I would like to thank everyone at Chesapeake Physical and Aquatic Therapy for all the help you have given me during the time I have been receiving therapy there. Your kindness and expert treatment is much appreciated! It means a lot to those of us who are suffering from chronic pain and discomfort. Hope is the greatest gift of all! ~RM


Painful Sex in Women

Intercourse pain, or dyspareunia, can cause problems in a couple’s sexual relationship. In addition to the physically painful sex, there is also the possibility of negative emotional effects, so the problem should be addressed as soon as it becomes evident.

What causes Painful Sex in Women?

In many cases, a woman can experience painful sex if there is not sufficient vaginal lubrication. When this occurs, the pain can be resolved if the female becomes more relaxed, if the amount of foreplay is increased, or if the couple uses a sexual lubricant.

In some cases, a woman can experience painful intercourse if one of the following conditions is present:

*Vaginismus. This is a common condition in which there is a spasm in the vaginal muscles, mainly caused by the fear of being hurt.

*Vaginal infections. These conditions are common and include yeast infections.

*Problems with the cervix (opening to the uterus). In this case, the penis can reach the cervix at maximum penetration, so problems with the cervix (such as infections) can cause pain during deep penetration.

*Problems with the uterus. These problems may include fibroids that can cause deep intercourse pain.

*Endometriosis. A condition in which the endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) grows outside the uterus.

*Problems with the ovaries. Such problems might include cysts on the ovaries.

*Pelvic inflammatory disease. The tissues deep inside become badly inflamed and the pressure of intercourse causes deep pain.

*Ectopic pregnancy. A pregnancy in which a fertilized egg develops outside of the uterus.

*Menopause. The vaginal lining can lose its normal moisture and become dry.

*Intercourse too soon after surgery or childbirth.

*Sexually transmitted diseases. These may include genital warts, herpes sores, or other STDs.

*Injury to the vulva or vagina. These injuries may include a tear from childbirth or from a cut (episiotomy) in the perenium (area of skin between the vagina and the anus) that is made during labor.

How Can Painful Sex in Women be Treated?

Some treatments for painful sex in women do not require medical intervention. For example, in the case of painful sex after pregnancy, wait at least six weeks after childbirth before attempting intercourse. Make sure to practice gentleness and patience. In cases in which there is vaginal dryness or lack of lubrication, try water-based lubricants.

Some treatments for female sexual pain do not require a doctor’s care. If vaginal dryness is due to menopause, ask a health care professional about estrogen creams or other prescription medications. Other causes of painful intercourse also may require prescription drugs.

For cases of sexual pain in which there is no underlying medical cause, sexual therapy might be helpful. Some individuals may need to resolve issues such as guilt, inner conflicts regarding sex, or feelings regarding a past abuse.

Call a doctor if there are symptoms such as bleeding, genital lesions, irregular periods, vaginal discharge, or involuntary vaginal muscle contractions and ask for a referral to a certified sex counselor if there are other concerns that need to be addressed.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on March 12, 2010

We at Chesapeake Physical & Aquatic Therapy want to assist and help make your life as productive as possible. If you have any questions concerning this issue please call one of our two locations and someone can answer your questions.

~River Hill 6151 Day Long Ln. The Columbia Gym # 410.531.2525

~Columbia 7080 Deepage Dr. Supreme Sports Club # 410.381.7000

Guidelines for healthy adults under age 65

Guidelines for healthy adults under age 65

Basic recommendations from American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association:

Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week OR Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week AND Do 8 to 10 strength-training exercises, 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.

Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Dealing with Disability

CPAT is a great place to come when dealing with any kind of disability. With cervical spondylitis every couple of years the pain in the neck and shoulders has shown up causing me to come to CPAT. They have always been successful in getting the pain and range of motion back to normal as possible. My hat comes off to all the staff who had a hand in my improvement and discharge. Thanks for all you do!!!

Ice or Heat?

Should you ice or heat an injury?

By Jonathan Cluett, M.D., About.com Guide Updated February 15, 2009

Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments in orthopedics. So which one is the right one to use for your injury, ice or heat? How long should the ice or heat treatments last? Read on for information about treatment of injuries with ice packs and heating pads.

Ice Treatment

Ice treatment is most commonly used for acute injuries. If you have a recent injury (within the last 48 hours) where swelling is a problem, you should be using ice treatment. Ice packs can help minimize swelling around the injury.

Ice packs are often used after injuries such as an ankle sprain have occurred. Applying an ice pack early and often for the first 48 hours will help minimize swelling. Decreasing swelling around an injury will help to control the pain.

Ice treatments may also be used for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries in athletes. In this case, ice the injured area after activity to help control inflammation. Never ice a chronic injury before activity.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatments should be used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues, and to stimulate blood flow to the area. Use heat treatments for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries, before participation in activities.

Do not use heat treatments after activity, and do not use heat after an acute injury. Heating tissues can be accomplished using a heating pad or even a hot, wet towel. When using heat treatments, be very careful to use a moderate heat for a limited time to avoid burns. Never leave heating pads or towels on for extended periods of time, or while sleeping.

Life is a one time opportunity

People sometimes say I smile a lot. A smile can go a long way for me or for someone else who is hurting. I grew up with joint pain, especially in my knees. I have had three knee surgeries, lots of physical therapists, and way too much pain. I now have Rheumatoid Arthritis in most of my joints. I am about to undergo hip replacement because the arthritis has attacked and destroyed my hip. My doctor suggested Aquatic Therapy to help me prepare for surgery, lose weight, and keep moving. I honestly didn’t want to try it. I have been through PT before with little relief. However it has been the best! Sometimes I don’t want to come, either I am having trouble walking, moving, it hurts too bad, or I’m just too extremely tired and worn out. Regardless of how I feel when I get into the pool I always feel better when I get out. With aquatic therapy I have been able to build strength and endurance. Sometimes you just have to grin and go forward. Life is a one time opportunity. I have found the entire staff, from the office associates to the assistant therapists to the actual therapists to be supportive, caring, and real. The PT’s sometimes push when I don’t feel that I can do anymore, yet they are able to reign me in when I try to do too much. You can see when people truly care about their job and the people they are helping. I see a special bond between the patients and the staff here that reveals they are well liked and have the person’s very best interest at heart. The staff members here at CPAT have touched my heart, given me some grace to continue to walk through life, and I watch them touch others. They are remarkable people who have come together to touch lives.