A prolapsed bladder, also known as cystocele, is a condition where the pelvic floor muscles and tissues that hold the bladder in its natural position weaken, causing the organ to sag into the vagina. This may lead to discomfort, urinary incontinence, or difficulties with sexual intercourse. In addressing this issue, physical therapy for prolapsed bladder - a branch of pelvic floor therapy - can provide significant relief and improvements in quality of life. In this comprehensive guide, we'll uncover the contributing factors, physical therapy techniques, and at-home exercises which can help you manage and improve the symptoms of a prolapsed bladder.
Physical Therapy For Prolapsed Bladder Table of Contents
Causes of a prolapsed bladder
Understanding the root causes of cystocele is essential for targeting the problem effectively. Some primary factors leading to a weakened pelvic floor and a prolapsed bladder include:
1. Pregnancy and childbirth
The strain placed on the pelvic muscles during pregnancy and the stretching that occurs during childbirth can lead to pelvic floor weakening.
Aging causes the production of collagen and elastin to decrease, making the pelvic supportive tissue less pliable and more susceptible to sagging.
The removal of the uterus may leave the bladder with less support, possibly leading to prolapse.
Excess weight increases pressure on your pelvic floor, potentially causing weakening and prolapse over time.
5. Chronic constipation or coughing
Frequent straining from constipation or coughing can weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
Physical therapy techniques
Pelvic floor physical therapists are trained professionals who design personalized treatment plans to strengthen the muscles and improve the function of your prolapsed bladder. Here are a few common treatment options they may recommend:
1. Pelvic floor exercises
Also known as Kegel exercises, these target the weakened pelvic floor muscles by repeatedly contracting and relaxing them. A therapist will ensure that you're performing the exercises correctly, maximizing their effectiveness.
This technique uses electronic devices or hands-on evaluation to provide visual or auditory feedback on the appropriate way to perform Kegel exercises. It helps to ensure the correct muscles are being engaged and gives the patient a better understanding of how the exercises should feel.
3. Electrical Stimulation
Therapists might use low-voltage electric current to stimulate and strengthen weakened pelvic floor muscles effectively. The treatment usually causes a muscle contraction that helps to improve muscle tone and awareness.
4. Vaginal weights or coned weights
Some therapists may prescribe using vaginal weights within your exercise routine to increase resistance and further strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
To supplement physical therapy appointments, several exercises can be easily performed at home:
1. Kegel exercises
Locate the target muscles by stopping your urine flow midstream; these are the same muscles used for pelvic floor exercises. To perform Kegel exercises, contract these muscles for five seconds, then relax for five seconds. Repeat this 10 times, three times a day.
Bodyweight squats not only strengthen your pelvic floor muscles but also your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Lie down on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. By engaging your glutes and pelvic floor muscles, lift your hips off the floor and hold for a few seconds. Add reps and sets as you become stronger.
Physical therapy for a prolapsed bladder is designed to help you regain control over your pelvic muscles, increase their strength, and improve your quality of life. With a range of treatments and exercises within your reach, tackling this problem effectively is undoubtedly achievable. Seek guidance from a professional physical therapist and don't forget to share this informative guide with anyone who may benefit. Explore further guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy as you take charge of your pelvic health today.