Popular Pelvic Health Products: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Popular Pelvic Health Products: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Celebrity endorsements often cause waves of popularity for different products on the market. Not even the realm of pelvic health is exempt from fads that pique peoples’ curiosity and direct them to using products that are unhelpful, or worse, possibly harmful.  Here are a few pelvic health products that have gone onto the market in recent years. While professional opinions are always useful, you be the judge on whether these are good, bad, or just plain ugly.

  1. Squatty Potty: Originally shown on Shark Tank, the squatty potty (or the squattypottymus for kids), is a simple, white plastic footstool that tucks under the toilet and is designed to, well, help people poop more easily! When using the squatty potty, it promotes improved toilet posture in order to help the pelvic floor muscles relax during defecation. Helping the pelvic floor muscles relax during a bowel movement helps reduce the chances of over-straining, as over-straining leads to other complications in bowel/bladder functioning and pelvic health. Folks who combine optimal bowel/bladder health strategies (ie, drinking water, having appropriate fiber intake, and get the proper levels of sleep and exercise) successfully reduce their constipation levels with the use of the squatty potty.
  2. The Kegel Throne, also called BTL Esmella (can be found in some medical clinics): According to their website, the BTL Emsella is “intended to provide non-invasive electromagnetic stimulation of pelvic floor musculature for the purpose of rehabilitation of weak pelvic muscles and restoration of neuromuscular control for the treatment of male and female urinary incontinence.” Their claim is essentially physical therapy without the work involved, as the Esmella causes electrical stimulation to the pelvic floor muscles to contract thousands of contractions per session requiring the patient to simply sit there on the throne! While there are several issues with this, it is worth mentioning that electrical stimulation for muscle strengthening originated several decades ago and has been shown to have very limited functional use for long term muscle strengthening. As it turns out, actual muscle work, such as directed physical therapy exercises, is the best way to gain strength, endurance, and motor control within muscle groups. Let the client do the work (not the machine!).
  3. Vaginal Steaming (V-Steam): This controversial detox method (as previously found on Gwyneth Paltrow’s health site, Goop) is intended to “steam clean” the vagina using the steam from boiling water combined with a variety of seemingly healthy ingredients, such as rosemary, rose petals, and oregano to name a few. However, as far as science goes, there is no (as in, ZERO) research nor clinical anecdotal evidence to support this method of “cleansing.” Not to mention, this technique poses a risk of burns (Imagine: boiling water/steam precariously positioned directly underneath your undercarriage. Doesn’t sound like a good idea…). The vaginal canal is intended to be a low oxygen environment and has a specific vaginal ecosystem that when disrupted, can cause issues. While V-Steaming has been endorsed by a celebrity, this technique is NOT endorsed by any OB/GYN physicians nor any pelvic health practitioners for that matter. This product was most notably called into question by Dr. Jennifer Gunter, OB/GYN and Pain Medicine Physician on the Netflix series “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death”.

If you are ready to learn more reliable information about pelvic health, contact us today to schedule with our pelvic health specialist, Kelsea Cannon, PT.

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Covid-19 Notice

3/27/2020 Covid-19 Notice:

On March 19th, we made the difficult, yet important decision to close both clinics, in order to do our part to flatten the curve. We will reopen the clinics part time on Monday, April 6th, with an emphasis on telemedicine. This will allow us to comply as much as possible with the governor's Stay Home Stay Healthy order if it is extended, while also meeting our obligation as essential infrastructure workers. According to Dr. Matos, an expert in biological surety and the management of select agent programs at federal facilities: "Physical therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic. They play a key role in keeping people they can help out of doctors' offices and ER's. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by Covid-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking the care of the physical therapist." To that end, we will focus on telemedicine, but also allow for select, necessary in-office treatments for low risk, healthy individuals. This will be a joint determination between you and your PT. Many, if not all of our patients, have come to appreciate the effectiveness and efficiency of the hands-on manual therapy techniques our physical therapists use to help relieve pain and improve function. So, we recognize that a telemedicine visit may not seem as appealing. At this time, telemedicine is the appropriate and safe way to continue your care without further interruption and your physical therapists are prepared to alter their approach in order to still provide effective care.

During our temporary closure, your physical therapists have been on unemployment and not able to contribute to our communities financially as they normally would like to. Getting back to work, providing your care will allow us to resume caring for you and our community. For every telemedicine visit we provide in April, the clinic will donate $5 to the following organizations:

Kelsea Cannon, PT- Westside Baby
Lauren Esmailka, PT- Treehouse
Elizabeth Rogers, PT- Rainier Valley Food Bank

We remain passionate about helping you improve and maintain the function of your movement system so that you can do the activities you love. I remain available for urgent (i.e. post-op care, acute injury, treatment needed to decrease/avoid use of NSAIDs and Opiods) in-clinic treatment and telemedicine treatment from now until April 6th. We invite you to follow/Like our  Facebook page, where I am offering complimentary weekly Pilates mat class on Wednesdays at 7am and foam roller class on Fridays at 7am. All are welcome to participate in these classes or view them anytime on our Facebook page.

Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. If you are a current patient, you should have received an email from me with scheduling/rescheduling info. Be in touch with your PT to schedule your telemedicine visit. I am available via clinic phone (206-535-7356) and email (elizabeth@elizabethrogerspt.com). We will update you here and our Facebook page as things change.

We are counting the days until we get to resume our work together both virtually and in the clinic! Thank you for your support of this small, locally-owned physical therapy private practice!

Elizabeth Rogers, PT

Owner, Elizabeth Rogers Pilates & Physical Therapy, PLLC

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