Monthly Archives: April 2018

Gotta Go, Right Now?

It might make you uncomfortable, but it’s time to talk about pelvic health. Pelvic health includes all things that are embarrassing to discuss, but important to address. Many are treatable! Things like:

  • Urinary leakage, frequency or urgency (incontinence)
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic pain
  • Diastasis rectus abdominus (when abdomen muscles divide postpartum)
  • Post-surgical weakness from abdominal surgery, hysterectomy or gynecological surgery
  • Scar tissue restrictions
  • Painful sex (a sign of muscles being too tight)
  • Pelvic prolapse (a sign of muscles being too loose)

While many of these symptoms and conditions are common, especially among the elderly and women who are or have recently been pregnant, incontinence is by far the most common.

Approximately 13 million Americans are incontinent: 85 percent of whom are women. Urinary incontinence can start early. It affects 4 out of 10 women, 1 out of 10 men and 17% of kids below the age of 15. 38% to 40% of women experience stress urinary incontinence and 41% of elite female athletes.

Pelvic health issues like these can have a negative impact emotionally, physically and financially. For example, someone who suffers with urinary incontinence may find it difficult to find suitable employment; embarrassing situations that reoccur can lead to isolation and eventually depression; running or aerobics become something to avoid when you suffer from incontinence.

Often, people go years or their whole lives powering through these daily struggles because they are too embarrassed to bring it up. The good news is that approximately 80 percent of those affected by urinary incontinence can be cured or improved.

Neuromuscular control is needed to create awareness of the contraction and relaxation of the pelvic muscles  and is a main goal of physical therapy.  An example of a treatment regimen includes Kegel muscle exercises emphasizing the ability to fully relax the muscles after a contraction. Patients would attend physical therapy sessions 1-2 days a week for about 2 months.

If incontinence is your issue, the thought of a car ride to Green Bay a couple times a week is anxiety inducing. Door County Medical Center has a team of physical therapists in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay who have participated in specialized training on adult pelvic health and pelvic floor muscles. These amazing physical therapists are prepared to listen to you with compassion and help you get back to living your life.

DCMC Physical TherapistsSister Bay: Lori Pothast, PT and Jen Gaddes, DPT. Sturgeon Bay: Crystal Pomeroy, DPT, Anna Deboer, DPT.

Patients are examined by one of our highly skilled physical therapists in a very discreet private treatment room. They provide education, home exercises and treatments to manage symptoms.

According to Lori Pothast, PT, “You don’t need to accept this as a way of life; there’s something you can do about it. Talk to your doctor. Mention that you are having problems. We can teach you muscular exercises over 6-8 weeks to improve control for the rest of your life. There are solutions.”

You deserve better! Talk to your primary physician today about physical therapy for pelvic health.

If you have any questions, contact DCMC Rehabilitation Services in Sister Bay (920-854-4111) or Sturgeon Bay (920-746-0410).

Strong Team at Door County Medical Center – Algoma Clinic

Mark Fergus, APNP, FNP-BC will begin providing Family Medicine services at Door County Medical Center-Algoma Clinic beginning April 24th. Mark is from Green Bay and received his Masters Degree from Concordia University’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Mark is one of three health professionals, including Ellen Knipfer, NP and Dr. Beth Lux, to make the transition from DCMC’s Sturgeon Bay location to the Algoma Clinic this year.

Mark Fergus, APNP, FNP-BC

Mark Fergus, APNP, FNP-BC

Ellen Knipfer, NP

Ellen Knipfer, NP

Dr. Beth Lux

Dr. Beth Lux

Kim Swiggum RN, BSN has been with Door County Medical Center for almost seven years and is the Site Supervisor at DCMC-Algoma Clinic. “We now have a total of seven staff, including Lab Tech, X-ray Tech/LPN, two additional LPN’s, a RN and two Reception staff,” she adds, “We have a diverse group and we are able to provide a variety medical services to our patients.”

These professional moves are part of an effort by Door County Medical Center to build a strong medical resource for Algoma residents and visitors. Algoma, with just over 3,000 residents, is a year-round community with a variety of generations living within the compact downtown core.

“Having a clinic like DCMC that brings a wide variety of services to our small rural community is a huge asset to the health and wellbeing of Algoma. Everyone, from children to our elderly population, can receive quality services without having to drive more than a few minutes. Many small cities like ours do not have that luxury. Even large cities do not have the ability to provide same day appointments with your personal provider. It’s much too easy to get juggled around to whomever has openings,” says Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Krouse.

“Many of the staff are known in the community and have been with the clinic for a number of years,” says Swiggum, “I am receiving many positive comments in regards to Ellen Knipfer, NP who has recently started here at DCMC-Algoma Clinic. She has received positive comments on our surveys and patients have personally told me how much they like her.”

The benefit of having a strong local medical team extends beyond the clinic walls. Krouse adds, “DCMC is also just a great community partner in general. They support our Shanty Days celebration and summer concerts in the park. They provide their employees the opportunity to volunteer and be involved in the community on behalf of DCMC. Perfect example, William Bluett, PT at the Algoma clinic is a chamber board member. Knowing that they are investing more in Algoma is great for the health and wellbeing of the city!”

The DCMC-Algoma Clinic provides a variety of family medicine services, as well as specialty care services including OB/GYN, pediatrics, behavioral health and diabetic services. The clinic includes an onsite laboratory and diagnostic imaging capabilities. Located at 815 Jefferson Street, the clinic is in the heart of downtown Algoma. Clinic hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, call 920- 487-3496.