations as well if you want. If you need some help with preparing your sitz bath then your birthing doctor should be able to talk you through everything you need to know, while also helping you to get the right temperature. If you aren’t sure how warm your bath should be, or if you are worried about being too sensitive to the bath then take a look below.

How warm should a sitz bath be?

While you have the option of using warm and cold water, you should know that cold water will provide you with more relief. Studies have shown that cryotherapy or using ice to relieve perineal pain is very effective. Cold water might be quite a shock and it probably doesn’t seem like the best way to obtain comfort, but when you look at injuries to the body, you will soon see that cold packs tend to be the way to go. Cold water can reduce swelling much more effectively when compared to warm water.

How does a sitz bath work?

What is a postpartum sitz bath lake city pt 1

A sitz bath is a form of therapy that is done by sitting in shallow water. It’s ideal if you want to soothe itching, pain or any other symptoms that you may experience after childbirth. It’s also ideal if you want to keep your areas clean, but you are unable to take a bath or a shower. It’s more than possible for you to use either warm or cold water when you use your sitz bath, and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to gain a level of relief without much effort. Sitz baths are very soothing and they are very popular with those who have just given birth.

How long should I stay in a sitz bath?

If you want to use your sitz bath, then you will be glad to know that you can sit in it for as long or as little as you’d like. If you want to get the best results, then you will want to use it for at least half an hour. When you do, you’ll soon find that you can easily reap the benefits. Remember that you can take as many baths as you need per day. So many people try and have one per day but if this is overwhelming for you, then don’t worry about it. You can easily have one every few days if you want, as this will still give some of the benefits so keep that in mind.

Moisturizer for the Pelvic Floor

Vaginal dryness is the blanket term used to describe skin dryness in the pelvic floor region — but this term isn’t descriptive enough. Women can experience vaginal dryness (internal) and pelvic floor dryness (external). External dryness in the vaginal region causes discomfort during activities, is a challenging to manage and creates tenderness during sex.

There are a lot of solutions for internal and external, but few solutions that tend both. That is why we created our Natural Feminine Cream — a two-in-one lubricant and moisturizer for your pelvic floor.

Natural Vaginal Moisturizer lake city physical therapy

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What is the difference between a vaginal moisturizer and vaginal lubricant?

It’s easy to get confused with so many products labeled feminine cream on the market. The two main options are lubricant and lotions. Lubricants are for internal use come in the form of creams, gels, moisturizers, and dissolving insertables. Moisturizers which are for external use come in the form of a salve or lotion. Each serve different purposes in your skin routine.

Vaginal Moisturizers

Vaginal moisturizers help women experiencing ongoing discomfort with external pelvic floor skin. Dryness, burning sensations, itching, pain, and sensitivity during intercourse can be helped by a vaginal moisturizer. When applied externally, it helps restore moisture to the area and assists in reducing irritation, swelling, and redness — which helps women have more enjoyable sex!

Like any topical lotion, a vaginal moisturizer can be applied to the area on a regular basis and is a healthier, hormone-free solution. It is recommended that your preferred vaginal moisturizer be applied at least 2 hours before intercourse to experience the best results.

Vaginal Lubricant

In contrast, a vaginal lubricant is applied internally before intercourse. A water based lubricant is most compatible with contraceptives and various sex toys.

Vaginal dryness from hormonal changes including those induced by pregnancy, menstrual disruptions, contraceptive pills, and certain cancer treatments can be helped by a vaginal moisturizer.

Can you put a lotion on your private area?

You should only apply certified vaginal lotion products to your vaginal region. The pelvic floor skin  is extremely sensitive and houses mucous membranes which keep the region naturally lubricated. Lotion that isn’t made for the pelvic region can cause further irritation and greater discomfort.

Choose a vaginal lubricant that is non-irritating, preservative-free and is compatible with your choice of contraceptive.

For vaginal moisturizers, find products that are naturally bio-adhesive. Bio-adhesive ingredients work better for longer lasting moisture as it attaches to the affected dry cells until they replenish with higher moisture content. Your vaginal moisturizer should be estrogen and fragrance-free so your vaginal regions natural temperament isn’t disrupted.

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What do you moisturize your vagina with?

Using a vaginal moisturizer is your best bet to effectively and safely moisturize your vaginal region. Vaginal moisturizers can last up to 3 days but the recommended application for vaginal moisturizer is every second day during your first week of use, and then twice a week every week after that until symptoms are resolved.

Things Not to Use as Vaginal Moisturizer

When choosing products for vaginal moisturization avoid products that don’t have natural ingredients.

A short list that can help is to avoid products that have:

  • Deodorants
  • Perfumes
  • Parabens
  • Sulfates

You shouldn’t use deodorants because they often contain carcinogens that can negatively affect your genitals.  Deodorants which contain soap or alcohol mess with the naturally occurring pH balance of your vagina.

Perfumes disrupt the vagina’s natural pH, which helps regulate healthy bacteria. Water is enough to wash and clean the external parts of the vagina effectively, and natural soaps are also fine to use.

Parabens are a preservatives often used to prevent overgrowth of bacteria in personal care products and are also a common component of many commercial lubes. Parabens can penetrate the skin and act like a very weak estrogen in the body — potentially turning on the growth of hormone-receptor-positive.

Sulfates are most commonly the key ingredient in shampoos, body washes, intimate washes, toothpaste, facial cleansers and much more. Sulphates cause skin irritation to skin and are too aggressive for the delicate skin of the pelvic floor.

Telehealth Physical Therapy in Response to COVID-19

telehealth lake city pt

Due to the current nature of our national and international health care crisis, our physical therapy profession and businesses have been designated as “essential healthcare” for our communities. Therefore we need to have way to stay connected to our patients so they continue to have the highest quality of life.   

As evidenced to me today, we still need to be in a relationship with each other, even as you “shelter in place”. We know your healthcare challenges did not go away just because of this crisis. 

As a result of your needs we have trained our highly talented group of physical therapists to provide “Telehealth” to our community of patients. Our Physical Therapists can assist you with education to address your medical concerns with your musculoskeletal system, we can teach you self care modalities — such as how to use specific techniques to help ease your pain. 

We have free resources online, and can deliver exercises such as stretching and strengthening to you via our free app.  

We have the ability to progress your physical therapy program by using a HIPPA compliant medical portal where we will be able to video chat with you in real time, so you can ask questions and get answers, all within the safety and comfort of your home. 

We understand that having health issues during this time is stressful and it is easy to feel alone and unheard. 

We want our patients to know that we are here for them so that their fear and stress can be decreased and they can continue to thrive for their themselves, their families and this community. 

We can help through Telehealth! 

Use the form below to schedule an Telehealth appointment.

lake city physical therapy sheree dibiaseAuthor Bio:

Sheree DiBiase, PT, is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy and she and her staff can help you with your telehealth physical therapy needs. Sheree has 35+ years of physical therapy experience — 30+ of those years spent in private practice. She owns and manages 4 clinics in the greater Spokane/CDA area. Schedule an appointment –