Most people are not aware about how pelvic health is important for their overall wellbeing. Pelvic floor muscles perform important functions by supporting your bladder, colon, and reproductive organs. These muscles help organs contract and relax as needed. Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs if the muscles are too tight or too weak.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse which is when one of the pelvic organs shifts out of place. Whereas tight pelvic floor muscles can lead to constipation, weak urinary stream, or pain during intercourse. Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur both in males and females but can impact more women after childbirth.
The good news is that physiotherapy can help deal with pelvic floor dysfunction to ensure the proper functioning of pelvic organs. In this article, we will discuss what pelvic floor physiotherapy is and how it can help.
What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy that deals with the assessment and treatment of the dysfunction of pelvic floor muscles.
This type of physiotherapy focuses on improving pelvic floor functions through exercises, manual treatment, education, and lifestyle changes. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help reduce and eliminate the symptoms that occur due to tight or weak pelvic muscles.
How Can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Help?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can maintain and enhance pelvic floor health. It can help with the following conditions due to pelvic floor dysfunction:
· Pelvic organs prolapse
· Pain with bowel movements or during urination
· Urinary incontinence
· Painful intercourse
· Interstitial cystitis
· Pain in reproductive organs
· Chronic pelvic pain
· Painful Bladder Syndrome
· Chronic pelvic pain
· Lower back pain
· Hip pain
· Prenatal care
· Postpartum care
Both men and women with weak pelvic floor muscles can benefit from this therapy. The dysfunction often occurs due to aging, illness, childbirth, surgery, or any genitourinary conditions. A doctor will usually refer a patient for pelvic floor physiotherapy if they have any of the symptoms related to this dysfunction.
How Does Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Work?
The initial appointment you have with your physiotherapist will include assessment of your symptoms. The physiotherapist will ask you questions related to your symptoms, medical history, lifestyle and more. This is to assess if there is any illness or past surgery that is causing these issues.
The next step of the assessment is a physical exam which includes the internal and external examination. This helps physiotherapists with better understanding the problem that is causing any dysfunction.
After the assessment your physiotherapist will come up with a treatment plan customized for your condition. Pelvic floor dysfunction can often occur due to various systems in the body like the nervous system, musculoskeletal and visceral structures. Hence, pelvic floor physiotherapists will focus on treating the areas that are causing the dysfunction.
These are the areas on which pelvic floor physiotherapy focuses on:
· Pelvic floor
· Abdominal region
· Lumbar spine
· Pubic symphysis
· Central Nervous System
Here are some of the treatments your physiotherapist will recommend.
Manual therapy in pelvic floor dysfunction helps to relax, mobilize, and manage pain. It includes external techniques to treat muscles, nerves, ligaments, and joints. The manual techniques focus on deep tissues massage, joint mobilization, trigger point pressure, connective tissue manipulation and more. The techniques used depend on the type of condition a patient has.
Here your physiotherapist will show and help you perform exercises that can help with your condition. These exercises can then be done at home every day for a certain amount of time as recommended by your physiotherapist.
Bladder and bowel retraining
These are techniques to help with your bladder and bowel function and to have better control. Physiotherapists can also give advice on your diet.
Biofeedback is a technique used to learn to control your body’s functions. During biofeedback you will be connected to electrical sensors that give you information about your body. This feedback can help you make certain changes like relaxing muscles to help with reducing pain. Biofeedback is a helpful tool to examine your pelvic floor muscles and to retrain weak or tight muscles.
Electrotherapy is a treatment where electrical stimulation is applied to muscles through electro-pads placed on the skin. This is a great tool to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles and relieve pain.
Acupuncture can be used to help alleviate pelvic pain conditions.
Physiotherapists will educate their patients about their conditions and give them recommendations on lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and more. This can help patients take everyday measures that can improve their pelvic floor health.
Physiotherapy can be very effective in treating pelvic floor dysfunction. Not only does it help you reduce and eliminate the symptoms but improves the overall quality of life. After the treatment you will incorporate various measures that maintain your pelvic floor health. Sometimes when not paid attention to the pelvic pain or other symptoms can become more severe. To avoid that it is best to consult with your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms related to pelvic floor dysfunction.
You can book a physiotherapy appointment with us here.