Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is usually described as a treatment generally applied to the muscles present on the pelvic floor. These muscles naturally support the pelvic organs of living beings and remarkably assist in bowel and bladder control. Also, they significantly contribute to orgasm and sexual arousal.

An individual may generally be referred to this advanced pelvic floor therapy to treat various problems like

  • incontinence
  • difficulty in urination
  • bowel movements problems
  • constipation
  • chronic pelvic pain
  • painful intercourse and many more

In general, women generally tend to opt for pelvic floor physical therapy and reach out to a pelvic floor therapist for conditions like

  • Vaginismus
  • Endometriosis

While, on the other hand, males go for this therapy particularly for make disorders, including

  • Painful ejaculation
  • Premature ejaculation

This remarkable pelvic floor physical therapy can feasibly treat all such severe conditions.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

Almost everyone living on the Earth has a pelvic floor. It is defined as an area made up of muscles that greatly support the reproductive and urinary tracts. Moreover, this group of muscles is also very well known for controlling urination, bowels, and bladder movements.

  • In men, this pelvic floor region is attached to the tail or pubic bone. Here it helps keep the bladder, urethra, bowels, and rectum in an appropriate place.
  • While, on the other hand, in women, the pelvic floor assists in keeping the bladder at the front side. At the same time, the rectum and vagina stay on the backside. Women’s uterus is usually held by various connective tissues, tendons, and muscles at the top of the pelvic floor.

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? How to Treat It?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

In case, either in men or women, the muscles or pelvic floor don’t function properly or are weak enough to provide the right amount of support, then such a condition is usually called pelvic floor dysfunction. Under such a condition, the pelvic muscles of the individual are unable to work together in a precise way they should or relax and contract properly. In general, if these muscles continuously stay tightened without getting relaxed, the person may face the following problems:

  1. Constipation
  2. Frequent urination leading to leaks
  3. Troubles while controlling urine or bowels
  4. Pain in women during sex  
  5. Erectile dysfunction in men

In some cases, the experts are not sure about the causes and reasons behind pelvic floor dysfunction. But some possible things that are likely to trigger such a condition may include the following:

  1. Pelvic surgery
  2. Aging
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Being overweight
  5. Overuse of the pelvic muscles
  6. Severe injuries in the pelvic region and many more 

Pelvic floor dysfunction Treatment 

The pelvic floor physical therapy, as well as orthopedic rehabilitation, can be radically used for the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and its associated symptoms. Some common symptoms that can be improved soon by these medical procedures include the following:

  1. Urinary problems 
  1. Urinary incontinence 
  2. Painful urination 
  3. Urinary urgency 
  4. Frequent urination 
  5. Difficulty in starting and ending urination 
  6. Troubling while emptying the urinary bladder fully. 
  7. Several bowel problems 
  1. Fecal incontinence 
  2. Straining bowel movements 
  3. Experiencing pain while eliminating bowel 
  4. Unexplained pains 
  1. Genital area pains 
  2. Rectal pains and irritation 
  3. Pains during intercourse 

Such treatments may prove very effective if you have ever noticed the above-mentioned symptoms or been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC). 

How does pelvic floor physical therapy work?

This therapy usually starts by collecting the medical history of the patient, which include 

  1. surgical and medical history 
  2. physical examinations 
  3. sexual inspections 
  4. gynecological checkups 
  5. obstetric history 

Then a detailed orthopedic examination is performed, particularly with the close attention of gait, posture, lumbar spine, and hips. That assessment also generally includes the keen evaluation of external and internal muscles by asking patients to sit, stand, walk and run. That enables the physical therapist to detect any joints and existing posture issues that affect the pelvic floor muscles. 

That assessment later helps the therapist determine whether the therapy is leading appropriately or not. It also guides the formation of the right plan. That is why pelvic floor physical therapy is most commonly recommended depending upon the symptoms visible. 

