You may have heard about pelvic floor therapy and still feel confused about what the pelvic floor even is. The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles that are located between the tailbone and pubic bone. These muscles support the bowel and bladder and their movements as well as the uterus and vagina in females. Muscular bands or sphincters encircle the urethra, vagina, and anus throughout the pelvic floor to support and protect those areas.
When those muscular bands and sphincters become weakened or injured, you can develop pelvic floor issues or dysfunction. All of these issues can affect your daily activities, like how often you need to go to the bathroom or whether you feel pain during exertion. Pelvic floor issues can look like any of these symptoms::
- Irregular or uncontrollable bowel movements.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Inability to exercise without pain.
- Reduced sensation in the vagina.
- Excessive tightening or cramping of the pelvic muscles.
- Sharp, stabbing or burning pains that can happen suddenly.
What is pelvic floor therapy?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a type of treatment for problems related to the pelvic floor. It often involves doing specialized exercises to release stress and tightness in the pelvic floor or strengthen the pelvic floor. A physical therapist can also manipulate pelvic floor muscles to help improve their ability to function.
A physical therapist will also typically teach you or guide you through exercises intended to stabilize and strengthen your core, back, and diaphragm. Those areas are important to the pelvic floor because they are all interconnected muscle groups that pad and protect shared organs and joints.
Why or when should I look into pelvic floor therapy near me?
Looking into pelvic floor therapy near you does not need to wait until you get to a level of immense pain or discomfort. Pelvic floor therapy can treat small flare-ups and help prevent future pain through exercise programs. Some other reasons you should look into pelvic floor therapy are:
- If you suffer from chronic UTIs
Urinary tract infections are not caused by pelvic floor dysfunction. But you can benefit from strengthening your pelvic floor if you experience UTIs frequently or suffer from chronic UTIs. Having access to pelvic floor therapy near you allows you to continue to strengthen your pelvic floor over time as you treat your UTIs. This can help ease the uncomfortable urge to pee while you have a UTI and may reduce the pain you might experience during a UTI.
- If you experience random stabbing or burning pains in your pelvic floor
Random stabbing or burning pains in your pelvic floor may be occurring because of inflammation. A local pelvic floor therapist can help you reduce the amount of random pains in your pelvis through releasing tension in the pelvic floor. Releasing tension through stretching and exercise can help because it can reduce inflammation through increased blood flow and muscle movement.
- If you have fecal or urinary incontinence
Fecal or urinary incontinence is when you are unable to control your urination or defecation. These issues can make day-to-day life extremely difficult and uncomfortable. By strengthening the pelvic floor, you can reduce incontinence because the muscles will be able to hold back and control your bowel and urinary movements.
- If you are experiencing postmenopausal bleeding or onset of pain
Postmenopausal bleeding is commonly caused by inflammation and thinning in the vaginal lining. This can be very painful and disruptive to the pelvic floor. Seeing a pelvic floor therapist when you begin to see bleeding or feel pain can help in identifying the underlying cause of your symptoms.
If your symptoms don’t improve, a local pelvic floor therapist can also recommend a trusted OB-GYN to see if surgical or medical treatment is needed. If surgery is needed, a pelvic floor therapist can also guide you through post-surgery therapy designed to help strengthen the pelvic floor.
- If you are pregnant or are postpartum
By seeing a pelvic floor therapist during or after your pregnancy, you can reduce pain and difficulties during delivery and rehab the pelvic floor after delivery. During delivery, your pelvic floor stretches to its extremities to push out the baby. By strengthening those muscles in the vagina, you can make delivery easier because they may be less likely to tear or have difficulties during pushes.
Another benefit is that other muscles in the pelvic floor can tear during delivery. Strengthening the entire pelvic floor with a pelvic floor therapist’s help allows you to reduce the risk of tears in the pelvic floor. And if you are postpartum, you can help rehab your pelvic floor from the stretching and stress that it underwent through pelvic floor therapy.
- If you have sexual difficulties such as reduced sensation
Reduced sensation in the vagina can happen because of weakened or scarred vaginal muscles. This can put immense pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and cause them to contract and become tense. This tension can make sexual activity difficult or uncomfortable. By being treated by a pelvic floor therapist, you can reduce the tension in your muscles.
Find effective pelvic floor treatment at Lattimore Physical Therapy
Talking to a pelvic floor therapist does not need to be invasive or intimidating. It can be as simple as a conversation about what you are feeling and what your goals are for your health. To learn more about why you should consider pelvic floor therapy, consider talking to a therapist at Lattimore Physical Therapy, where we can help you understand your treatment options. You can start to take back control of your health today by just starting a conversation.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.