MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – It can be uncomfortable to talk about and even more uncomfortable to live with.
Pelvic health issues can cause debilitating pain and make life even more difficult.
However, it can be addressed without surgery or medication.
“I have been able to go out and walk again – I haven’t been able to do that in years,” said Sandy White.
White – like countless Americans – male and female – spent years dealing with pain from her waist to her legs – and for the longest time – it was a mystery.
Michele Fields also struggled to find answers and relief – until both women met Kristin Schumpert – a physical therapist at Valir Health.
Schumpert helped them uncover and address their pelvic floor dysfunction, something not often discussed.
“I think we do a real disservice by kind of putting a black box over the pelvic floor and not talking about it,” Schumpert said. “Most of these things seem to be a bit embarrassing for people.”
“It was nice to finally hear something positive as in an answer – as opposed to ‘we’re not real sure, we don’t know why you hurt,'” said Fields.
Schumpert says pelvic floor dysfunction can occur when the pelvic floor gets off track – too tight or too weak.
“So then there can be motor control issues – so when your brain tells your pelvic floor it needs to contract, it’s actually relaxing or the opposite,” she said.
Physical therapy for these issues is different.
It requires an internal exam as well and it helps alleviate issues that are unavoidable.
“If your shoulder hurts, you can avoid using your arm for a few days and letting it rest but if you’re having issues going to the bathroom, that’s something you’re going to deal with multiple times over the course of the day,” said Schumpert.
For White and Fields, it’s been a game changer.
“She’s helped me a lot because she has taught me that it’s not just in my head,” said White. “It’s not just me. It’s an actual problem.”
Schumpert says it’s important to not avoid these uncomfortable topics and address the issues early for the best chance at success.