doctor holding female pelvis

Pelvic floor dysfunction – a term encompassing urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and other conditions – impacts millions of women. In fact, studies suggest that roughly 32% of adult women experience a pelvic floor disorder (PFD) diagnosis . Yet, due to stigma and a lack of awareness, many women suffer in silence. At The Therapy Network, we're committed to breaking the silence and empowering women through pelvic floor physical therapy

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Pelvic Health 

Pelvic floor physical therapy offers a non-invasive and effective approach to managing pelvic floor dysfunction. Here's how it benefits women: 

  • Improved Strength and Control: Physical therapists design personalized exercises to strengthen and retrain the pelvic floor muscles, leading to better bladder control and reduced pain. 

  • Pain Management: Techniques like manual therapy and biofeedback can significantly decrease chronic pelvic pain and discomfort. 

  • Enhanced Postpartum Recovery: Physical therapy can address issues like diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and pelvic floor weakness that arise after childbirth. 

  • Improved Sexual Function: Pelvic floor dysfunction can negatively impact sexual health. Physical therapy can improve sexual satisfaction by addressing pain and muscle tension. 

Common Misconceptions Debunked

myths vs facts image for women's pelvic health

Here are some common myths surrounding pelvic pain and how physical therapy debunks them: 

  • Myth: Pelvic pain is just a normal part of being a woman. 

    • Reality: Pelvic pain is not normal and can be effectively treated. 

  • Myth: Only women who have given birth experience pelvic floor dysfunction. 

    • Reality: Women of all ages can experience pelvic floor issues. 

  • Myth: There's nothing I can do about pelvic pain. 

    • Reality: Physical therapy offers a safe and effective path toward managing and reducing pelvic pain. 

"The pelvic floor PT program provided by The Therapy Network completely resolved my problem. My therapist, Brooke, was excellent and very considerate of my other physical limitations. She tailored the therapy for me. I am now pain free! Thank you!"

Carol, TTN Oceana

Prevention and Treatment with TTN Physical Therapy: What to Expect 

Now that we understand the power of physical therapy for pelvic health, let's delve into what you can expect during a typical treatment session. This is just a preview of what you'll experience, and we're excited to continue the conversation through education and treatment at The Therapy Network! 

Assessment of Pelvic Floor Muscles with your Physical Therapist using the PERF-ECT Method 

woman consulting with womens pelvice health provider

Your physical therapist will use the PERF-ECT Method to assess the function of your pelvic floor muscles. PERF-ECT stands for: 

  • Power: This test evaluates the strength of your pelvic floor contractions. 

  • Endurance: This test assesses how long you can sustain a pelvic floor contraction. 

  • Repetitions: This test measures how many consecutive pelvic floor contractions you can perform. 

  • Fast Twitch: This test evaluates the ability of your pelvic floor muscles to respond to quick bursts of activity. 

  • ECT: Every Contraction Timed! 

Education! Learning what is normal vs. not normal is important. 

Your physical therapist will educate you about what constitutes normal pelvic floor function. They will address any misconceptions you may have and explain how physical therapy can help you regain control over your pelvic health in a clear and compassionate approach. For example, you will learn that incontinence (leaking urine) is not a normal part of life and physical therapy can help strengthen your pelvic floor to prevent leakage. 

“I began my journey with Brooke at TTN after years of issues with incontinence. Within a few weeks, my problems have been all but eliminated. Brooke, Dee, and the rest of the therapists are friendly, knowledgeable, and have made my life better!” 

-Jennifer, TTN Oceana 

Establish Mind - Muscle Connection

A crucial aspect of pelvic floor rehabilitation is building a strong mind-muscle connection. Your therapist will guide you through exercises designed to enhance your awareness of your pelvic floor muscles. This allows you to isolate and activate these muscles more effectively. 

Common Exercise for Mind-Muscle Connection: Kegels 

poster of womens health keep calm and get your kegel on

Kegel exercises are a cornerstone of pelvic floor strengthening. Your physical therapist will instruct you on the proper Kegel technique, ensuring you target the correct muscles and perform the contractions effectively. 

Core Strength Training

A strong core is essential for good pelvic floor health. Your therapist will incorporate core strengthening exercises into your treatment plan. These exercises help manage intra-abdominal pressure, which can put undue stress on the pelvic floor. 

Common Core Exercises: 

women doing core exercises for pelvic health

  • Supine Alternating Marching: This exercise strengthens your core and improves hip stability. 

  • Dead Bugs: This exercise challenges your core stability and coordination. 

  • Bird Dogs: This exercise strengthens your core and improves spinal stabilization. 

  • Weight Squats: Squats effectively strengthen your core, glutes, and legs. 

  • Dead Lifts: Deadlifts are a great exercise for building overall core strength and improving posture. 