For example, several lengthening and relaxing muscles exercises are essential to relieve symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. While, on the other hand, in some other circumstances, many strengthening exercises prove incredibly effective. 

Treatment Plan 

Thus, the eventual treatment plan associated with pelvic floor physical therapy includes the following things:

  1. Stretching exercises of different kinds for the pelvic, trunk, and leg muscles 
  2. Relaxation exercises particularized for shortened pelvic muscles 
  3. Education in prevention and self-management 
  4. Practicing coordinating pelvic floor physical therapy exercises 
  5. Biofeedback for either strengthening or relaxation of pelvic muscles 
  6. Considering modalities like heat, ice, or electrical stimulation. 

Following the tailored plan mentioned above, a professional physical therapist manipulates all the pelvic floor muscles, mainly to restore their function and strength. 

For example, contracted or shortened muscles are frequently stretched to relax and get elevated to get rid of pelvic floor pain linked with excessive cramping and tightening. 

Likewise, several other techniques are utilized to alleviate contractions related to overactive bladder and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Also, they are beneficial in keeping the rectum, uterus, and bladder in their accurate positions. 

Ultimately, this pelvic floor therapy helps to ease severe pains and their frequently associated symptoms. That will result in restoring the normal functioning of the pelvic muscles.  

Which famous techniques are used in pelvic floor dysfunction physical therapy?

Most techniques of this procedure are hands-on and significantly include both external and internal treatments in the same process. But since interior therapy does not seem much appealing to people. Also, several therapists are sensitive to ensure the proper needs and requirements of the patient. So, they usually don’t start the internal therapy treatment until they take the patient’s consent. 

Some most popular techniques involved in pelvic floor therapy include the following:

  1. Education 

It is one of the most elementary and preliminary practices which involves teaching patients about their pelvic anatomy and the different functionalities of elements, either working alone or combined. Some therapists also guide them about hygiene and regular habits and lifestyle becoming the primary reason for pelvic dysfunction. 

  1. Manual Therapy 

Manual treatment usually involves a therapist using stretching and hands-on massage to improve posture, blood circulation, and mobility. 

  1. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Exercises 

Through exercise, patients with pelvic floor dysfunction learn how to continually contract and relax their pelvic muscles in relation to all other body muscles. In addition to that, patients also learn timing and breathing techniques that add more effectiveness to their exercises. An expert therapist later specially designed the exercises to strengthen weakened muscles, stretch tight muscles and boost the flexibility of different parts of the body. 

  1. Electrical stimulation 

In this technique, a low voltage electric current is utilized to teach patients about coordinating the repetitive muscles contractions, assisting to reduce muscles spasms and pains. An expert therapist may either perform this treatment at his office or offer an electrical stimulation unit to the patient for using it at home. 

  1. Pelvic Floor Biofeedback 

The most famous biofeedback technique of pelvic floor physical therapy helps to observe how their pelvic floor muscles naturally work in a precise manner. For this, usually, a probe is inserted into the woman’s vagina or men’s rectum. And after that insertion, the results are viewed on a computer screen. 

  1. Vaginal Dilators 

These are usually referred to as tube-shaped plastic devices that are mainly utilized to help women gain the insights of relaxing their pelvic muscles, particularly for easier penetration. These progressively sized tools are generally inserted into the woman’s vagina to aid in stretching tight tissues present there. Women who have undergone any gynecological cancer treatment at any stage in their life usually find these vaginal dilators highly beneficial in the rehabilitation of their vagina after their treatment. 

Which people need pelvic floor physical therapy?

This therapy is usually suggested as the first-line treatment for several pelvic region disorders. Both women and men who possess weak pelvic floor muscles suffer a lot in their lives due to their dysfunction. However, to prevent such a situation, they can perform numerous exercises that enhance bladder and bowel control along with strengthening the lower region of the body. 

This pelvic floor dysfunction physical therapy is usually referred to a patient by an expert therapist when his dysfunction is suspected of becoming a primary neuromuscular cause. That dysfunction might result from illness, aging, surgery, childbirth, or any other condition. 

