Pelvic Floor Therapy Guides

What Is Internal Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

What Is Internal Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

When it comes to treating pelvic floor dysfunction, physical therapy has proven to be one of the most effective and non-invasive methods. Among the various types of pelvic floor treatments, internal pelvic floor physical therapy stands out for its highly targeted approach in addressing the underlying issues affecting muscles deep within the pelvic floor. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore what internal pelvic floor physical therapy is, how it works, and its potential benefits in helping you reclaim control over your pelvic health.

What is Internal Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

Internal pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized, evidence-based treatment approach used by trained physical therapists to assess and treat the muscles, fascia, and nerves of the pelvic floor. This therapy focuses on the internal aspect of the pelvic floor to restore proper muscle function, alleviate pain, and enhance overall pelvic health.

So, how does this therapy differ from other forms of pelvic floor therapy? While most pelvic floor exercises (like Kegels) help strengthen the external pelvic floor muscles, internal pelvic floor physical therapy delves deeper to treat dysfunctional internal muscles, which cannot be accessed through external exercises or surface treatment alone.

How Does Internal Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Work?

To begin the process, a trained pelvic floor therapist will manually palpate (feel) the internal pelvic floor muscles through the vagina or rectum, depending on your specific needs. This assessment allows the therapist to evaluate muscle tone, strength, and flexibility, as well as identify areas of pain, trigger points, or scar tissue.

Once assessed, the therapist will apply various hands-on techniques to address the problematic areas. Some common techniques include:

Myofascial Release

This technique aims to release tight fascia (the connective tissue surrounding your muscles), which can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction and pain. Gentle pressure and sustained stretching are applied to help loosen the fascia and restore proper function.

Trigger Point Release

This involves direct pressure applied to specific "tight knots" (known as trigger points) in the pelvic floor muscles. By releasing these knots, muscle balance and function can be restored, alleviating pain and discomfort.

Connective Tissue Manipulation

This technique focuses on mobilizing scar tissue and adhesions within or surrounding the pelvic floor muscles. Breaking up these restrictions can help improve muscle function, flexibility, and reduce pain.

Neural Mobilization

If nerve entrapments or irritations are contributing to pelvic floor dysfunction, a therapist may use gentle manual techniques to help "free" the nerve and facilitate its proper function.

Internal Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Example

Let's say you're a woman experiencing pain and discomfort during intercourse, and your doctor suspects that tight pelvic floor muscles could be the culprit. You're referred to a pelvic floor physical therapist who specializes in internal pelvic floor therapy. After a thorough assessment, the therapist identifies several tight muscles and trigger points contributing to your pain.

Over several sessions, the therapist uses a combination of myofascial release, trigger point release, and connective tissue manipulation techniques to help reduce muscle tightness, restore proper function, and ultimately alleviate your pain during intercourse. Alongside these internal techniques, your therapist may also teach you external exercises and stretches to further support and maintain good pelvic health.

In conclusion, internal pelvic floor physical therapy offers a highly specialized and targeted approach to treating the complex issues that affect pelvic health. This non-invasive technique allows for deep healing and restored function, giving those struggling with pelvic floor dysfunction hope for a better quality of life. If you found this information helpful, please share this guide with others, and explore other Pelvic Floor Therapy articles for additional insights and resources to empower your journey toward better pelvic health.

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