Updated: Apr 19
If your pelvic floor is not functioning well, the results can range from inconvenient to downright embarrassing. Fear not, pelvic floor physical therapy is here to help.
What Is The Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that control your bladder, bowel,
and sexual function. They also support the organs in the body.
The anatomy is similar in both women and men. The pelvic floor supports the bladder and bowel in men and women, the vagina and uterus in women, and the prostate in men.
The muscles of the pelvic floor work together with your hips, back, diaphragm and abdominal muscles to create a core system.
Signs You Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
1. You are experiencing pee leaks, or urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence can be the result of either too weak of pelvic floor muscles or too tight of pelvic floor muscles. A pelvic floor physical therapist is uniquely equipped to perform an examination of the pelvic floor and prescribe a solution.
2. You are experiencing urinary frequency or urinary retention
Urinary frequency can also be the result of either weak or tight pelvic floor muscles. Urinary retention, or difficulty voiding completely on the toilet, can be the result of an inability to fully relax the pelvic floor.
3. You are experiencing constipation
Constipation can be caused by pelvic floor muscle tension or difficulty fully relaxing the pelvic floor muscles on the toilet. A pelvic floor physical therapist will be able to perform an examination and make an assessment as to how much your pelvic floor is contributing to your constipation.
4. You feel heaviness or bulging in the vaginal area
Heaviness or bulging in the vaginal region may signify a pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor physical therapy should be the first thing you do to treat a prolapse. This sensation can also be brought on by tense trigger points in the pelvic floor. A pelvic floor physical therapist will be able to assess what is causing this sensation and help resolve it.
5. You have lower abdominal or pelvic pain
Pain in the pelvis that extends to the genitals is likely a pelvic floor issue. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also feel like low back pain, lower abdominal pain, and hip or leg pain.
6. You have pain with sex
Pain during sex is frequently the result of pelvic floor dysfunction. The muscles of the pelvic floor need to be able to relax in order for sex to be pain free. Pelvic floor physical therapists are the best providers to seek help from when experiencing painful intercourse.
Next Steps To Healing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Many people experiencing these symptoms are hesitant to seek help because pelvic floor issues are very personal. Unfortunately, these issues don't tend to resolve on their own. When ignored, they escalate. Pelvic floor issues are not the same as having a knee or elbow pain. No one should have to deal with pee leaks, constipation, or pain with intimacy in silence.
I encourage you to get evaluated by a pelvic floor physical therapist as soon as possible. We are trained in general orthopedics and move on to acquire a specialized skill set that allows us to work with pelvic floor dysfunction. We are highly equipped to evaluate and treat for pelvic floor issues.
If you are dealing with any of these issues, make your appointment today!