Pelvic floor therapy is a type of physical therapy designed to improve pelvic floor function that affects the tissues in the pelvic region. This type of treatment can help alleviate symptoms associated with a range of conditions, including urinary and bowel incontinence, pelvic pain, and painful intercourse. Unfortunately, many women or men may not realize they need pelvic floor therapy until their symptoms become severe. Today, we will discuss some common signs that may indicate you need pelvic floor therapy as well as the benefits of this treatment.
Signs You Need Pelvic Floor Therapy
If you experience any of the following situations or symptoms, then your body might be telling you that it’s time to look into pelvic floor therapy:
- Painful intercourse (dyspareunia): Dyspareunia is a condition characterized by painful intercourse and can be caused by weakened or tense pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor therapy involves strengthening and/or relaxation of these muscles which can help reduce pain and allow for improved orgasm during sexual activity.
- Urinary incontinence: This condition occurs when urine leaks involuntarily from the bladder due to weakened bladder control muscles or overactive nerve signals in the bladder wall. Although it’s more common after childbirth or menopause, some women also experience urinary incontinence prior to those life events due to weak pelvic floor muscles with leakage occurring during sneezing or exercise. Pelvic floor therapy can help improve bladder control and reduce urinary incontinence.
- Chronic constipation: Constipation can put strain on the surrounding muscles including those in the pelvic floor area resulting in discomfort and possible dysfunction. Pelvic floor therapy can reduce constipation by improving muscle strength and function which relieves pressure on affected areas.
- Pelvic pain: Pelvic pain can be caused by a variety of factors such as endometriosis or even an infection. but weak or tense pelvic floor muscles is one possible culprit behind chronic pains in this region that don’t seem to have any other explanation or cause for alarm . To find relief from debilitating aches, finding a pelvic floor physical therapist can help evaluate and treat symptoms of discomfort.
- Pelvic organ prolapse: This occurs when one or more organs located within the pelvis drop down due to weakened supporting tissues & ligaments resulting in them pushing against parts of your vagina wall . Women are likely at higher risk for developing prolapses due to pregnancy , childbirth , obesity amongst other potential factors making prevention through early detection an important job when it comes to looking out for your bodies . Regularly performing targeted muscle contraction exercises or behavioral modifications, which would be addressed in pelvic floor physical therapy, have been shown to reduce your risk for prolapse. If you are unsure if you have pelvic organ prolapse, please see your medical provider for examination.
The Benefits Of Pelvic Floor Therapy
Once you identify that you might be dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction, seeking out proper medical attention is always key to receiving pelvic floor therapy benefits. While focusing on strengthening those particular areas through regular exercise is certainly beneficial , working alongside a physical therapist who specializes in this field will provide better long term results than attempting things independently at home as sometimes without medical assistance we choose the incorrect or possibly harmful exercises for your condition . Some potential advantages include:
- Improved posture & balance: Regularly engaging in strengthening exercises such as kegels helps keep your hips aligned while walking & standing correctly which leads to improved spinal alignment & less fatigue overall throughout different tasks! Additionally , since your pelvis is the home to many other major organs such as reproductive glands & digestive tract organs , having strong core musculature makes sure everything else down there works correctly without putting undue stress on them!
- Labor & delivery: Exercises and breathing techniques may prepare you for a vaginal birth. With strong muscles that have the capability to lengthen and relax around your birth canal , you may likely experience tearing during childbirth. Even if you did not have a vaginal birth, c-sections can be disruptive for pelvic floor function and create pain in multiple regions due to the incision, scar tissue,, and changes that may have still occurred vaginally if c-section occurred after laboring. Pregnancy can create changes in the body regardless of a vaginal or c-section delivery that affect a woman’s overall pelvic function..
- Lessened back pain & improved joint mobility: As mentioned above , having sufficient flexibility and strength within your hips and pelvis allows us to move much easier and possibly reduce the risk for chronic low back and hip pain that may occur as we age or when left untreated.
- Reduce the need for medication: Pelvic floor therapy is minimally invasive and can offer long-term relief from pain without the need for medication. It involves strengthening and stretching the pelvic muscles, which gives patients the ability to control their own symptoms with targeted exercise and relaxation techniques. This can reduce the need for medication, as well as provide improved bladder and bowel function.
- Increase coordination of the pelvic area: The pelvic floor muscles play an essential role in providing support and stability to the body’s core. When weakened or uncoordinated, these muscles can lead to a range of problems such as urinary incontinence, pain in the lower back and abdomen, and even sexual dysfunction. To combat this, medical professionals employ various techniques to improve pelvic floor.
The Bottom Line
Pelvic floor therapy has numerous potential benefits for women who suffer from various issues related to their lower abdominal region. If any of these signs sound familiar then it could be time to consult your local certified pelvic floor therapist about starting a regime designed specifically for you, With consistent application both short-term symptomatic relief & long-term could greatly benefit you now and in the future. Call us for information or if you need questions answered. Book with us if you’re ready to see us today!