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Zev Stub    
Monday, 04 March 1:19 PM

Sharon Wolfman Will Help You Recover from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

50-year-old J.K. rarely left the house—only for emergencies and assorted treatments. She suffered from both urinary and fecal incontinence and was too ashamed and depressed to face the world.

25-year-old T.R. had been married for a year, and despite being declared completely healthy by doctors and psychologists, she had been unable to consummate her marriage due to severe pelvic floor pain.

Both of these women suffered from the same root condition: pelvic floor dysfunction.

The pelvic floor is a layer of muscles and other tissues stretching from the pubic bone to the tailbone. Its role is to support the abdominal and pelvic organs, such as the bladder, intestines, and the uterus in women, and to prevent incontinence.

Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors: childbirth, menopause, obesity, surgery, chronic coughing, poor posture and radiation treatments which can weaken or damage the tissues. Post-surgical scarring from abdominal surgeries such as C-sections and hysterectomies may also contribute to discomfort in the pelvic floor. A weak or damaged pelvic floor can cause or exacerbate various symptoms and disorders, including problems relating to the urinary or bowel systems (like the incontinence experienced by J.K.), pelvic organ prolapse (when one of the pelvic organs drops out of the pelvic cavity), or difficulties relating to intimacy (like those experienced by T.R.).

Sharon Wolfman, a licensed clinical physiotherapist, has been specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation for over 10 years. She helps men, women and children overcome problems related to pelvic floor dysfunction through pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT). Sharon has been practicing for more than 30 years as a physical therapist at Clalit and Leumit clinics and with a variety of organizations such as Keren Or and the Child Development Center. She has certification in orthopedic and pelvic floor therapies as well as hydrotherapy, cranio-sacral therapy, osteopathy of the pelvic floor, and various treatments for children.

Awareness of pelvic floor dysfunction has increased somewhat in recent years, helping women understand that the problems they are experiencing may be related to the pelvic floor and can be addressed with PFPT.

J.K., for example, came to Sharon after trying absolutely everything. After 10 treatments with exercise and some basic lifestyle changes, she reported regaining full control of her bodily functions and has returned with confidence to all her life activities.

Childbirth can be traumatic to the pelvic floor, especially if the birth was complicated. “Most postpartum women could benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy,” asserts Sharon. “Unfortunately, many kuppot do not cover this therapy after childbirth. It’s important to continue raising awareness on the profound need for pelvic floor therapy.” Women and men recovering from abdominal and pelvic surgeries can also usually benefit from rehabilitation of the pelvic floor.

Another painful phenomenon about which there is not yet enough awareness is pain during intercourse (such as vaginismus or vulvodynia) and other problems relating to intimacy. Sharon says that in her experience, most pain, including these types of discomforts, can be addressed with the right treatment.

T.R., the young woman mentioned at the beginning of the article, underwent intense treatment with Sharon that consisted of both physical and psychological therapy. Today, she reports enjoyment and complete comfort with intimacy.

Though it may sound like it primarily affects women, pelvic floor dysfunction can affect people of any age or gender. Children sometimes suffer from incontinence for unknown reasons even after they’ve been successfully toilet-trained, causing accidents and bedwetting. This can cause a great deal of shame, embarrassment and frustration to both the child and parents. Children may also suffer from difficulty urinating, frequent bladder infections, not urinating enough during the day, or difficulty sensing bladder fullness. All these issues, says Sharon, can be addressed by teaching the children pelvic floor exercises.

So what does the treatment involve? Sharon assesses her patients and teaches them exercises that help strengthen or relax the pelvic floor muscles as necessary. “Patients often achieve a noticeable improvement after a few weeks,” she says. “Most patients need between six and nine treatments, with one treatment every few weeks.” Patients are assigned exercises to continue practicing at home. The exercises can be challenging, Sharon says, but they are generally not painful. Patients build stamina and endurance the more they practice.

“Pelvic floor dysfunction can be quite distressing,” says Sharon. “sometimes even painful. I am passionate about practicing PFPT because it consistently improves the lives of my clients in lasting and tangible ways.”


About the Therapist

Sharon Wolfman is a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation for men, women and children. For more information, call 052-300-3160, visit http://jerusalemphysio.wixsite.com/jerusalemphysio, or email harbater1@gmail.com.


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