“For many years, I've had trouble with bladder control. The exercises and suggestions by Brooke have really helped with my condition. I could not be happier with the therapy team! Brooke and Dee are great! William also does a great job!” 

-Nancy, TTN Oceana 

The Therapy Network: Your Partner in Pelvic Health 

At The Therapy Network, we understand that discussing pelvic floor issues can be new and uncomfortable. Our mission is to create a supportive and understanding environment where you can openly discuss your concerns and find relief. Leading that mission is our highly trained physical therapist and TTN Oceana Clinic Director, Brooke Devlin, PT, DPT, CMTPT, who specializes in women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction. She is ready to listen to you and design a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Brooke Panfil Devlin, PT, DPT, CMTPT

“Pelvic health is important to me because it is the foundation of our body and can greatly impact a person's functioning. Women have normalized problems associated with the pelvic floor (incontinence, pain, prolapse, difficulty voiding, and more) when in fact they are NOT normal and can be treated. It makes me happy to educate, help, and solve women's problems related to their pelvic floor to enhance their lives as moms, wives, superheroes, and bosses.”

Don't suffer in silence. Pelvic floor physical therapy can improve your quality of life. Contact The Therapy Network today for a direct access appointment and take control of your pelvic health! 

"Brooke with The Therapy Network has been so helpful with my journey. She recognizes the sensitivity of these sessions and is always respectful. With her skillful help, I am now more confident to go out with friends and take short trips. I am sure these skills will continue to improve!"

Anonymous, TTN Oceana

For more stories like this, check out our blog


  [i] Kenne, K.A., Wendt, L. & Brooks Jackson, J. Prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in adult women being seen in a primary care setting and associated risk factors. Sci Rep12, 9878 (2022). 

woman with cancer showing peace sign

The moment of a cancer diagnosis can feel like a pivotal point in one's life, ushering in a period of uncertainty and challenge. Yet, amidst the complexities of treatments and appointments, two critical pillars of self-care emerge as beacons of hope and resilience: exercise and nutrition.

These components are not just adjuncts to medical treatments but are foundational to enhancing quality of life, bolstering strength, and fostering recovery. As we explore exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment, remember that you're not navigating this path alone.

Let's explore how integrating thoughtful nutrition and purposeful movement into your care plan can be transformative.

Nutrition During Cancer Treatment

The role of nutrition in cancer care cannot be overstated. Proper dietary choices can significantly influence your capacity to manage the rigors of treatment and its side effects.

flyer containing oncology food recommendations. Green leaf, orange fruit, spices, snacks, meat
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“During cancer treatment, you might need to change your diet to help build up your strength and withstand the effects of the cancer and its treatment. The nutrition plan may mean eating things that aren't normally recommended when in good health.”—American Cancer Society.

Here are four essential considerations to empower your nutrition journey:

  1. Tailored Dietary Strategies: Recognize that your nutritional needs are unique. Engaging with your healthcare team to craft a personalized eating plan can address specific challenges, whether they're related to maintaining weight or managing treatment side effects like nausea or altered taste.

  • Nourishment for Strength: High-protein, high-calorie foods may become more central in your diet, especially if maintaining weight becomes a concern. These choices help sustain your strength, ensuring your body has the resources to repair and recover.

  • Managing Side Effects with Nutrition: Certain foods can alleviate or at least not exacerbate side effects. Soft, cool foods like ice cream or milkshakes might be soothing for mouth sores, while snacks high in protein and calories can offer energy boosts without requiring large meals.

  • Vital Nutrients: Focus on various foods to ensure you receive all necessary nutrients. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals each support your body's fight against cancer and the effects of its treatment.

Exercise During Cancer Treatment

The notion of exercising during cancer treatment might feel daunting; however, research consistently highlights its benefits.

“Some studies have proposed that rehabilitation exercise can reduce the cardiopulmonary adverse reactions, bone loss and incidence rate of fractures caused by cancer surgery or chemotherapy, and improve the quality of life of patients.”--NIH

Here are key insights to guide your physical activity:

  • Safety and Personalization: Consult your cancer care team before exercising. Your safety is paramount, and activities should be tailored to your current health status and treatment phase.

woman with cancer doing yoga

  • Moderate Exercise: Walking, yoga, or light resistance training can improve physical functioning and alleviate symptoms like fatigue and anxiety. The goal is to stay as active as your condition allows, gradually increasing activity over time.

  • Building a Routine: Regular, moderate exercise can enhance quality of life during and after treatment. Benefits include improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and even a positive impact on mood and mental health.

  • Exercise as a Catalyst for Recovery: Beyond immediate quality-of-life improvements, exercise during treatment can lay the groundwork for a more robust recovery, potentially influencing long-term outcomes.

