Improve your Pelvic Floor with Physical Therapy
The pelvis has sheet-like muscles stretching from the tailbone to the pubic bone, back to front. Much like a hammock supports the body, these muscles support the pelvic organs. The purpose of the pelvic muscles is to keep your organs in place, such as the bowel and bladder.
There are common problems associated with the muscles of the pelvis. As we age, these pelvic muscles become too tight; they can get stretched or are too weak to offer support.
Pelvic Floor and Pregnant Women: Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretched or weakened pelvis muscles. Women who suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction are too embarrassed to seek help for this common condition. Physical Therapy is a viable solution.
Pelvic Dysfunction Signs
If you experience any of these problems visit your Synergy physical therapist for more information on how you can receive help.
1. Urinary Problems
Urinary problems include not being able to stop or control urination or urinary incontinence. Issues include an urgent need to urinate, painful urination, and incomplete bladder emptying.
If you have any of these problems, you might be experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction.
2. Bowel Problems
The pelvic muscles also support the rectum, so any problems with your pelvic floor will most likely lead to incontinence or constipation. You could also have painful bowel movements.
We recommend setting up an appointment with a Synergy Physical Therapist to discuss your problems and possible treatment options.
3. Pain or Discomfort During Intercourse for Women
Sexual function: Having pelvic dysfunction can lead to the uncomfortable problem of moderate to intense discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.
Sometimes the uterus, bladder, and bowel might move down to rest on the vaginal muscles this is called pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor dysfunction puts pressure on this area and leads to a swollen vaginal canal.
4. Lower Back Pain
The back muscles can become strained if you have weak pelvic floor muscles. This strain can lead to problems with spinal nerves and muscles, bones, discs, and tendons.
5. Pain In The Pelvic Region
Women and men can have pain in the pelvic region, the genitals, or the rectum. Some experience cramps or localized pain, both signs that you have pelvic floor dysfunction.
How the Physical Therapist Helps
The diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction is made after taking your complete health history and examination. Creating a treatment plan for you and your functional abilities and goals is the next step. Your treatment is modified over time as necessary to help you reach your treatment goals.
The Physical Therapist may also:
• Carry out hands-on adjustments of the pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joints
• Implement ligament release techniques
• Treat soft tissues surrounding the pelvic floor
• Teach you exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles
• Help you to strengthen your abdominal core muscles
• Instruct you on proper posture to keep pressure off the pelvic floor
What makes pelvic floor dysfunction worse?
It can take several months of pelvic floor physical therapy before symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction start to improve. The most important part of treatment is not to give up.
Healing can be slowed down if you do not go to your physical therapy sessions, or do not practice your exercises at home.
Any activity that increases the tension or pain in your pelvic floor muscles can cause your symptoms to get worse. For example, heavy weightlifting or repetitive jumping can increase pelvic floor tension and worsen symptoms.
Drinking plenty of water daily (>8 glasses) and eating a healthy diet are essential. Avoid high-fiber foods if your symptoms get worse. Foods that are high in fiber, or fiber supplements, can cause your symptoms to get worse and increase your bloating symptoms and gas pains.
There is promising evidence that strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and lifestyle changes can help reduce and even resolve pelvic floor dysfunction.
If you’re worried about pelvic floor dysfunction or wish to learn more about pelvic floor muscle training, discuss it at Synergy.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see Synergy Physical Therapy & Wellness.