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Interstitial Cystitis Therapy

In pelvic and orthopedic physical therapy, we are a specialized clinic with board-certified therapists concentrating on challenging conditions. Through our sister company, Living Well Institute, Garner Pelvic Health also functions as a training facility for professionals seeking continuing education and an online fitness and wellness school.

It is our goal to provide you with the best treatment possible. We define holistic care as using functional, integrative, and lifestyle medicine to treat the whole person rather than just the symptoms. At Garner Pelvic Health, we believe that your health equals, so we prioritize orthopedic health.



Who does it affect? 

Both men and women are affected. However, about 90 percent of the population are women. The common age of onset is around 40, but it can occur earlier or later in life. The symptoms may worsen for some women during menstruation or sexual activity. Men may have symptoms of scrotal and perineal pain and pain during ejaculation. 

Symptoms And Possible Treatments

  • A burning sensation occurs in the urethra and vagina during urination or sex
  • Hunners lesions can occur inside the bladder (causing scarring and stiffening of the bladder wall) 
  • Chronic muscle guarding can occur in the back, neck, jaw, and pelvic floor muscles
  • Urinary frequency, urgency, and frequent urination at night (nocturia).
  • Urinary retention and constipation 
  • Pain associated with emptying or filling the bladder
  • Food Intolerances can also cause auto-immune responses

Treatments for addressing pain symptoms without addressing the causes may be prescribed by your physician and may include:

  • Oral pain or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Bladder medication installations
  • Antidepressant medications
  • And percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation 
Interstitial Cystitis Therapy

What Makes Your Plan Of Care Different At Garner Pelvic Health?

We approach your concerns utilizing integrative lifestyle medicine philosophies that include:

  • Health and lifestyle coaching
  • Offering the patient the opportunity to self-actualize by reaching small goals 
  • Working on managing symptoms
  • And incorporating vision and aspirations for the future 

We provide expert advice when asked for, without “teaching and telling.”

The American Urological Association reports that Physical Therapy should be the first line of treatment because we address the underlying causes and treat the whole person. Studies show that Physical Therapy treatment is 80% effective in reducing and managing painful symptoms of ICS on a long-term basis

We treat the whole person at Garner Pelvic Health by:

*Evaluating all three diaphragms affecting the total functioning of the body (pelvic floor diaphragm, abdominal breathing diaphragm, vocal diaphragm, temporomandibular joints, head, neck, and trunk posture.) Why? Because the pelvic pain that occurs during interstitial cystitis flare-ups causes muscle guarding throughout the body.

*Food and fluid/intake/output/symptom diary, recommendations for anti-inflammatory/elimination diet to rule out food intolerances, with a dietary consult.

*Stress reduction through lifestyle changes (self-management of sleep and work schedules)

*Office ergonomics (better sitting positions, reduced screen time, frequent position changes)

*Teaching self-pain management, utilizing home modalities, positioning, movement, stretching, medical therapeutic yoga and pilates principles, and yogic breathing.

* Utilizing dry needling, soft tissue massage, manual therapy, cupping, visceral massage, and Kinesio taping for immediate pain relief in the clinical setting.

* Managing work-life balance (Wellness Wheel)

* Non-invasive rehabilitation ultrasound imaging to “down train” the pelvic floor muscles and relax the bladder. You can see the muscles and bladder relaxing on the video screen.

*Review of environmental influences (water, air, pesticide toxic exposures)

*Making referrals as necessary, i.e., physician-ordered urodynamic testing/cystoscopy to rule out any additional issues, psychological counseling for pre-existing underlying emotional issues or current anxiety caused by chronic pain and/or stressful home situations, dietary consult.

References: 

AUA Guidelines for Interstitial Cystitis www.ic-help.org

IC Network www.ic-network.com

Nicole Cozean PT DPT WCS CSCS, Herman and Wallace Blog: “Interstitial Cystitis Overview” , Tuesday 12, February 2019, www.hermanandwallace.com

Reviewed by Pramod Kerkar, MD FFARCIS, DA, “Does Interstitial Cystitis Worsen with Age and Can it Go into Remission?”, ePainAssist.com



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