Pelvic floor physical therapy treats pain, weakness, and dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and connective tissue between the tailbone and the public bone within the pelvis.
Everyone has a pelvic floor. In women, the pelvic floor supports the bladder, vagina, uterus, and rectum. In men, the pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs.
When the muscles function properly, blood flows to connective and muscle tissue, improving mobility. If your pelvic muscles are not functioning well, these internal organs will lack support, creating problems related to your bladder, bowel, or sexual function.
Pelvic floor physical therapy exercises are meant to improve muscle strength and correct a variety of symptoms associated with pelvic floor disorders.
Keep reading to learn about pelvic floor disorders, what pelvic floor physical therapy is, and how pelvic floor exercises can help.
Pelvic Floor Disorders
Pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) occur when the pelvic floor becomes weak or damaged. Both men and women can experience pelvic floor disorders, although they are more common in older women.
There are three main types of pelvic floor disorders:
- Urinary incontinence: lack of bladder control
- Fecal incontinence: lack of bowel control
- Pelvic organ prolapse: when pelvic organs drop lower in the pelvis
Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur when muscles are contracting either too strongly or too weakly. It can also be caused by trauma, such as surgery or childbirth.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The following are possible symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction:
- Frequent urge to use the bathroom
- Painful urination
- Unexplained lower back pain
- Ongoing pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
- Recurrent UTIs
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction may vary and treatment will depend on individual conditions and symptoms.
What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Pain and Dysfunction?
Possible treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction include muscle relaxers, behavior changes, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. Sometimes surgery may be required to address the problem.
Physical therapy is a great treatment option for pelvic floor dysfunction to help strengthen your muscles, regardless of age or gender. Pelvic floor physical therapy specifically addresses the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and helps the muscles work the way they should.
Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment approach to improve the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. This therapy incorporates a variety of non-surgical treatment approaches and pelvic floor physical therapy exercises to retrain the pelvic floor muscles.
When you begin physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, your PT will develop an individualized treatment approach based on your needs and symptoms.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Exercises and Techniques
The goal of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction is to strengthen and relax your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor exercises work to stabilize and strengthen your core and stretch overly tight muscles.
Your physical therapist will also teach you postural exercises, relaxation techniques, and diaphragmatic breathing that can improve symptoms and increase your overall well-being.
Pelvic floor physical therapy often includes both internal and external therapies. Here are examples of commonly used exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles:
- Trigger point therapy: This technique puts pressure on a spot on your body, internally or externally (trigger points). Trigger point dry needling can reduce pain in the muscles of the pelvis.
- Kegels: Kegels help strengthen the pelvic floor by contracting and relaxing the muscles. This exercise is good for controlling incontinence and managing pain during intercourse.
- Biofeedback: This technique is used to retrain pelvic floor muscles using a device with special sensors that monitor the contraction of pelvic floor muscles.
- Electrical stimulation therapy: This technique uses a device to deliver painless electrical impulses to treat muscle weakness, pain, spasms, and swelling.
Find Relief for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction at Mid-County Physical Therapy
While Pelvic floor disorders are common, there is no reason to continue living with the pain and discomfort of pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor physical therapy is a great first step for managing the symptoms and causes of your pelvic floor muscle weakness.
At Mid-County Physical Therapy, we offer BioQPulse & Red Light Therapy, which is a revolutionary form of treatment that can be used to treat cramps, pelvic floor issues, digestion issues, and so much more.
Are you tired of dealing with pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, or pelvic organ prolapse? We can help! Stop living in pain and discomfort and visit Mid-County Physical Therapy to learn more about this amazing technology and our other physical therapy options for pelvic floor dysfunction.