Do you often feel embarrassed by frequent or urgent trips to the bathroom? Maybe you've never fully regained your pre-baby strength, and you're struggling with incontinence, pelvic pain, or other pelvic floor-related issues. But fear not, for pelvic floor physical therapy can come to your rescue. In this in-depth guide, we'll help you understand what goes on during pelvic floor physical therapy sessions and how these exercises can improve the quality of your life.
What Is Done During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Table of Contents
So, let's begin by diving into what pelvic floor physical therapy is all about.
What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) is a specialized form of physiotherapy designed to address dysfunction and pain in the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles span the bottom of the pelvis, supporting your pelvic organs such as the bladder, rectum, and uterus (women) or prostate (men). With the help of a skilled therapist, PFPT aims to improve or eliminate symptoms such as incontinence, constipation, urinary urgency, and pelvic pain.
Now that you have a general understanding of PFPT, let's go through the steps you can expect during your therapy sessions.
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Assessment and Evaluation
Before beginning any therapy program, your pelvic floor physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation. This usually includes discussing your medical history, bladder and bowel habits, diet, and exercise routine. Additionally, they will conduct a physical examination of your pelvic floor muscles, focusing on their strength, flexibility, and overall function. The assessment might involve a combination of external and internal techniques, such as manual palpation and biofeedback devices, to gauge muscle coordination and activation.
Depending on your specific needs and symptoms, your therapist will create a personalized treatment plan to address your pelvic floor issues.
Common Techniques Used in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Therapists may apply gentle pressure and massage techniques to your pelvic floor muscles to release tight or painful trigger points, improve circulation, and decrease inflammation. These techniques can help relax muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.
Also known as kegel exercises, these involve tightening and relaxing the muscles that support your pelvic organs. Your therapist will help you learn how to identify and properly engage your pelvic floor muscles, tailoring the exercises to match your specific needs.
A biofeedback device records information about your muscle activity and displays it on a monitor, allowing you (and your therapist) to see how well you're engaging your pelvic floor muscles. This can be helpful in learning how to perform exercises correctly and monitoring progress.
Low-level electrical currents can be introduced to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles, helping to strengthen them and improve their function. This can be especially helpful for those with severely weakened muscles or nerve-related issues.
PFPT often includes strategies to help you relax and alleviate stress, as stress can exacerbate pelvic floor issues. These may involve deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, or even stress-reducing lifestyle changes.
A What Is Done During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Example:
Let's imagine you're dealing with stress-induced urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor physical therapist might assess your pelvic floor muscles and find that they're weak and need strengthening. They would then teach you exercises to target these specific muscles, incorporating biofeedback to help you visualize your progress. Additionally, your therapist might include relaxation and stress management techniques to address the root cause of your issue.
Now that you're well-versed in pelvic floor physical therapy, you have the knowledge and tools to take control of your life and conquer your pelvic floor challenges. As with any therapy, consistency and perseverance are crucial to reaping the benefits. In no time, you'll be able to enjoy the rewards of a strong and functional pelvic floor, and wave goodbye to those pesky symptoms.
Are you feeling motivated to share your newfound wisdom with others in need? Why not spread the word by sharing this article with friends and family who might benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy. And don't forget to explore our other guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy for more insights and tips on how to achieve your best pelvic health.