The pelvic floor consists of muscles and connective tissue that provide support to the organs of the pelvis. The pelvic floor is important for everything from bladder and bowel control to sexual arousal. Unfortunately, many women will deal with pelvic floor dysfunction or pain at some point during their lifetime. If you are dealing with this problem, you may want to talk with your OBGYN about the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy.
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
Some many injuries and conditions can weaken the muscles of the pelvis or even tear the tissue. Common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction include,
- Nerve damage
- Pregnancy and childbirth (the most common causes)
- Traumatic injury to the pelvic (e.g., bad fall; car accident)
- Pelvic surgery
What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?
If you are dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction you may experience these common symptoms,
- Painful urination
- An increased urge to urinate
- Urinary or stool leakage
- Pain in the pelvic floor including the rectum and genitals
- Pain with intercourse
- Lower back pain
- Muscle spasms in the pelvis
- Pelvic pressure
What is pelvic floor therapy?
Just as someone might get physical therapy to restore function and strength into a shoulder injury or bad knee, your OBGYN may recommend that women who have pelvic floor dysfunction undergo pelvic floor physical therapy. These one-on-one physical therapy sessions are designed to help alleviate the symptoms of dysfunction while also training and re-strengthening weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Your OBGYN will first need to perform a physical exam to assess the muscle. This assessment will help us create a customized plan of action to alleviate your symptoms. Pelvic floor physical therapy may include,
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Coordination exercises
- Relaxation techniques
- Heat or ice therapy
- Electrical stimulation
Pelvic floor physical therapy has helped many women gain better control over their sexual health and bladder function. Whether you’re dealing with pelvic floor problems after giving birth or as a result of certain health problems such as endometriosis, your OBGYN may recommend pelvic floor physical therapy. Call your doctor to learn more.