Pelvic Floor Health
Often patients with pelvic floor issues, such as incontinence or pain, believe that such issues are an inevitable part of life or the aging process. Good news exists for patients with these conditions: you do not have to live with this forever. We can help you return to a true state of health.
Our therapists are committed to continuously enriching their clinical skills in the field of pelvic health enabling you to incorporate the latest evidence-based knowledge and techniques in this field into your treatment plan. We are dedicated to providing the highest standard of health care with an emphasis on communication, compassion, and strict confidentiality.
In physical therapy, pelvic health covers dysfunctions such as pelvic pain, pelvic-floor muscle spasms or weakness, urinary incontinence, pain with intercourse, bowel disorders, and other issues. We also see patients who want to achieve optimum health during pregnancy. The growth of the fetus can put a strain on the musculoskeletal system, which can cause pain that can be prevented with physical therapy.
We do a thorough external evaluation of the pelvic girdle, hips, and spine, and an internal evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles and organs. Our goal is to locate the primary cause of the pelvic floor dysfunction and then release the restriction, realign the body, retrain the muscles, and integrate optimal movement patterns into your daily life.
Symptoms of pelvic pain include the following:
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pelvic region pain
- Hip pain
- Buttock pain
- Tailbone pain
- Decreased tolerance for sitting
- Tender areas of the abdomen
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Urgency and frequency of urination
- Incontinence issues
- Bowel movement difficulties
- Weakened abdominal muscles after pregnancy
- Back pain during or after pregnancy
What Pelvic Health Conditions can be treated with Physical Therapy?
There are many conditions that involve pain or pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction that can benefit from physical therapy. Some conditions present themselves as pain, others may interfere with the functioning of the pelvic floor and/or the elimination system. Common conditions include:
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
How can Physical Therapy help me during or after pregnancy?
With pregnancy, the body experiences many changes, including postural changes, increased load on the pelvic floor, and laxity of ligaments. Such changes can cause back pain and pelvic floor issues. Muscle weakness may also lead to urinary incontinence and difficulty activating core muscles. Also, during the delivery process, you may need to undergo a procedure that might result in a scar, such as a c-section or an episiotomy, which can cause restrictions in the myofascial system of the body. We use specific myofascial and scar-release techniques to eliminate these restrictions and prevent your myofascial system from being further compromised.
Some women also might suffer from diastasis recti, also known as abdominal separation, which can interfere with the strengthening of the abdomen and cause the belly to “pooch.” Our therapists use the latest evidence-based clinical knowledge in the field to address this issue.
You don’t need to suffer after delivery. By including physical therapy in your prenatal care, you can be better prepared for one of the biggest challenges in a woman’s life, delivering and caring for a baby.
Can Physical Therapy really help with incontinence?
Yes. Urinary incontinence refers to involuntary leakage of urine due to muscle weakness and other bladder issues. It is not normal to have incontinence, and there is no need to suffer. There is an evidence-based therapy that can successfully retrain your muscles to control your bladder again.
We work with strengthening the patients’ muscles and have had great success in helping patients regain control of their bladder. Our non-invasive approach includes myofascial release, neuromuscular re-education, and muscle strengthening, among other techniques. In addition to our hands-on approach, we use biofeedback and other modalities.
What is Vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia is a painful, chronic condition that can interfere with normal activities in your life. The pain occurs in the area around the opening of your vagina (vulva). It can cause burning, soreness, stinging, rawness, itching, or throbbing pain. Vulvodynia can be so uncomfortable that sitting long periods of time and/or sexual intercourse can be unbearable. For more information on Vulvodynia, please visit the National Vulvodynia Association website.
What is Vaginismus?
Vaginismus occurs when muscles of the vagina involuntarily contract causing severe pain and distress. This pain may be so extreme that it can interfere with sexual intercourse, tampon use, or a gynecological exam.