Pelvic floor issues can cause uncomfortable symptoms and have a significant impact on your physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. Fortunately, there is a highly effective non-surgical solution to address these conditions: pelvic floor therapy. So, what exactly is involved in this form of treatment, and how can it benefit you? Let’s dive into the details of this specialized therapy, the techniques involved, and the transformative results it can provide.
What Is Involved In Pelvic Floor Therapy Table of Contents
Pelvic floor therapy, also known as pelvic floor rehabilitation, is a comprehensive treatment approach designed to improve the strength, flexibility, and function of the pelvic floor muscles—key muscles that support various aspects of daily life, including elimination, sexual function, and physical stability. This non-invasive therapy can address a wide range of pelvic floor disorders, such as:
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
- Diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation)
A trained and skilled pelvic floor therapist, typically a physical therapist or physiotherapist specializing in pelvic floor health, conducts the therapy. The components of pelvic floor therapy can include:
The therapist will begin by taking a thorough medical history, discussing your symptoms and concerns, and performing a physical examination. This may involve an internal and/or external examination of the pelvic floor muscles to assess your muscle strength, control, and flexibility.
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The primary component of pelvic floor therapy involves learning and practicing exercises specifically designed to target and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, such as kegel exercises. These exercises involve contracting and releasing the pelvic muscle groups, effectively working them out and boosting their strength and motor control. The therapist may also provide guidance on performing these exercises to ensure proper form and technique.
This treatment involves the use of specialized equipment to provide real-time feedback on the performance of your pelvic floor muscles during exercise. This can help ensure that you are executing the exercises correctly and effectively, and allow the therapist to adjust the difficulty level or technique as needed.
In some cases, electrical stimulation may be used to activate the pelvic floor muscles and promote muscle strengthening via the use of a small probe that sends electrical currents to the muscles. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have difficulty contracting their pelvic floor muscles voluntarily.
The therapist may perform hands-on techniques such as soft tissue massage and joint mobilization to address any tightness, dysfunction, or pain in the pelvic region. These treatments can help to reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, and alleviate pain.
Education and lifestyle modifications
The therapist will provide you with advice and guidance on behavioral and lifestyle changes that can support and enhance your overall pelvic floor function. This can include support on bladder and bowel habits, posture, dietary recommendations, and stress management techniques.
A Journey Through Pelvic Floor Therapy
Meet Jane, a 45-year-old woman experiencing urinary incontinence since giving birth to her second child. After consulting with her physician and receiving a referral, Jane begins pelvic floor therapy with a certified therapist. Over the course of multiple sessions, the therapist teaches Jane a range of kegel exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, and lifestyle modifications to support optimal pelvic floor health. With dedicated practice and adherence to the treatment program, Jane begins to see a significant improvement in her symptoms within a few months.
Pelvic floor therapy provides a non-invasive, effective solution for a wide range of pelvic health conditions. Through personalized treatment plans and evidence-based techniques, this therapy can help you regain control of your pelvic floor muscles, alleviate your symptoms, and ultimately, greatly enhance your quality of life. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others who might benefit, and be sure to explore our other guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy for even more valuable insights.