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Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Explained

If you have pain or weakness in your pelvic floor, your doctor may recommend pelvic floor physical therapy to help alleviate the pain and to recondition the pelvic floor muscles. 

Not sure if pelvic floor physical therapy could work for you? Our physical therapists at Impact Med Sun City Center explain its benefits. 

What is the Pelvic Floor? 

The pelvic floor refers to the muscles that help support your urinary or reproductive tract and includes your bladder, uterus or prostate, rectum, urethra, and vagina. These muscles are attached to your pelvis, tailbone, and sacrum and provide support, bladder control, and bowel function. 

When the pelvic floor muscles aren’t working properly, they can cause pain and interfere with your daily life. Physical therapy can help alleviate the pain and associated symptoms and ensure proper function. 

What is Pelvic Floor Therapy? 

Pelvic floor therapy is used to recondition the pelvic floor muscles to help improve their strength and function. Most treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction are hands-on and can include both internal and external therapy. 

First, your physical therapist will begin with your medical history, including your past surgeries, medications, sexual, gynecologic, and obstetric history. Then, an orthopedic exam will be performed, and they will pay close attention to your lumbar spine, hips, gait, and posture. 

As you sit, walk, and stand your physical therapist will determine if any posture or joint issues may be affecting your pelvic floor muscles. 

External therapy techniques for the pelvic floor may include:

  • Nerve release
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Myofascial release or deep tissue manual
  • Skin rolling
  • Joint mobilization

Internal physical therapy techniques include using instruments or a finger to do trigger point therapy in the vagina or rectum. During internal physical therapy, a physical therapist will manipulate the pelvic floor muscles through the rectum or vagina to help improve their function.

Your physical therapist may also suggest doing Kegel exercises at home to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. 

Other therapies may include:

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Dilators
  • Electrical biofeedback
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Interferential therapy 

When is Pelvic Floor Therapy Recommended? 

Pelvic floor physical therapy is recommended as a remedy for both men and women who are suffering from weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. The dysfunction can be caused by aging, illness, surgery, childbirth, and more. 

Patients are often referred to a physical therapist for pelvic floor therapy if they have incontinence, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, or difficulty with urinating or passing bowel movements. Women often seek treatment for pain associated with endometriosis or vaginismus, while men can be treated for painful or premature ejaculation. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy can help with:

  • Urinary incontinence 
  • Painful urination
  • Bladder and bowel movements
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Painful intercourse
  • Endometriosis
  • Constipation
  • Menopause
  • Vaginismus
  • Pain in the hip, thigh, low back, or pelvis. 
  • Rectal pain
  • Pregnancy or postpartum
  • Testicular pain

Does it Work? 

Pelvic physical therapy is quite effective. Patients enjoy an improved quality of life after their treatment, though it can depend on the severity of their condition. In severe cases, several months and treatments may be required to strengthen the muscles and alleviate symptoms and pain. Keep in mind, patients may have to return for periodic therapy appointments to keep the pelvic floor strengthened and functioning—though you may be able to do many exercises at home.

Alleviate Pelvic Floor Pain with Impact Med Sun City Center 

If you are suffering from pelvic floor pain or the associated symptoms, timely treatment is crucial. Consult our physical therapists at Impact Med Sun City Center to start treatment and alleviate pelvic floor pain as soon as possible. We aim to have a positive effect on all our patients and are proud of their outcomes.

Say goodbye to pelvic floor pain. Call Impact Med Sun City Center today—813-938-5195!