Stefanie Long’s message to women everywhere is short and to the point: You don’t have to live like this. Unfortunately, so many women think chronic pelvic pain and embarrassing issues such as leaking when exercising or being active, pain during sexual intercourse, back and hip problems, and having to go to the bathroom too often are simply part of being a woman — especially during pregnancy and after giving birth. What’s worse is that they often feel dismissed, that no one can help or that no one wants to listen to their concerns.
“They’ll visit their gynecologist about these embarrassing issues, and they’re told, ‘Well, you recently had a baby. This is normal,’” Long said. She’s the owner of Concept Pelvic Health in Keller. “But it isn’t normal. It’s not normal in the slightest bit. If you’re constantly in the bathroom, it’s not that you have a small bladder. That’s a pelvic floor issue, and we can help.”
Pelvic health is a fast-growing but relatively new specialty area of women’s health that focuses on common issues many women experience in various stages of life. Perhaps they leak when they run. Maybe they can’t play with their kids on the trampoline or move like they used to because of overwhelming pelvic and back pain. Women have unique body types that predispose them to having leaking issues and pain with high-impact activities, especially if they’ve chosen to have a baby. Dr. Long became passionate about pelvic health in 2011 after being treated as a patient following the birth of her first baby. She struggled with incontinence and pelvic pain, and her symptoms began to lessen after just a few pelvic floor treatments.
At Concept Pelvic Health, Long is one of four physical therapists offering tailored treatment programs to meet each patient’s unique needs. She opened the practice in 2021 as a single-therapist practice and continues to offer convenient, one-on-one 60-minute sessions for everything from pelvic pain and incontinence to orthopedic issues such as back and hip pain, pregnancy and postpartum care, and bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Drs. Kinsey Worley, Alli Reynolds, and Veronica Engle have since joined the practice and provide the same expertise and care for their patients that Dr. Long established through Concept. In addition to treating women, Concept offers pediatric therapy for issues such as bedwetting, constipation, wetting during the day, wearing pull-ups after age four, and more.
“The field has grown in 15 years, and I opened my clinic because I believed patients deserved individualized attention,” Long said. “Pelvic floor physical therapy allows women to return to and enjoy the activities they love, lessen, and eliminate embarrassing symptoms, and empowers them to be the best version of themselves. If we’re talking urinary issues, most patients see significant progress within three to five visits. A few additional diagnoses might take longer, but you can look back three months from now and have a completely different quality of life.”