Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic Floor Therapy – What is it?
Pelvic floor therapy is a specialty in physical therapy that deals with pain, weakness, and dysfunction of pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is supported by a layer of muscles that holds the pelvic organs. Any tightness, weakness, or muscle imbalances in this area can result in pain, urinary and fecal incontinence, and problems with sexual intercourse.
What does it include?
There are several ways that a pelvic floor physical therapist can treat your pelvic floor problems. Pelvic floor physiotherapy includes the following treatment components.
○ Patient education is an essential part of pelvic floor therapy. It includes teaching the patient about the anatomy of the pelvic floor, how different muscles work together or alone, and how hygiene can affect their pelvic health
○ Pelvic floor exercise, including contraction and relaxation of specific pelvic floor muscles. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are also part of pelvic floor therapy that aid in performing the exercises more effectively.
○ Manual therapy or hands-on manipulation of pelvic floor muscles helps relieve tension, improve blood circulation to the area, and enhance mobility.
○ Pelvic floor physiotherapy also incorporates electrotherapy that uses low-voltage current to stimulate specific muscles to help with coordinated muscle contractions.
○ Vaginal dilators are also used in pelvic floor therapy to train females to relax their pelvic muscles during sexual activities.
What are the benefits of Pelvic Floor Therapy?
The pelvic floor muscles become weak with age or due to some other reason like pregnancy and vaginal delivery. These changes can result in multiple complications in this region and cause significant discomfort and pain. Pelvic floor therapy can be beneficial in treating many of these problems.
Both men and women can benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy if they have any of the following conditions.
○ Pain during urination
○ Urinary incontinence, frequency, and urgency
○ Incomplete bladder emptying after urination
○ Problems with bladder and bowel movements
○ Fecal incontinence
○ Pain during sex
○ Chronic constipation
○ Pelvic organs prolapse
○ Painful symptoms of menopause
○ Pain in the pelvis and surrounding areas
○ Pregnancy-related pain and discomforts
○ Pain and other issues associated with childbirth
○ Testicular pain
○ Lower back pain
○ Nerve damage
What should I expect from a Pelvic Floor Therapy session?
A Pelvic floor session starts with your complete medical and surgical history. This history will include detailed information about your gynecological and sexual health. Your physical therapist will ask about your current medications well.
Next, your physical therapist will perform a thorough physical examination. This examination is not confined to the pelvic area only. It includes an assessment of your lower back and hips to pinpoint the cause or causes of your problem. Next, your physical therapist will ask you to sit, stand and walk to observe any abnormalities in your posture and gait.
The pelvic floor examination includes both an external and internal exam. The internal examination can be discomforting for the patient, and they might feel hesitant. However, pelvic floor physiotherapists are highly trained professionals with adequate knowledge of your pelvic floor anatomy. Therefore, they will be precise and gentle in palpating the specific muscles and keep the discomfort to a minimum.
Your pelvic floor therapist will devise an individualized plan for you with the following components.
○ Stretching and strengthening of pelvic floor muscles, legs, and spine
○ Relaxation techniques and exercises for tightened pelvic floor muscles
○ Manual therapy techniques to restore muscles strength and function
○ Icing, heating, or electrical stimulations
○ Patient education about self-management
○ Home exercise plan
Our pelvic floor muscles support our pelvic organs, including genitals and reproductive organs. Therefore, any problem with these muscles' strength, length, and coordination can also cause significant issues in these supported organs. Pelvic floor therapy is an effective treatment for this problem. It can help with both the treatment and prevention of pelvic floor dysfunction and other painful conditions.
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