What To Know About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
This one’s for the women out there, who inherently face different physical limitations and experiences than men. Chances are that most women have had some experience with pelvic pain, whether that started at puberty, followed childbirth, or increased with age. When it comes to pelvic floor conditions, exams, or pain, there isn’t a wealth of information available, and misdiagnoses can do far more harm than good.
According to this Healthline blog, Kristin Christensen, a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor disorders, said, “It is very common for women to feel disconnected from this part of the body. It is an extremely personal area, and pain or dysfunction in this region seems easier to ignore than to address.”
Christensen continued by saying, “Most women have never seen a model of the pelvic floor or the pelvis, and many don’t even know what organs we have or where they are. This is really a shame because the female body is amazing and I think in order to fully understand the problem, patients need to better understand their anatomy.”
Because of this unspoken element to this area of the body, many don’t want to talk about their personal experiences and pain. It’s embarrassing, awkward, and hard to describe. That’s why pelvic floor physical therapy is a great option, for the specialized care and safe environment from professionals who know the most about something the internet knows the least about.
Understanding Pelvic Floor PT
At Cal Rehab, we understand that people don’t like surgery. We recognize and want to alleviate the concerns of new moms and the concerns of parents with children feeling pelvic and bowel pain. We understand the pelvic floor, and we want to help anyone and everyone feeling any sort of musculoskeletal pain or discomfort in the pelvis.
For women, a few different diagnoses and symptoms include: Vulvodynia/Vestibulodynia, Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome, Pudendal Neuralgia, Endometriosis, clitoral pain, tailbone pain/coccygodynia, abdominal pain, sacral pain, anal/rectal pain, dyspareunia/pain with intercourse.
For men, the following diagnoses and symptoms are related to the pelvic floor: Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome/male pelvic pain, Nonbacterial chronic prostatitis, Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome, Pudendal Neuralgia, tailbone pain/coccygodynia, sacral pain, abdominal/groin pain, testicular pain, perineal pain, penile pain, and anal/rectal pain, to name a few of the most common.
There are often a lot of tests and scans that patients have to go through for any sort of pain, let alone pelvic floor pain. That’s why seeing a pelvic specialist or a pelvic physical therapist is imperative.
According to Harvard Health, “pelvic physical therapy can help not only with myofascial pelvic pain but also reduce symptoms of other conditions caused by pelvic floor problems, such as urinary and fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, and sexual dysfunction.” Potential treatments might include various forms of massage, depending on the patients’ comfort with that. For instance, anyone with a history of any sort of sexual abuse, assault, or has ever had difficulty with pelvic or internal vaginal exams might not consider that option or type of treatment.
Pelvic physical pain is not normal. Any sort of discomfort, no matter how severe or longlasting should be evaluated by a professional. However, pain is not the only thing that can be helped with pelvic physical therapy. Many women may want to gain control or strengthen their pelvic muscles for a better quality of life. In some instances, this type of treatment may be supplementary or complementary rather than solitary.
Potential Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Exercises
While the first step would be to visit with a physical therapist, there are a few different exercises that you can try on your own.
One practice would be yoga, which works to control breathing, promote relaxation, and improve self-image in addition to strengthening the pelvic muscles that come alongside certain yoga poses.
Another option is practicing kegel exercises, which specifically focus on contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles (that have the primary function of holding the uterus and bladder in place. According to Menopause.org, these exercises can have a few different benefits, including an increase in the strength and awareness of muscles involved in sexual interactions, a reduction in general vaginal or pelvic pain (as well as during intercourse), an improvement in some different forms of urinary incontinence, and the potential prevention of pelvic organ prolapse.
Cal Rehab Is Here To Help With Your Pain
Whether you’re presently feeling pain and discomfort, or if you’re wanting to avoid physical pain and discomfort in general, our knowledgable physical therapists can help create a customized physical therapy plan unique to you and your situation. For more information about our specific offerings, check out our services page.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to your pelvic pain and discomfort, or any sort of physical pain in general, stop into one of our physical therapy clinics across California or give us a call today.