Pelvic Floor Rehab
What is Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation?
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy pertains to the assessment, treatment and prevention of various pelvic health disorders. The Pelvic Floor is a group of muscles, nerves, ligaments, and fascia located at the bottom of the pelvis. These muscles rest like a supportive hammock, spanning from the pubic bone to the tailbone. The Pelvic Floor is responsible for supporting the internal pelvic organs including the uterus and bladder. When the Pelvic Floor is working in optimal function the structures allow for bowel and bladder control, pelvic organ support, and pain free sexual functions.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can contribute to incontinence, difficulties with emptying the bowel and bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, sexual pain and pregnancy related pain.
Symptoms You May Experience with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:
- Leakage of urine with coughing, sneezing, laughing, and exercise
- Urgency and frequency of sensations of urination greater than 8 times per day
- Inability to hold urine during strong urges, resulting in urine leakage
- Difficulty passing stool
- Difficulty initiating urination
- Feelings of not emptying the bladder fully after urinating
- Pain in the vagina or pelvis relating to sexual intercourse or penetration of the vagina or rectum
- Burning or stinging sensation in the pelvis
- Pelvic pain in the vagina, clitoris, rectum or perineum
- Pain in the tailbone, buttock or pelvic girdle
- Pain and heavy cramping with menstruation
- Heaviness or pressure within the pelvic region
- Protrusion of tissues inside or outside of the vaginal entrance
- Pain in the pelvis after childbirth (tailbone, low back, pubic bone)
- Separation of abdominal wall pre and post childbirth
Conditions Treated by a Trained Pelvic Floor Physical therapist
- Stress Urinary Incontinence
- Urge Urinary Incontinence
- Over Active Bladder
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Cystocele, Rectocele, Urethrocele, Uterine Prolapse, Vaginal Vault Prolapse, Entercocele)
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Pudendal Neuralgia
- Pregnancy related pelvic pain both pre and post-partum
- Diastasis Recti
What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic Floor dysfunction can be related to the following:
- Hypotonic Pelvic Floor (Weak pelvic floor muscles): Can contribute to stress incontinence, urge incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Contrary to popular belief Incontinence is NOT a normal part of aging or effect of childbirth.
- Hypertonic Pelvic Floor (Tight pelvic floor muscles): Can contribute to Urinary and Fecal Urgency, Urge Incontinence, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Dyspareunia, Vaginismus, Vulvodynia, Pudendal Neuralgia, and Interstitial Cystitis.
What can I expect with pelvic floor rehabilitation?
This specific form of physical therapy works on strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the pelvic floor. When muscles in the pelvic area become tight or weak, your daily life can be greatly affected, as this region helps in supporting the core of your body and is an integral part of everyday movement.
One of our dedicated Watertown, NY physical therapists will evaluate your medical history and provide a musculoskeletal examination to determine what specific type of treatment you’ll need. This may include proactive and/or preventative treatments. For example, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help prepare a woman for childbirth by ensuring an easier delivery and possibly preventing the need for a C-section.
Some common techniques used during pelvic floor rehabilitation include:
These exercises are aimed at improving posture and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles that affect posture. These exercises are typically done with large therapy or medicine balls.
These exercises will target the pelvic floor muscles and connecting fascia. This treatment may include light exercise, in addition to stretches and massage, in order to target painful trigger points and provide relief.
Deep breathing exercises allow your diaphragm to expand and contract, which helps in relaxing muscles in the pelvic area. When the muscles are relaxed, they will drop and lengthen, providing pain relief and allowing for regained function.
Relaxation is a large part of physical therapy. It allows your muscles to ease tension, making it easier for them to be stretched and massaged. Your physical therapist may suggest some certain techniques, such as guided imagery or biofeedback, in order to help you relax.
If you are suffering from pelvic pain, don’t wait any longer to contact our Watertown, NY physical therapy office. Schedule a free consult with Innovative Physical Therapy Solutions today to get started on your path toward recovery and relief!