Helping Women Achieve Active Lives
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic region is the headquarters for the reproductive organs and the end line of the digestive track. These structures are protected by the pelvic bones.
The powerful muscles of the hip, thigh and abdomen attach to the pelvic bones and the sacrum, as do the muscles of the pelvic floor. The muscles of the pelvic floor:
– Support the bladder, uterus, vagina, intestines and rectum
– Provide resistance to increases in abdominal pressure during activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or lifting heavy things.
– Form the base of you “core” and help with posture and balance by stabilizing the hips, pelvis and low back.
– Pelvic floor muscles contract and relax to allow urination and defecation. They also assist in sexual function.
How Do Pelvic Floor Problems Occur?
Pelvic floor problems can occur if the nerves or the muscles become damaged. These structures could be damaged during pregnancy, delivery, surgery, when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched or weakened.
Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This causes pain and can lead to problems with emptying the bladder and/or bowels and can lead to discomfort.
Additional things that affect the function of the pelvic floor muscles:
– Not keeping them active or overworking them
– History of back pain
– Being overweight
– Heavy lifting (at work or the gym)
– Chronic cough or sneeze, including those linked to asthma, smoking, and allergies
– Previous injury to the pelvis
Elizabeth was so professional, took her time, explained all she was going to do and why. This facility has been very professional and purposeful, I would refer Penn Ohio to anyone that is in need. First your receptionist was very willing to help address my needs and a when Elizabeth called me back and answered all my questions, I know this was a good fit. Thank you!
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
Treatment options are tailored to each individual’s needs after an initial evaluation is completed.
An initial evaluation typically includes a postural assessment, general musculosketetal exam, internal assessment, symptom questionnaire and a bladder diary. Internal assessments are not required for all evaluations and would be discussed in length the purpose and procedure by the therapist prior to completing this type of exam.
Treatment plans may consist of the following, depending on the evaluation findings and your goals:
– Strengthening, coordination and endurance training
– Posture, flexibility and mobility exercises
– Biofeedback training
– Education on anatomy and function as well as posture, diet & nutrition as it relates to bowel and bladder health
– trigger point release and soft tissue mobilization
How Do I Know If I Need Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy ?
If you experience any of the following conditions, you would be a candidate for pelvic floor physical therapy.
-Accidentally leaking urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise
-Needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
-Constantly needing to go to the restroom
-Waking up more than once in the middle of the night to urinate
-Accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowels
-A prolapse, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort or “falling out”
-Pain in your pelvic area
-Pain during a gynecological exam with inserting a tampon or during intercourse
Schedule an appointment
Schedule an appointment or call us to speak with Elizabeth Mattocks, PT, Pelvic Floor Specialist to see if you are a candidate for pelvic floor physical therapy.