Landrum joins BJACH Rehab Team, brings pelvic floor physical therapy

4/23/24 (Tue)

Landrum joins BJACH Rehab Team, brings pelvic floor physical therapy

Photo By Jean Graves | Capt. Shelby Landrum a physical therapist specializing in orthopedics, mechanical... read more



Story by Jean Graves 

Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital  


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FORT JOHNSON, La. — Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital will begin offering a new type of physical therapy to Soldiers and their Families beginning May 1, at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

Capt. Shelby Landrum joined the BJACH rehabilitation department recently and she will add a unique health care specialty to the team, pelvic floor physical therapy.

Landrum, a physical therapist, specializes in orthopedics, mechanical diagnosis and treatment, pelvic pain, pregnancy, and post-partum corrective exercise. She has extensive training including a post graduate residency with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Landrum said pelvic floor dysfunction is very common among men, women, and adolescents of all ages, but highly under diagnosed or treated.

“I became interested in learning more about pelvic floor dysfunction after the birth of my daughters and experiencing embarrassing, uncomfortable, symptoms during my first postpartum physical fitness test,” she said. “I had no idea this was a post graduate specialty until I was in physical therapy school and became a patient myself. Like my patients, I learned we can’t treat what we don’t know, or what we don’t recognize is dysfunctional or abnormal.”

Maj. Caleb Johnson, chief of rehabilitation for BJACH, said he’s excited to have Landrum on the team.

“Capt. Landrum has spent the first several weeks marketing herself to hospital providers and the community. She is looking forward to providing this new service line to our patient population,” he said. “Her expertise in pelvic floor physical therapy is a great addition to the services already offered in our department. We are lucky to have someone on staff with training that will surely enhance the lives of many of our beneficiaries.”

Landrum said as a physical therapist she looks at things from head to toe such as joints, muscles, breathing mechanics, and the fascial system (sheets of connective tissue that are found below the skin) and how such things affect the function of the pelvic floor.

“The pelvic floor is made up of muscles that support the urinary, bowel, and reproductive organs. These muscles control your bladder and bowels, assist with circulation between the trunk to lower extremities, provide stability, and of course play a crucial role in reproductive and sexual health” she said. “The pelvic floor muscles have 360 degrees of attachment to your pelvis, which includes your tailbone, making it a critical thing to check with a history of falls or childbirth.”

Landrum said pelvic floor dysfunction can manifest as constipation, urinary or fecal urgency, muscle or joint pain, abdominal tenderness, difficulty sitting, erectile dysfunction, and painful menstruation.

“Stress, injuries, childbirth, obesity, dehydration, prior injury, abdominal and orthopedic surgery, constipation, and poor form during physical exercise are just a few examples of things that can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction,” she said. “A lot of people just assume chronic pelvic pain and incontinence are simply a normal part of life.”

The pelvic floor physical therapy capabilities Landrum brings to BJACH will give Soldiers and Family members an opportunity to see a physical therapist in house who can help correct an issue many people struggle with daily.

“A lot of women just accept it. Their mothers and grandmothers wet their pants and they assume it’s just a normal part of life,” she said. “I’ve found that people who have been dealing with an issue for so long, will avoid certain movements or become weak in certain ways, which will have a domino effect when it comes to the strength and function of their pelvic floor. As women we tend to normalize these issues and carry on with our daily lives at work and home.”

Landrum said educating her patients is as important as the physical therapy itself.

“I have a lot of people come to my office who don’t understand how habits are connected to their symptoms. For example, people often think if they drink more water, they are more likely to experience urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control. However, if you drink more water, your urine is more diluted which will be less irritating to your bladder,” she said. “The same holds true for chronic constipation, which can lead to back pain and other pelvic floor dysfunctionality in both men and women.”

Landrum said the physical therapy interventions will be individualized to each patient’s specific symptoms and concerns.

“For example, some people need to learn to strengthen and contract their pelvic floor in isolation. While others may need to learn to relax and lengthen their pelvic floor for the muscles to respond in a strong way. There are also those who may have no symptoms performing daily activities but suffer after a ruck or a long shift on their feet” she said. “I will give patients a questionnaire regarding their urinary and bowel habits, symptoms, and concerns, then conduct both an internal and external exam if they consent. Depending on their goals and presentation, I will prescribe homework with or without training aides as well as other exercises that may be performed in our gym under the guidance of our versatile orthopedic team.”

Landrum hopes to make a positive impact in the lives of her patients.

“As a mother and someone who has experienced these issues myself, and a clinician who has treated patients from age eighteen to ninety-two, I know that I can make a difference in many people lives by bringing these therapies to BJACH,” she said. “You can’t look at someone and tell they are having pelvic floor dysfunction, but as my toddler eloquently puts it: everyone poops. I know that proper, pain free, pelvic floor functionality, is an integral part of my patients’ quality of life.”

Landrum said there are indicators that a person might be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.

“Painful sitting, chronic low back pain, pelvic pressure or heaviness, recurrent nerve pain in the groin or sciatic-like pain, difficult or painful OB/GYN exams, are just a few,” she said. “Patients can ask their primary care provider for a referral if they are experiencing any issues that could be related to pelvic floor dysfunction.”

Editor’s note: Currently Capt. Landrum is only available to see female patients, however this issue also affects males who can be referred off post for pelvic floor physical therapy if needed.

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