Physical Therapy for Gender-Affirming Care

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Duke physical therapists support you in your transition. We offer personalized exercise plans to help you improve your muscle strength and mobility and help you manage your weight. We do this in preparation for, during, or after gender-affirming care. Our goal is to educate and train you in ways that help you feel your best and comfortable in your body.

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Work Toward Your Body Type Goals Without Medicine or Surgery

Physical therapy is an effective, nonsurgical way to help you reshape your body whether you are considering gender-affirming treatment or are already receiving treatment. We work with teens and adults who want to make physical changes to their bodies. With our supervision and guidance, you can embark on a regular fitness routine that will improve your health and overall wellness.

Safe, Healthy Way to Cope with Body Dysmorphia, Gender Dysphoria
Exercise provides many important health benefits that can help you feel better physically and mentally. This is especially important when body dysmorphia and/or gender dysphoria affect your mental health.

How We Evaluate Your Needs

Our physical therapists start by conducting an interview, reviewing your medical history, and learning about your plans for gender-affirming treatment so we can understand your goals. We perform a range of tests to assess your strength, range of motion, balance, and cardiovascular endurance.

How We Can Help
Your tailored exercise program may include a combination of strength training, mobility exercises, balance activities, and aerobic exercise. We also offer information and education on how to safely:

  • Lose weight. Being overweight can be a side effect of hormone therapy and a barrier to surgery.
  • Bind your chest. Extensive and intense chest binding to flatten chest tissue can impact your rib cage and breathing mechanics.
  • Pack or tuck genitals. Doing so incorrectly can damage the urethra and affect your ability to urinate.
  • Rehabilitate your pelvic floor. Gender-affirming “bottom” surgery can impact your pelvic region. We can address pain during physical intimacy and urinary and bowel dysfunction.
Duke Health Supports the LGBTQ+ Community

Learn how Duke Health supports the LGBTQ+ community.

Why Choose Duke

We Offer a Welcoming Place to Exercise
You may choose to work with us in one of our locations throughout Durham and Raleigh, or you can schedule video visits with our physical therapists.

We Help Empower You to Control Your Health and Wellbeing
We give you the tools you need to perform your exercise routine at home so you can continue to reach your goals once your physical therapy sessions are completed.

We Are Partners with Your Care Team
Our physical therapists are part of your gender care team. We are in regular communication with your providers so we can coordinate and stay up to date on your care.

LGBTQ+ Equality Leader

Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital are recognized as LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leaders by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This recognition is evidence of our commitment to eliminate discrimination and promote equality and standing with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) community in all aspects of care.

This page was medically reviewed on 10/31/2022