Pelvic floor dysfunction affects around 25% of adults, and both men and women can experience it. Risk factors include pregnancy, age, obesity, and chronic constipation. Many people do not understand what constitutes the pelvic floor and may ignore their symptoms, which leads to more issues. If you suspect that you have pelvic floor dysfunction, it is beneficial to seek physical therapy near me.
Understanding Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Associated Symptoms
The pelvic floor consists of connective tissues and muscles that support your bladder, internal reproductive organs, and bowels. The pelvic floor supports these organs and also allows for flexibility so you can go to the bathroom and have sex. The pelvic floor muscles also help protect these organs and your spine from outside pressures, such as coughing and lifting.
When the components of the pelvic floor have the proper strength and coordination, they are able to relax and squeeze automatically, allowing for proper function of your bladder and bowel. However, if they weaken, symptoms you may experience include:
- Bladder incontinence (loss of control)
- Bowel incontinence
- Urinary or fecal leakage
- Prolapse of pelvic organs
The muscles of the pelvic floor can also become too tight from things like trauma, stress, and childbirth. When this occurs, common symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain
- Low back or hip pain
- Painful intercourse
- Difficulty peeing
If you experience any of these symptoms, a physical therapist can treat the issue in a variety of ways.
Improving Muscle Tone
When you find a physical therapist near me who has experience with the pelvic floor, the first thing he or she will do is conduct an exam. This includes assessing the external and internal pelvic muscles and checking your ability to voluntarily contract and relax your muscles.
If you have lost tone in your muscles and surrounding tissues, your therapist will work on improving this. The methods used may include myofascial trigger point therapy, dry needling, and exercises. Exercises for the pelvic floor are much more subtle that those for larger muscles, and your therapist will ensure you are performing them correctly.
Improving Muscle Coordination
Not only must your pelvic floor muscles have the correct tone, but they also must work together properly. If the muscles are not coordinated, the physical therapist will design a treatment plan to restore this. Along with exercises, methods used may include electrical stimulation or biofeedback therapy.
It takes time to heal the pelvic floor, especially if the problem has been there a while. The physical therapist will likely recommend a series of appointments. You may also receive a list of exercises to do at home, and you will get better results if you do them frequently.
The pelvic floor can be complicated, and not every physical therapist understands how to treat it. Those who do have no trouble finding physical therapy jobs in Kansas, as there is great demand. If you have issues with your pelvic organs, reach out to see if physical therapy can help, as it is a conservative treatment method that is effective.