Pelvic Floor Therapy
All individuals have a pelvic floor, a complex system of muscles, and fascia within the pelvic region. Bowel and bladder activity, as well as sexual function, are controlled when we contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Therapy is available to individuals experiencing any of the following:
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Pelvic Pain
- Prenatal and Postpartum Care
- Pelvic Pain needing Trauma-Informed Care (PTSD, Sexual, Physical, Mental, Verbal abuse)
- Sexual Dysfunction/Pain
- Bowel Dysfunction (including Fecal Incontinence, Constipation, Anorectal Pain)
- Urinary Incontinence
- Pre or Post Gender Confirmation Surgery
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunction/Pain caused by
- Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
- Pelvic Surgery Recovery
- Women’s Health Conditions (including endometriosis, infertility, and PCOS)
The Goal of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
The primary goal of all forms of pelvic floor rehabilitation is to:
- Gain control of your bladder and bowel control
- Reduce medication use for incontinence and pain
- Potentially reduce the need for surgery
- Provide self care education including diet and lifestyle changes that can reduce symptoms
- Increase awareness and coordination of muscles
- Improve rectal sensitivity to improve fecal incontinence
- Reduce scar burden to allow for improved muscle function
What to Expect on the First Visit
During your first visit, you will have a chance to share your history and concerns. We will answer any questions you may have regarding the exam. Patient education is a key component of the first visit to help you understand why you are having symptoms, and how you can take control of them. If pelvic rehabilitation is necessary it would be valuable for the therapist to assess your pelvic floor muscles internally through the rectum or vaginal canal. You always have the right to refuse, or choose to skip any part of your examination if you do not feel comfortable.
Pelvic Floor Functions
The pelvic floor has three main functions:
- Supporting the pelvic organs
- Sphincter control for bowel and bladder function
- Enhance the sexual response.
An imbalance, surgery, or injury to any of the connective tissue in this region can contribute to pain and dysfunction.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Common symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction include:
- Frequent urination or strong urgency to void
- Urinary leakage
- Bowel incontinence
- Pain during sexual activity
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Tailbone, lower back, or deep hip pain
Causes of Pelvic Pain
Finding the cause of pelvic pain is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. Pain may be caused by direct trauma to the pelvic floor from childbirth, a fall, or other accident. Pain may also be referred to the pelvic area from distant sites such as the lumbar spine, sacrum, coccyx, and hip joints. For example, a lumbar herniated disc may be putting pressure on a nerve which is felt as pain in the groin or pelvic floor.
A thorough musculoskeletal assessment is vital to the comprehensive treatment of pelvic pain.
A Physical Therapist Can Help
Although Pelvic Floor disorders are common, you do not have to live with the symptoms. Our therapists have specialty training in pelvic floor disorders. You will work one-on-one with a therapist to discuss your symptoms privately. Together you will create a customized treatment plan to improve your symptoms. Pelvic Floor Therapy offers a non-surgical option to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and may include:
- Assessment of structures, strength, coordination
- Stretches or strength exercises of your pelvic floor muscles
- Core stabilization exercises
- Biofeedback to help improve coordinated contractions
- Soft tissue mobilization, and other manual therapy techniques to address muscle imbalances
- Self-care education including diet and lifestyle changes that can reduce symptoms
- Relaxation techniques
- Improved breathing mechanics, body mechanics
- Pain management
Make an Appointment
To learn more about the Pelvic Floor Therapy at CORE, please call our office at (413) 534-2555 and speak with one of our team members.
Providing Equal Care to All
Holyoke Medical Center does not discriminate against any individual regardless of race, color, religious creed, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or active military status, marital status or national origin/ethnicity, physical or mental disability, personal values or belief systems.