Also, it is highly recommended to people suffering from genitourinary problems like 

  1. urinary incontinence 
  2. bladder emptying issues 
  3. frequent constipation 
  4. difficulty in urination 
  5. painful intercourse 
  6. chronic pelvic pain
  7. fecal incontinence and many more 

Women looking for the best treatment of vaginismus or endometriosis usually consult pelvic floor therapists. 

On the other hand, men may consider the treatment of painful premature ejaculation through this therapy. 

Why should anyone go to pelvic floor physical therapy?

Are you or any of your close ones suffering from associated symptoms of pelvic pain? If yes, you must know that it is not a usual problem that can be taken lightly without any considerable notice. It is curial to treat this problem as soon as possible because it can lead to several other health problems if left untreated. 

The longer someone experiences pelvic pain, the more likely it is that the patient nerve receptors will get sensitized to it. Resultantly, the patient’s body responds and gives a heightened reaction to the chronic pain, making it severe and challenging to treat quickly. 

Therefore, if you experience some unexplained but noticeable chronic pelvic pain at any time, you should immediately consult a pelvic floor specialist to get a timely diagnosis and treatment before the symptoms get severe.                                                                                                   

When is pelvic floor physical therapy suggested most commonly?

It is most commonly recommended to patients when their pelvic muscles, unfortunately, fail to work correctly and cause pains and symptoms of dysfunction. 

That is mainly because pelvic floor therapy is directly targeted at the connective tissues, ligaments, and muscles. They all function together to assist bowel control, support pelvic organs and contribute to sexual arousal leading to orgasm. 

Moreover, the tissues attached to the tailbone, sacrum, and pelvic are well coordinated to support the reproductive and urinary tract parts, including the bladder, rectum, uterus, prostate, vagina, and urethra. Here they promote appropriate functioning of pelvic organs and furnish extraordinary pelvic stability. An excellent example of this is the proper sexual and voiding function, breathing, and good posture. 

Does the famous pelvic floor physical therapy really work?

While the name of this therapy may sound invasive or unusual, it really proves very effective. Most of the patients having such a therapy treatment and practicing pelvic floor physical therapy exercises have a success rate. After the treatment, they usually enjoy a life with improved quality without any pain. However, the efficacy of treatment and exercises significantly depends on the severity of the patient’s condition. 

However, the treatment plan of myofascial pelvic pain through pelvic floor physical therapy usually takes roughly 6-8 sessions. Each session consists of one hour each day regularly for a few weeks. But in severe cases, the treatment may get longer and extend to several months too. Moreover, the patient may also need to return for periodic therapy on any consultation in some cases. To keep a complete check on their problems. 

What types of doctors specialize in pelvic floor physical therapy?

If you are suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms, your general doctor recommends you consult you to take pelvic floor dysfunction physical therapy. Then it would be best if you always looked for a doctor or physician who is specialized in this relative field. He must be very well trained in techniques particularized with pelvic pain, IC, and all other symptoms and pelvic floor dysfunction. 

The doctors who have specialization in this respective field are generally referred to as physical therapists or urogynecologists. Both of them work together to provide expert care to both men and women in an understanding and comfortable environment. 

Moreover, they are highly experienced and knowledgeable specialists who remain up-to-date with all the advanced treatment options evolving every day to treat pelvic floor disorders. Furthermore, they work day and night to relieve their patients from pelvic pains and let them live their lives at ease and at leisure. 

How to choose the best physical therapist for you?

Nowadays, numerous health care centers have physical therapists to serve patients from such pelvic floor dysfunction disorders. Therefore, looking for the best one may be a difficult task for you.

However, when it comes to health, everyone must look for an expert having extensive knowledge and experience in his or her field. 

You may ask several questions to the therapists before you go for pelvic floor physical therapy to assess their knowledge and expertise. Their answers will let you get to know their grip on their work and the expertise they have. 

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