Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to the inability to properly coordinate and relax the group of muscles at the base of the pelvis. These muscles act as a foundation for the pelvic muscles such as uterus, bladder, and rectum. When the pelvic floor muscles are unable to tighten and relax correctly, this leads to instability in the pelvis.
There are a variety of signs and symptoms that indicate issues with the pelvic floor. If you are experiencing any of them, you may want to seek pelvic floor therapy treatment.
How to Tell You Have Pelvic Floor Issues
Both men and women can have pelvic floor issues.
There are certain factors that increase the chances of having pelvic floor dysfunction. They include:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Pelvic surgery
- Trauma to the pelvic region
- Pushing too hard or going to the bathroom too frequently
Other factors involved include advancing age and being overweight.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is common, and many people who experience symptoms do not realize they are due to issues with the pelvic floor. Common symptoms include:
- Overactive bladder, such as urgent or frequent need to urinate
- Straining to pass a bowel movement
- Low back pain with no other obvious cause
- Pain with intercourse
- Pressure sensation in the pelvis
If you are having issues with any, or a number, of these symptoms, you should seek out physical therapy near me.
How PT Can Help You Offset Pelvic Floor Issue
Diagnosis of a pelvic floor issue occurs via an in-depth medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam.
One of the most common treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction is biofeedback.
During a session, the physical therapist works to retrain the pelvic floor muscles by offering feedback and coordinating the muscles. This treatment is not painful and is quite effective.
When searching for the best physical therapists in NJ, look for one who has training and experience in pelvic floor dysfunction, as not all of them do.
Depending on the tightness of your pelvic floor muscles, you may benefit from internal treatments. This is done in a professional and respectful manner, and it may only require one session, depending on the severity of the problem.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger point massage is another way a physical therapist treats pelvic floor dysfunction. This treatment involves the massage of knots in muscles.
Trigger points can also cause referred pain, and they may be what is causing low back pain. Working on massaging these points may be one of the things your PT does to relax the muscles.
Another method physical therapists use is to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, abdomen, or both. Your therapist will customize an exercise plan to help you gain proper function in your pelvic region.
These movements are usually subtle and do not require the use of equipment, such as weights.
There is a good chance the therapist will ask you to do some of these movements at home, as doing them daily increases the chances of improvement.
In summary, pelvic floor dysfunction refers to the inability to properly coordinate and relax the muscles at the base of the pelvis. It can cause symptoms such as an overactive bladder, constipation, low back pain, pain during intercourse, and a pressure sensation in the pelvis. Physical therapy, including biofeedback, internal treatments, trigger point therapy, and muscle strengthening exercises, can help manage pelvic floor issues and improve symptoms. Seeking the expertise of a qualified physical therapist is recommended for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.