When considering pelvic health, many people have heard of the term pelvic floor, but few of them can actually explain what the pelvic floor is. Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that stretch from your pubic bone to your coccyx (tailbone). These muscles are working 24/7 to support and ‘hold up’ several organs including the bladder and bowels. For women, the pelvic floor muscles also supports the uterus. This versatile set of muscles also performs many important functions such as helping the bladder and rectum relax or contract on demand. The pelvic floor muscles are also important for sexual function in both men and women.
Since this one set of muscles supports so many organs, the health of your pelvic floor can affect many different aspects of your health and daily life. Any activities that put pressure on the pelvic floor muscles can, over time, lead to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Things that put pressure on your pelvis include pregnancy and child birth, chronic cough, constant straining in the bathroom, nerve damage after surgery and as a side-effect of certain diseases. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction while serious, does not have to be permanent in the majority of cases. At Optimal Therapy, our physical therapists specialize in pelvic health and will work with you to create a plan to improve your pelvic health.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) is a condition that renders a person unable to control their pelvic floor muscles. PFD affects both men and women and is typically seen as a result of pregnancy, delivery, trauma such as a fall or car accident, surgery, obesity, or other pelvic conditions including endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, or prolapse. Common symptoms of PFD include, but are not limited to: a feeling of pain or heaviness/pressure in the area of the lower abdomen or vagina, incontinence, leakage, or urgency. Symptoms tend to occur when upright, straining or coughing.
Who Can Benefit from Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
While almost anyone can benefit from improved pelvic health, there are several conditions that can be greatly improved with a pelvic health improvement program. Optimal Therapy has certified therapists that specialize in pelvic floor dysfunction and who will devise well-rounded treatment plans to treat a range of conditions including:
- Prenatal Discomfort
- Post-Partum Discomfort & Reconditioning
- Post-Cesarean section Rehabilitation
- Diastasis Recti
- Painful Intercourse
- Urinary Incontinence
- Vaginal Pain
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Low Back/Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Coccyx/Tailbone Pain
- Perimenopausal and Menopausal Conditions
How Does Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Treatment Work at Optimal Therapy?
During your first visit for pelvic health at Optimal Therapy, a highly qualified therapist will perform a thorough evaluation including a medical history, discussion of your current condition, and assessment of your range of motion, posture and strength. After fully understanding your current condition and your goals, your therapist will then design a comprehensive, individualized treatment program based on the findings and input from yourself. Our therapists understand that this can be a delicate health topic and we make every effort to make you feel as comfortable as possible. All treatments are administered in a safe, supportive environment that allows you to focus on healing.
At Optimal Therapy, we strive to use an integrative care approach to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy treatment. Program components for improved pelvic health may include:
- Pain management
- Pelvic floor muscle re-education
- Postural stabilization
- Manual therapy techniques
- Personalized therapeutic exercise
- Strength training
- Patient education
- Behavioral modification
- Bladder retraining
- Electrical stimulation
- Lymphedema massage
- Yoga & Pilates
- Nutrition & diet modification
If you have recently been diagnosed with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, or have any of the symptoms above, contact Optimal Therapy for an evaluation and get back to feeling healthy!