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Common Pelvic Floor Issues and How Physical Therapy Can Help


healthcare provider pointing to model of pelvis

If you're experiencing pelvic floor issues, you're not alone. Many individuals, both men and women, face challenges related to their pelvic floor health. These issues can affect various aspects of daily life, from bladder and bowel control to sexual function. The good news is that physical therapy can play a crucial role in addressing these concerns and improving your overall well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore some common pelvic floor issues and discuss how physical therapy can help you find relief and regain control.

healthcare provider holding a model of a pelvis

Understanding Pelvic Floor Issues


The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues located at the base of the pelvis. It provides support to organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum, and plays a significant role in maintaining proper urinary and bowel function. However, certain factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and trauma can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction.




Some common pelvic floor issues include


1. Urinary Incontinence: This refers to the involuntary leakage of urine, and it can occur during activities like coughing, sneezing, or exercising.


2. Pelvic Organ Prolapse: This occurs when one or more pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, descend into the vaginal canal due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.


3. Pelvic Pain: Chronic pelvic pain can have various causes, including muscle tension, nerve irritation, or inflammation in the pelvic region.


4. Sexual Dysfunction: Pelvic floor issues can affect sexual function, leading to pain during intercourse or a decrease in sexual satisfaction.


How Physical Therapy Can Help


Physical therapy is a non-invasive and effective approach to addressing pelvic floor issues. A skilled physical therapist with expertise in pelvic floor rehabilitation can develop a personalized treatment plan to target your specific concerns. Here are some ways physical therapy can help:


1. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training: Physical therapists can teach you exercises to strengthen and retrain your pelvic floor muscles, improving their tone and coordination.


2. Biofeedback: This technique uses sensors to provide visual or auditory feedback, helping you become more aware of your pelvic floor muscle activity and learn how to control it.


3. Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques, such as soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release, can help release tension and improve muscle function in the pelvic floor.


4. Education and Lifestyle Modifications: Physical therapists can provide guidance on bladder and bowel habits, postural adjustments, and strategies to alleviate pain and discomfort.


5. Relaxation Techniques: Learning relaxation techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing and mindfulness, can help reduce muscle tension and promote overall relaxation in the pelvic region.


If you're experiencing common pelvic floor issues, remember that you don't have to suffer in silence. Seeking the help of a skilled physical therapist can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Through a personalized treatment plan that may include pelvic floor muscle training, biofeedback, manual therapy, and education, physical therapy can empower you to regain control over your pelvic floor health. Don't hesitate to reach out to our team at Nashville Physical Therapy & Performance to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards improved pelvic floor function and overall well-being.


We have two pelvic floor physical therapists at Nashville PT. Sandy works in our Franklin and West Nashville clinics and Sara works in our East Nashville and South Nashville clinics.


References:

- Hay-Smith, E. J., et al. (2011). Pelvic floor muscle training for urinary incontinence in women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7).

- Lukacz, E. S., et al. (2012). ACOG practice bulletin no. 155: urinary incontinence in women. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 120(3), 718-729.

- FitzGerald, M. P., et al. (2018). Update on best practice for physical therapy management of pelvic floor dysfunction in women. Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy, 42(2), 85-106.

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