What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
The group of muscles in the pelvic area make up the pelvic floor. Similar to a sling, our pelvic muscles support the bladder, uterus in women, prostate in men, and the rectum. Bowel and bladder movements are controlled when we contract and relax the pelvic muscles. When the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that support the pelvic organs don't work as they should, this can lead to symptoms such as frequent urination, an urgent need to go to the bathroom, urinary leakage, constipation, bowel incontinence, pain during intercourse, pelvic pain or pressure, and tailbone, lower back, or hip pain.
How Can a Physical Therapist Help?
Pelvic floor therapy is a non-surgical intervention that may include exercises to identify and strengthen the pelvic floor, core strengthening exercises, biofeedback techniques to improve muscle contraction and relaxation, electrical stimulation to improve awareness and strengthen muscles, soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release to address muscle imbalance, joint mobilization, relaxation techniques and self-care education including diet and lifestyle changes that can help improve symptoms.
Conditions We Treat
- Stress incontinence
- Urge incontinence
- Increased urge/frequency urination
- Mixed incontinence (both urge and stress)
- OAB (Overactive bladder)
- Pelvic floor weakness
- General pelvic pain
- Scar tissue pain from episiotomy or tearing with childbirth
- Scar tissue pain from C-section
- Pelvic organ prolapse: cystocele, enterocele, rectocele, uterine prolapse
- Pain with intercourse or tampon use
- Pain with orgasm
- Adductor insertion pain
- Lumbopelvic instability
- Diastasis recti
- Post hysterectomy
- Pudendal neuralgia
- IC (interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome)
- Low back pain during pregnancy
Do You Need a Referral?
While many insurances allow you to attend rehabilitation without a prescription or referral, it is highly recommended that you have a provider managing your overall care. Additionally, you must have had a pelvic exam prior to beginning therapy.
What to Expect at Your First Visit
During your first visit, you'll have the opportunity to share your history and concerns. We'll discuss the exam so you can have any questions answered right away. Your exam may include general movements like bending forward and backward as well as specific tests of your joints, muscles and nerves. If pelvic rehabilitation is necessary, an assessment of your pelvic muscles internally (through the vaginal canal) may be valuable. You will have the option to choose or refuse any part of the examination or treatment with which you do not feel comfortable.
What is the Goal of Therapy?
With diligent self-care and guidance from our experts, we can help you gain control of your bladder, decrease pain and increase activity tolerance, reduce medication use for incontinence and pain, and potentially prevent the need for surgery.
We can also assist you in finding a trusted referral if your condition does not improve with physical therapy.