Your pelvic floor muscles have a vital role to play in your overall well-being, but are often neglected or overlooked. These muscles support many organs in the pelvic region and can affect urinary, bowel, and sexual functions. A pelvic floor physical therapist (PT) is a trained professional who can help you better understand, improve, and maintain your pelvic health. If you're curious about what a pelvic floor PT does and how they can contribute to your overall health and fitness, this article is for you. Read on to learn more about their roles, methods, and the incredible benefits they can bring to your life.
What Does A Pelvic Floor PT Do Table of Contents
Pelvic floor physical therapists are healthcare professionals with specialized training in evaluating and treating pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. They work with both men and women, and clients of all ages, to help improve or eliminate the symptoms of various pelvic floor disorders. Their main goals are to educate their clients about the pelvic floor, develop a personalized treatment plan, and help them execute the plan for a better quality of life.
A pelvic floor PT might work with clients experiencing:
- Urinary incontinence or urgency
- Fecal incontinence
- Chronic constipation
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Painful intercourse
- Pre- or post-pregnancy concerns
- Pre- or post-surgery rehabilitation (e.g., hysterectomy, prostatectomy, pelvic reconstructive surgery)
- Core muscle weakness
To achieve these goals, pelvic floor physical therapists employ a variety of evidence-based interventions tailored to each individual's needs. These may include:
Transform Your Pelvic Floor in Just 4 Weeks: The Pelvic Floor Bible
Pelvic floor PTs start by evaluating the client's overall health, medical history, and specific symptoms. They may perform a physical exam, including external and internal assessments, to identify any musculoskeletal dysfunction or muscular imbalances.
Understanding the pelvic floor anatomy and its roles in our everyday functions is essential for managing pelvic floor disorders. Pelvic floor PTs provide client education on these topics, as well as promoting body awareness and addressing misconceptions about pelvic health.
Manual therapy techniques like soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and trigger point release can help relax tight or tender muscles, reduce pain and inflammation, and enhance overall mobility.
Pelvic floor PTs design personalized exercise programs to target specific muscular imbalances or weaknesses. This may include pelvic floor muscle training (e.g., kegel exercises) as well as exercises for the surrounding hip, core, and lumbar muscles to improve overall functionality.
Biofeedback is a technique used to visualize and monitor muscle activity during exercises. It helps clients with awareness, isolation, and control over specific pelvic floor muscles.
For those with weak or poorly coordinated pelvic floor muscles, electrical stimulation may be used to aid in muscle activation, strengthening, and pain reduction.
Bowel and bladder techniques
Pelvic floor PTs also address bowel and bladder habits, as well as dietary modifications, to improve clients' symptoms and quality of life.
What A Pelvic Floor PT Do Example
Jane has been experiencing urinary incontinence since giving birth to her second child. She visits a pelvic floor PT who assesses her physical condition, evaluates her pelvic floor strength, and designs a personalized treatment plan. This plan includes kegel exercises to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, core-focused exercises, and relaxation techniques to address muscle tension. With consistent practice and guidance from her PT, Jane sees significant improvement in her symptoms, regaining bladder control, and a healthier pelvic floor.
In conclusion, a pelvic floor PT plays a pivotal role in improving the lives of those suffering from pelvic floor disorders. By combining their specialized knowledge, hands-on treatment techniques, and personalized exercise programs, they empower clients to take control of their own health and well-being. If you're experiencing pelvic floor symptoms or simply want to explore ways to maintain optimal pelvic health, consider reaching out to a qualified pelvic floor PT for guidance. And after witnessing the transformative impact of pelvic floor therapy on your life, don't forget to share your story, this article, and other resources on Pelvic Floor Therapy to empower others towards healthier, happier living.