Similar to conventional PT, pelvic floor physical therapy targets the musculoskeletal system, focusing on the muscles situated in the pelvic floor. These muscles play a crucial role in providing stability to the pelvis, supporting the abdominal organs, and containing the end points of the urinary, gastrointestinal, and reproductive systems. Just like any other muscle group in the body, the pelvic floor muscles can also experience weakness, looseness, tightness, and poor coordination. These functional deficits can lead to several issues and negatively impact your quality of life.
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you may benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy:
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Pelvic, abdominal, or lower back pain
- Leaking with coughing, sneezing, or running
- Pain with intercourse
- Recurrent bladder or vaginal infections
- Pain during or after pregnancy
What to Expect During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
During your first appointment, your pelvic floor physical therapist will evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Treatment may include exercises to strengthen and coordinate the pelvic floor muscles, manual therapy techniques, biofeedback, and education on proper body mechanics and posture.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan personalized to your needs and goals. They will provide you with the tools and techniques you need to improve your pelvic floor function.
Pelvic floor physical therapy involves a range of techniques tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient. Some of the most commonly used techniques include:
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises. These exercises strengthen and tone the pelvic floor muscles. This can improve bladder and bowel control, reduce pain, and improve sexual function.
- Manual therapy technique. These techniques involve the use of hands-on manipulation and mobilization to address issues such as muscle tension, trigger points, and scar tissue.
- Biofeedback. Biofeedback involves the use of specialized equipment to monitor and provide feedback on the activity of the pelvic floor muscles. This can help patients learn to better control these muscles and improve their function.
- Electrical stimulation. Electrical stimulation involves the use of low-level electrical currents to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles. This can help improve muscle tone and coordination.
- Relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and mindfulness, can help reduce muscle tension and improve pelvic floor function.
- Education and lifestyle modifications. Pelvic floor physical therapists may provide education on proper posture, body mechanics, and dietary modifications to help improve pelvic floor function.
Overall, the goal is to provide patients with the tools and techniques they need to improve their pelvic floor function and achieve a better quality of life.