Written for Women’s Edition: https://www.womensedition.com/omahavantagepoint
Midwest Physical Therapy Services moved to their current location at 11640 Arbor Street just over a year ago. In their new space, they have continued to serve the area through patient education and physical therapy. Cheryl Wisinski, PT, DPT, WCS, owner of the practice, has been a physical therapist for over 30 years and is board-certified in women’s health. She and her staff specialize in healing pelvic floor issues.
These issues often include incontinence or pelvic pain, Dr. Wisinski says. “We see a lot of people who have incontinence, which could be bowel or bladder. We see women with pelvic pain so bad they can’t have intercourse or do athletic activities.”
Pelvic floor strength is important because it stabilizes not only the pelvis but also the core and lower back. “That muscle is responsible for stabilizing the whole bony ring of your pelvis, which has to work in coordination with your spine,” Dr. Wisinski explains. All the muscles in your core need to be strong so they can work together to minimize back and pelvic pain.
Physical therapy for the pelvic floor is a relatively new specialty, but it’s growing because of popular demand. Dr. Wisinski pursued the specialty after she encountered patients in her general physical therapy practice who couldn’t do the exercises she recommended because they would leak urine if they did.
Some patients who begin physical therapy to address incontinence see other benefits, too. “We just had a really fun patient come see us last week,” Dr. Wisinski shares. “She had originally come to see us because of leakage issues. Along the line, she ended up slimming down, too.” After 90 days of therapy, that patient ended up with weight loss, a flatter stomach, and a complete lifestyle change—all because she finally dealt with her chronic issues.
Some patients have weakness or injury that stems from poor posture, overworking the pelvic floor, or even injury to the area. In some cases, a surgical procedure may be required to fix the patient’s problem. However, notes Dr. Wisinski, surgery and physical therapy go hand in hand. “Surgery changes the organs inside,” says Dr. Wisinski, “but you still need strong muscles underneath it all to have the best outcome of the surgery.” Dr. Wisinski also works with patients who wish to avoid surgery or who have surgery scheduled and want to prepare for it with strengthening exercises.
The small size of the office allows them to serve their patients’ individual needs to the fullest. Before seeing a patient for the first time, the team meets to discuss potential treatment plans for every individual. “We look at the muscles surrounding the pelvis, the patient’s posture…we try to look at all the pieces of the puzzle and figure things out,” says physical therapy assistant Britnee Hoffner.
Strengthening a muscle takes a minimum of six weeks of consistent exercise. Patients who perform their exercises at home, between appointments, get the most benefit from physical therapy. “No one wants to go home and do 30 minutes’ worth of exercises,” Dr. Wisinski notes. She and her team focus on short, day-to-day challenges they call “red light” exercises. “We try to make it functional and allow patients to fit them into the day.”
Patients are more likely to follow through on their home exercises if they understand why they’re doing them, Dr. Wisinski has found. That’s why patient education is so important at Midwest Physical Therapy Services. “We spend half of the first session using models and pictures to teach patients about their bodies—where their bowels are, what the pelvic floor looks like, and how those structures interact.” This empowers patients with the tools they need to help heal their own bodies.
Patient Dennis describes urinary frequency and urgency that were dominating his life. “The medication helped, but not enough,” he recalls. “My urologist recommended that I visit Midwest Physical Therapy Services. What a life-changer! After a thorough evaluation, they set up a program to strengthen my lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. There has been a dramatic decrease in my symptoms!”
Patient Kim started physical therapy about nine months after giving birth to her second child. “I have benefited the most from uncovering what areas to focus on in order to improve my weakness, my pain, and my overall strength, stability, and function,” she says. “I am still discovering new things about my body that I did not know or think about previously. I’m excited to continue to learn even more to improve function and symptoms during my current pregnancy.”
To schedule your appointment, call 402-933-8383 or visit them online at midwestpts.com.