NORTH CONWAY, NH – It is one of the most common medical problems that affects up to 50% of women. Urinary incontinence is something many think they just have to learn to live with, or have surgery or expensive medications to manage. However, an up-and-coming physical therapist at Memorial Hospital is looking to spread the news that there is treatment available that does not involve surgery or drugs. Women’s health physical therapy is now being offered at the North Conway hospital by Angela Serrani, PT, DPT, who has been trained to provide pelvic floor rehabilitation by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Section on Women’s Health.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form a kind of hammock across the pelvic opening. Normally, these muscles keep the pelvic organs in place. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when organs such as the bladder drop from their normal placement resulting in symptoms such as discomfort and interruption of daily activities. Urinary incontinence is another common result of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Issues occur when muscles that hold your pelvic organs in place loose strength or are over stretched from childbirth or surgery. Pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to decreased confidence, decreased participation in activities, sexual problems, and interfere with daily life.
As women age, pelvic organ prolapse and other pelvic floor disorders become more common. Anything that puts increased pressure in the abdomen can lead to this. Common causes, other than pregnancy include obesity, chronic long-term cough, constipation, cancer, or a hysterectomy.
No matter what the cause, Angela Serrani provides a non-surgical solution to help restore strength to the pelvic region and reduce symptoms. “Pelvic floor muscle training is a low-risk, low-investment treatment with proven efficacy when overseen by a trained therapist.” She sees patients in the Outpatient Physical Therapy Building at Memorial Hospital. Evaluation and treatment take place in a private room with exercises taking place in the open concept gym.
Pelvic floor physical therapy involves muscle training, biofeedback, behavior modification, manual therapy, exercises for the muscles of the pelvis. After an initial assessment by Angela, patients generally can expect to work with her several times a week for 4 to 6 weeks. “I give my patients evidence based treatments and a home program consistent with the latest research being presented by the American Physical Therapy Association,” Serrani stated. “I will prescribe the specific exercises necessary to help you. Everyone is different and I’ll tailor your treatment for the best outcome possible.”
The end result is the patients can return to normal life with improved strength of the pelvic floor under the guidance of Angela Serrani. Not bad for a treatment that involves no drugs or surgeries and can be accomplished locally in a short amount of time.
Angela has received training from the Section on Women’s Health, a membership and educational organization of nearly 3,000 physical therapists who treat patients across the life span. She has received Level 1 training in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in the CAPP-Pelvic series. The course is for the management of patients with diagnoses of pelvic health dysfunction.
Angela is a graduate of the University of New England’s DPT program. She is also a 200 hour yoga alliance certified yoga teacher. She works with patients in the outpatient orthopedic setting and takes pride in specifically tailoring a treatment program to help patients return to the highest level of function, incorporating manual therapy techniques and specific exercises. She also offers vertigo treatment, kinesiology taping, and instrument assisted soft tissue work along with more traditional physical therapy treatments.
Angela Serrani, DPT is accepting new patients. She offers flexible appointments that fit your schedule. You may contact her office at 603-733-5921 for more information.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, family birthing center, sleep center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services and the Miranda Center for Diabetes. Physician practices include primary care and family medicine, women's health, orthopedics and sports medicine. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus. Together, our staff and providers are committed to meeting the health needs of the Mt. Washington Valley and surrounding communities by collaborating with community partners in the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care.