Pelvic floor dysfunction and discomfort are often extremely discouraging and seemingly unexplainable. Many people experience inexplicable reproductive and/or bladder/bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, these conditions are treatable with the help of physical therapy. With pelvic floor physical therapy, the symptoms that stem from pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can be addressed with pelvic floor physical therapy, and you can get the individual care you need. Continue reading to learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy.
What Is The Pelvic Floor?
We all have a pelvic floor, and it is made up of the muscles that provide support to the reproductive and urinary tracts. This collection of muscles also controls your bowels and bladder. The pelvic floor in women keeps their bladder in place in the front and rectum and vagina in the back. The uterus is held by connective tissue, tendons, and muscles.
As for men, the pelvic floor helps keep the bladder, bowels, rectum, and urethra in place. The pelvic floor muscles connect to the public bone and tail bone. If the pelvic floor muscles are weak or don’t function properly, this is called pelvic floor dysfunction.
What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a treatment method that provides an effective and safe means of repairing pelvic floor muscles. The treatment helps improve the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles and eases weakness, dysfunction, and pain in the muscles. During the treatment of pelvic floor disorder, a trained physical therapist will access the muscles through the vagina or rectum and try to improve their functioning and strength. The therapists may either apply resistance to improve the strength of the muscle if they are dysfunctional and weak or stretch it if they are contracted and short.
Do I Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
This treatment approach is suggested for many disorders associated with the pelvic region. People with weak pelvic floor muscles can undergo pelvic floor physical therapy to strengthen the floor and improve bowel and bladder control. Specifically, a health professional may refer you to a physical therapist if your pelvic floor dysfunction is assumed to have a neuromuscular cause that may result from childbirth, illness, surgery, or aging. It may also co-exist with other genitourinary problems like constipation, fecal incontinence, urinary incontinence, and problems with bladder-emptying.
You may be referred to a physical therapist when you have chronic pelvic pain, incontinence, problems with bowel movements, and painful intercourse. Women may also require pelvic floor physical therapy for the treatment of vaginismus and endometriosis. Men, on the other hand, maybe treated for painful ejaculation and premature ejaculation.
How Does Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Work?
The therapy starts with assessing your medical history. An expert closely examines your lumbar spine, gait, hips, and posture. The assessment usually includes evaluation of the external and internal muscles, and you will likely be asked to stand, sit and walk to allow the physical therapist to identify any existing joint or posture issues affecting your pelvic floor muscles.
This evaluation helps your physical therapist determine the right treatment and care plan for your unique situation. The kind of therapy you will receive usually depends on the symptoms observed. For instance, lengthening and relaxing muscle exercises may be required to relieve some pelvic floor dysfunctional symptoms, while in some other cases strengthening exercises may be the right option. With a tailored treatment plan, the therapist will try to manipulate the pelvic floor muscles in order to recondition their function and strength.
Can You Prevent A Pelvic Floor Disorder?
There are several things you can do to lessen or prevent pelvic floor disorder. You don’t need to wait to have symptoms or signs of pelvic floor disorder before working on lengthening or strengthening your pelvic floor. Here are some of the tips to reduce or prevent incontinence and other issues related to pelvic floor:
Do Kegels: Kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by supporting the bladder, uterus, rectum, and small intestine. This exercise can help prevent or better control pelvic floor problems.
Check for organ prolapse: uterine, rectal, and bladder prolapse can cause bladder and bowel control problems, incomplete emptying, among other things. Work with a physical therapist to help alleviate and prevent future pelvic floor disorder.
Pelvic floor physical therapy helps treat weakness, dysfunction, and pain in the pelvic floor muscles. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you are experiencing a pelvic floor issue. We encourage you to reach out to a specialist to prevent further complications or get answers to any concerns or questions you might have that are associated with pelvic health.