By Kristin Anderson, PT, DPT, OCS, CLT
Have you noticed the “Me Too” campaign occurring on Facebook? The campaign is designed for women to post “Me Too” if they have experienced any form of sexual trauma in their lives.
If you have seen the campaign, what where your initial thoughts? Did the number of women who posted surprise you? Did you yourself post or did you privately know you had experienced sexual trauma as well? Regardless of your response, did you know that 1 in 3 women experience sexual assault in their lifetime?
In addition to emotional distress, physical changes and pain can also occur from sexual trauma. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual trauma and now have pain with penetration (from a tampon, women’s wellness exam or intercourse), this could be due to the trauma you’ve experienced. Why does this occur?
After we have experienced trauma, our bodies want to protect ourselves. To protect our bodies, our autonomic nervous system (which is the part of the nervous system responsible for our fight or flight response) can cause an involuntary response to increase the muscle tension of the pelvic floor. Even though you may be in a safe situation, for example: getting a speculum exam from a trusted doctor, you may still experience pain. What can you do about this?
Physical therapy may be the answer! Physical therapists are trained to help restore normal muscle tension and utilize strategies to help the body understand how to adapt to healthy situations. It is also important that you form a team around you to support yourself after a trauma has occurred. This team can include a psychologist and a physician, as well as, a physical therapist.
There is help to heal both physically and emotionally! Contact us today. Our experienced, compassionate and caring staff wants to help!