The pelvic floor is the group of muscles and ligaments supporting organs in your pelvis. Your bladder, rectum, prostate/uterus, and more all nest above the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is used during urination and bowel movements, as well as during sexual activities, and even exercise. Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when a patient cannot normally tighten or relax the pelvic muscles. This can make common activities like using the restroom, heavy lifting, exercise, and intercourse difficult and painful.
Luckily, most pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated without requiring costly surgery. Physical therapists at Bethesda Physiocare® are well-trained in providing high-quality pelvic floor care. Through our personalized plans, we help patients relax hypertense muscles, strengthen surrounding muscles and ligaments, and regain normal pelvic floor function.
Diagnosing pelvic floor dysfunction starts with a few observations. If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be indicative of pelvic floor dysfunction:
The best way to know that you have pelvic floor dysfunction is to have a professional physical therapist conduct a full examination. We use a number of methods to determine the extent of pelvic floor dysfunction and the problem areas at play.
Since pelvic floor dysfunction is often caused by a lack of support from muscles and ligaments or a lack of proprioception. Our treatment methods aim to address both issues for the best results.
Our initial examination utilizes several methods of testing pelvic muscle control and perception. We test patients’ perceptions of their pelvic floor, as well as the strength of the muscles. Our PTs may also consult doctors, urologists, gynecologists, and other medical experts in forming a diagnosis.
Often, we use a method of therapy called biofeedback. Biofeedback uses sensors and video to chart pelvic floor during relaxation and contraction. Our physical therapists then work with patients to isolate those muscles and develop coordination skills. In fact, studies show that biofeedback has a nearly 80% success rate among patients suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.
We believe surgery should be a last resort, and that most pelvic floor dysfunction can be solved entirely through proper therapy.
In addition to using biofeedback to pinpoint and address pelvic floor issues, other simpler tactics can be used in tandem with therapy treatments. Some of these strategies include:
Our physical therapists may suggest some of these secondary interventions in addition to attending regular physical therapy.
Pelvic floor dysfunction doesn’t have to be a source of pain and discomfort in your life. Our clinic has the expertise and training needed to bring your condition under control.
Give us a call to schedule an appointment and begin your journey to better health!