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What Happens During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized branch of physical therapy that focuses on the treatment of various pelvic floor dysfunctions. It has gained significant recognition in recent years as more individuals seek non-invasive and effective solutions for problems such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction.

Here, we delve into the details of what happens during a pelvic floor physical therapy session at Impact Medical Zephyrhills. From discussing what causes pelvic floor dysfunction to what to expect during therapy, we aim to shed light on the process and benefits of this increasingly sought-after form of rehabilitation.

What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that affects many individuals, particularly women. It refers to the weakening or improper functioning of the muscles in the pelvic floor region, which can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms.

The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles located at the base of the pelvis that supports organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

One common cause of pelvic floor dysfunction is pregnancy and childbirth. The weight and pressure on the pelvic area during pregnancy, as well as the stretching and tearing that may occur during delivery, can weaken the pelvic floor muscles.

Another contributing factor to pelvic floor dysfunction is aging. As we age, our muscles naturally lose strength and elasticity, including those in the pelvic region. This can result in weakened or dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles. Hormonal changes associated with menopause can also play a role by affecting muscle tone in this area.

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that can greatly impact one’s quality of life. Fortunately, physical therapy offers effective treatment options for managing these symptoms and improving overall pelvic health.

  • One key symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction is urinary incontinence. This refers to the involuntary leakage of urine, whether it be during physical activities such as exercise or coughing/sneezing, or even while at rest.
  • Another common symptom is urinary urgency and frequency, where individuals may feel an urgent need to urinate frequently throughout the day.
  • Pelvic pain is also a significant indicator of this condition; individuals may experience discomfort in the lower abdomen, genital area, or rectum.

The Importance of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and wellness, but one area that often goes neglected is the pelvic floor.

Pelvic floor physical therapy focuses on strengthening and rehabilitating these muscles to improve their function and alleviate symptoms such as urinary or fecal incontinence, chronic pain in the lower back or pelvis, and sexual dysfunction.

During a session with a pelvic floor physical therapist, patients may undergo various exercises and techniques tailored to their individual needs.

What to Expect During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is often recommended for individuals who experience issues such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, or difficulty with bowel movements. During a pelvic floor physical therapy session, you can expect a thorough evaluation of your symptoms and medical history by a trained therapist.

The initial assessment may involve discussing your concerns and goals for treatment, as well as any previous treatments you have tried. The therapist will then perform an external examination of your pelvic area to assess muscle tone and any signs of dysfunction. This may include observing your posture, movement patterns, and muscle strength.

Depending on your specific needs, an internal examination may also be conducted to evaluate the condition of the muscles internally.

Treatment for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Physical therapy offers a range of effective treatment modalities and tools to alleviate the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and improve quality of life.

One such modality is biofeedback, which involves using sensors to measure muscle activity in the pelvic floor. By visualizing this data on a screen, patients can learn how to properly engage and relax their pelvic floor muscles. This real-time feedback allows individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction to gain better control over these muscles, reducing pain and improving bladder and bowel function.

Another valuable tool in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction is electrical stimulation. This technique uses low-level electrical currents to stimulate the affected muscles, helping them contract or relax as needed. Electrical stimulation can help strengthen weak muscles or reduce tension in overactive ones.

Other treatment modalities include:

  • Physical therapy: Your therapist will work with you to determine where your muscles are tight and guide you in exercises that will stretch the affected muscles and improve their strength and coordination.
  • Trigger point release: This therapy is designed to relieve chronic pain. To relieve trigger points, your therapist will apply firm, yet gentle, pressure by hand or with a special tool.
  • Relaxation techniques: Meditation, yoga, exercise, acupuncture, or warm baths are all beneficial for relaxation.
  • Kegel exercises: These exercises work to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as they are contracted and relaxed. Kegels are especially beneficial for patients suffering from urinary incontinence.
  • Therapeutic ultrasound: Different from diagnostic ultrasound, this type provides deep heating to the body’s soft tissues to help decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and increase circulation.

Physical Therapy at Impact Medical Zephyrhills

Impact Medical Zephyrhills Physical Therapy offers a valuable solution for those experiencing pelvic floor issues. By utilizing various techniques and exercises, patients can regain control over their pelvic floor muscles, reduce pain and discomfort, and enhance their daily activities.

Don’t let pelvic floor issues hold you back – take charge of your body with the help of Impact Medical Zephyrhills Physical Therapy today. Contact us to schedule an appointment at (813) 706-5156 today!