Lynne Smejkal, PT
While one out of every five Americans will experience some type of pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime, the condition frequently goes untreated and people “suffer in silence.” Common symptoms include urine leakage when laughing or coughing, vaginal and/or anal pain, a sensation of pelvic pressure and painful intercourse.
Bacharach physical therapists are working to fight the stigma associated with pelvic floor disorders to help patients resume their daily activities.
Pelvic floor dysfunction affects both men and women of all ages. The diagnosis covers a wide range of issues that occur when one is unable to control the muscles in the pelvic floor, causing prolapse and urinary and fecal incontinence.
Lynne Smejkal, PT, of Bacharach, specializes in treating pelvic floor dysfunction. She began her pelvic floor education with internationally renowned physical therapist Elizabeth Nobel, followed by continuing education seminars and labs with other pelvic floor specialists and educators.
“Pelvic floor dysfunctions can have a detrimental effect on people’s lives, causing embarrassment and impacting relationships and self-esteem,” said Lynne.
Lynne was so inspired by Elizabeth’s class that she created a specialized physical therapy program to help people deal with these hard-to-discuss issues. Bacharach’s pelvic floor therapy program is the only one of its kind in the area. Patients are brought in for a consultation in a private setting and spend their first session getting comfortable with their therapist while their pelvic floor assessments are initiated.
“Pelvic floor therapy is a no-judgment zone – it’s important for patients to feel comfortable enough to open up to us,” said Lynne. “We can really begin to pinpoint the issues once our patients can tell us exactly what is going on with them.”
Due to the influx of patients in the pelvic floor therapy program, Lynne mentored Mora Pluchino, PT, pediatric program coordinator at Bacharach, who now treats both adults and children with pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Mora Pluchino, PT, DPT
“I wanted to get involved with the program because I had my own pelvic floor issues as both a child and adult,” said Mora. “I enjoy being able to help patients with their pelvic floor issues and providing support for a population that feels alone and isolated because they’ve had no one understand what they are going through.”
Lynne and Mora work closely together to create an individualized care plan for each patient, consisting of different strengthening exercises, relaxation, stretching activities, manual mobilization techniques, self-massage, bowel and bladder retraining and home therapy exercises.
“Our goal is to educate patients so they can eventually perform the exercises on their own and make adjustments to their lifestyle to prevent pelvic floor disorder from holding them back,” said Lynne.