Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 6, 2017

Duke Specialty Rehab Services Midtown Helps Patient Regain Strength

bessie burger2Last spring, Bessie Burger began coming to Duke Specialty Rehab Services Midtown to help recover from sudden and unexplained muscle weakness. Her primary care provider had referred her to Midtown for physical, occupational, and pelvic floor therapy that would help regain her strength and allow her to get back to her life.

Her physical and occupational therapists helped her reach new goals each week, including holding a knife and fork, opening a door, or getting out of a chair – “things we take for granted every day,” Bessie says.

Bessie also received pelvic floor therapy, a new service at Midtown that helps men and women of all ages strengthens the network of muscles in the lower abdomen that support the bladder and female reproductive organs. Pelvic floor therapy uses a combination of manual therapy, pelvic floor muscle exercises, biofeedback, lifestyle modifications, stress management and nutritional education to improve pelvic health.

When people have incontinence, they assume that it must be related to only to their bladder, says Dr. Amie Kawasaki, a urogynecologist with Duke Health. “Often times they neglect to realize that all of those organs are framed within the muscles of the body, including pelvic floor. Physical therapists are familiar with those muscles and therapeutic options for treatment, and they are able to strengthen and increase the function for people and capture that possible source of their issues.”

“All of the providers I worked with challenged me, but I enjoyed coming here,” Bessie says. “My default mechanism is to laugh and make fun of a lot of things, and we all chuckled and put a positive spin on my situation. Everyone I worked with at Midtown was genuinely kind and gentle.”

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