North Naples resident Jacob Nassberg says he gets a laugh out of people when he tells them he’s not only the president and owner but he’s also a client of the Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic. Not only is the line a retro reference to the once-ubiquitous Hair Club for Men TV commercials, but it’s true.
Nassberg was so impressed with the treatment he received from certified pelvic floor physical therapist Lesley Jones that he started a business partnership with her and launched Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic this year in Naples.
“I was a client so I have that firsthand knowledge of exactly what she does and what she brings to the table. It’s a lot easier for me to talk about it after having personal experience, obviously,” said Nassberg, who received pelvic floor physical therapy from Jones following prostate cancer treatment about four years ago. After surgery, his surgeon recommended pelvic floor therapy to get on the road to recovery.
“As a 43-year-old male, I didn’t want to be stuck in Depends for however long and lose my sexual function, which was something that was important to me,” he said. “The doctor said, for best results, check out pelvic floor therapy. It helps with incontinence as well as sexual function.”
Treatment includes exercises designed to improve muscle strength by repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor, a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, bowel and uterus. In addition to prostate cancer treatment, the pelvic floor can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, obesity and strain from chronic constipation.
“I’m doing fantastic. I’m doing great. My results were amazing,” Nassberg said. “I’m doing so well that I believed in it and wanted to help other people in this area as well.”
After discovering that one of the few pelvic floor therapists in town was already booked for five months, Nassberg was fortunate to find Jones, who treated him for about three to four weeks at a local private physical therapy company. “I saw amazing results,” he said. “I was out of Depends in a couple of weeks and back to normal sexual function for somebody who doesn’t have a prostate and never felt better.”
Talking with Jones, who has more than nine years of experience focusing solely on pelvic health, Nassberg found out how few resources, let alone specialized pelvic floor therapists there are for people in the area. “I did a little research and found there aren’t very many options for pelvic floor therapy, let alone one, single place you can go to get therapy and to get resources and have somebody guide you as to what steps to take when you get to that point. So, I said to my therapist, ‘Hey, have you ever thought about opening your own clinic?’ She said, ‘Well, I think about it all the time.’ I said, ‘What’s stopping you?’ She said, ‘Well, I don’t have the funds to necessarily do it.’ I said, ‘What if you had somebody who had the funds and had somebody who believed in you and believed in pelvic floor therapy and the benefits? Would you consider opening a clinic with somebody?’ She said, ‘Yeah. Absolutely.’ I said, ‘Alright. I’m your guy.’ That was about three and a half years ago and it took a little coaxing for her to kind of step away and go to something different and start her own thing.”
Jones was ready to make the move this spring and the partnership began. “We’re the only specific pelvic floor therapy clinic there is in this area,” Nassberg said. “Within the first couple of weeks, our schedule was booked.”
They launched Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic in office space off Airport-Pulling Road in Wilson Professional Center, the same complex where Nassberg operates Just Like Family Home Care, the business he started 16 years ago.
“That’s my bread and butter and that kind of allowed me to take a risk and venture out a little bit and try to fill a niche that’s looking to be filled here in the area,” he said.
The majority of the new clinic’s patients are women but men can benefit from the therapy too, of course. “We are happy to treat all men and women ages 16 and up. Pelvic floor physical therapy treats all forms of incontinence, all forms of pelvic pain, constipation, abdominal and pelvic post-surgical care, prenatal and postpartum, to name a few,” Nassberg said. “Treatment typically is once a week as there is a lot of education and work given to do at home. Treatments include education surrounding the pelvic floor and its function, mindfulness, stretching, posture work, breathing techniques, proper hydration, strengthening, coordination of muscles, and manual therapy techniques to address tightness and fascial restrictions.”
Pelvic floor therapy often is part of a physical therapy practice but Nassberg thinks the special therapy deserves its own focus.
“There are very few people in town who specialize in pelvic floor therapy, my therapist being one of a handful in town,” he said. “Most people I know are not really super familiar with pelvic floor therapy or what it entails or how you can benefit from it, but once you understand it and learn about it, so many people can benefit from it.”
Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic, 3200 Bailey Lane, Suite 111, operates 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.