What to Expect at The Therapy Network

At The Therapy Network, we understand the profound impact cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on your physical and emotional well-being. For exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment, TTN’s Oncology Physical Therapy Services support you through this journey, offering:

Customized Care Plans: Addressing symptoms like fatigue, pain, and mobility issues, our specialists tailor interventions to enhance your quality of life.

Innovative Solutions: From aqua therapy to specialized exercises, we utilize a range of modalities to support your recovery and rehabilitation.

women in pool aqua therapy

At The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, you’re not just a patient but part of our family. Our employee-owned structure means everyone you meet invests in your health and recovery.

Exercise and nutrition during cancer treatment are not just strategies for managing a diagnosis; they're integral parts of a holistic approach to cancer care. These elements empower you to control your health and actively participate in your recovery journey. As you navigate the challenges ahead, remember that The Therapy Network supports you every step, offering the expertise, care, and compassion you deserve.

Let's embrace a future focused on wellness, strength, and healing together. Appointments are available today without a doctor's referral.

The path to health and fitness can feel daunting for many of us. At The Therapy Network, we understand the challenges and are dedicated to helping you find the motivation to reach your health goals.

The Forbes Health/One Poll survey found that the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. How can you beat the odds? This blog offers compassionate guidance and practical steps to help you embark on this life-enhancing journey. Here, you will learn the following:

  • The importance of mini-goals

  • How to celebrate success along the way

  • The benefits of sharing your goals with an accountability partner

How The Therapy Network can motivate you to reach your health goals

Confidence Builders: The Power of Small Steps

two women walking
Finding the motivation to begin walking again

Attaining fitness targets begins with setting and achieving small health goals. Whether increasing your daily steps or choosing healthier snacks, these mini victories can significantly boost your confidence. A good practice is to write down your daily goals and check them off as you achieve them. Tailor your goals to fit your lifestyle. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all in health and fitness; it's about what works for you.

A helpful tip from the Therapy Network team is to set one daily goal. It is to walk thirty minutes, cut out sugar for the day, or attend a fitness class. When first setting goals, start with one mini-goal a day.

Remember, every small step counts towards a healthier you.

Incremental Changes to Food and Exercise

Embrace gradual changes in your diet and lifestyle. Switching to more plant-based meals or reducing processed foods are small changes that can make a big difference. Focus on the overall benefits of a balanced diet rather than just weight loss.

Incorporate exercise into your routine in ways that you enjoy. From walking during your commute to joining an exercise class, find activities that fit your schedule and make you happy. Remember, it’s about making exercise a part of your life, not a chore.

Rewards Beyond Food: Celebrating Achievements

Celebrate your successes with non-food rewards. Whether it’s a movie night, a day trip, or quality time with loved ones, find joy in achievements without associating them with food. This practice nurtures a healthy relationship with both your accomplishments and your diet.

For motivation to reach your health goals, make a list of non-food rewards. Keep the list handy and review it often. When you lose ten pounds, what will be your reward? Consider sharing your list with friends or family. Remind friends, family, and your accountability partner that your rewards will be non-food based.

How important is an accountability partner?

Sharing the Journey: Support and Accountability

Delores W at Yosemite after preparing at TTN

Sharing your goals and progress with friends or family can be incredibly motivating. It's not just about sharing the triumphs but also about finding strength and learning from the setbacks. Remember, the journey to better health is not just about the destination but also the shared experiences.

Monitoring your progress can be a great motivator and adds a layer of accountability. Whether through a fitness app or a simple journal, seeing the tangible results of your efforts can spur you on to keep going. It's not just about numbers; it's about recognizing the effort you're putting in.

Motivation to reach your health goals may be only a friend or a phone app away. Or, a professional therapist from The Therapy Network can help you stay motivated.

The Therapy Network: Your Partner in Health

At The Therapy Network in Hampton Roads, Virginia, we specialize in helping you reach your health goals through physical therapy. Since 1987, our commitment to patient-centric care has driven us to offer a wide range of services tailored to your needs.

Our team of therapists are skilled in various modalities like manual therapy, exercise prescription, and more. We focus on understanding your goals and crafting a plan that resonates with your journey.

Celebrating a well earned finish with TTN's Lauren Stacy, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT

We believe in empowering our patients through education and ongoing support. By understanding your body and its movements, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions. Our therapists are here to guide you, offering support and adjusting your plan as needed.

Did you know that you do not need a physician’s referral to start your journey to a healthy lifestyle at The Therapy Network?

Convenient and Specialized Services at The Therapy Network

Our six clinics across Hampton Roads offer extended hours to fit your busy schedule. We ensure the highest quality of care with a range of specialized services and a dedication to innovation.

Your Path to a Healthier Tomorrow

Building motivation to reach your health goals involves small, consistent steps. At The Therapy Network, we support you every step of the way. From setting achievable goals to providing personalized care, we are your partners in this journey to wellness.

Let’s take this step together towards a healthier, happier you.

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