The Importance of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
The pelvic floor muscle groups and ligaments stretch from the pubic bone to the tailbone (coccyx) at the back and from the sitting bone (ischial tuberosity) to the other side. The area as a whole is touchy and sensitive and can be highly debilitating when injured. Many people turn to Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy to help alleviate pain and recover from injury faster.
Pelvic physical therapy is a treatment for pelvic injuries and recovery that utilizes physical therapy to provide pelvis floor muscles with safe yet effective reconditioning. The primary goal of the treatment is to improve the overall strength and functionality of the pelvic floor muscles.
What does a pelvic floor physiotherapist do?
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy operates with a skilled physical therapist who accesses the muscles through a person’s lower half and manipulates the area to improve strength and functionality. Therapists typically stretch the muscles if they’re contracted or apply resistance to improve strength if they’re weak and dysfunctional.
If done correctly, pelvic physiotherapy does an excellent job aiding users with bowel and bladder issues and women recovering after childbirth. The treatment likewise helps men who have gone through a prostate medical procedure to have an expedient recuperation, decreased danger of rectal prolapse, and improved bladder control.
The time needed to see benefits from Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy varies depending on the person, but most people can expect to see results within 8 to 16 weeks. Many people see results after only a few sessions, highlighting the vital functionality of physical therapy as a whole which includes:
- Internal Assessment of Pelvic Floor
- External Assessment of Pelvic Floor
- Pelvic Floor Treatment
- Pelvic Floor Guidance and Recommendations
How does a physiotherapist check the pelvic floor?
Although you don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a physical therapist, many see a physical therapist based on a doctor’s recommendation. Regardless of when someone sees a physiotherapist for their pelvic floor, the process tends to be the same from person to person.
The physio checks the pelvic floor by observing a kegel and a cough. A kegel is when they’ll ask you to squeeze your muscles as if you were to stop the flow of urine. A physio will also ask you to bear down, meaning to push out like you would pass gas. They’ll also feel externally for any tight spots.
If allowed, the therapist will internally assess the muscles with a glove and lubricant to determine if everything needs adjustment. With all of these various tests, the therapist will evaluate the following route for your physical therapy process.
When should you see a pelvic floor physio?
Generally speaking, whenever someone brings up the notion of seeking help, most people challenge trying to fix whatever the issue might be. This is especially the case with pelvic floor issues since it’s not common knowledge compared to other ailments such as the common cold or fatigue.
In any case, every great physical therapist suggests seeing a physio if you’re encountering pain while urinating or when the bladder is full, pee spillage when coughing, sniffling or laughing, and a compelling impulse to pee yet feeling unable to relieve the bladder.
There are many examples and reasons someone should seek out a physical therapist. Not only is it especially critical for someone’s overall longevity, ignoring the issues will only make the entire ordeal significantly worse for an individual. Seek a physiotherapist if you experience the following:
- Urinary Incontinence
- Fecal Incontinence
- Urinary Urgency
- Painful Intercourse (Dyspareunia)
- Pain in Areas of the Vagina
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Painful Bladder Syndrome
- Chronic Pelvic pain
- Pudendal Neuralgia
- Low Back Pain
- Hip Pain
- Prenatal Care
- Postpartum Care
- Bowel Pain
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
What should I expect at my first pelvic floor physical therapy?
Going to any exam can be overwhelming, but the overall process of pelvic floor physiotherapy isn’t as extreme as most users realize. First, the physio will take a complete history of your bladder function, bowel function, sexual function, and medical history. They’ll also take notes on your fitness activities. From here, the actual exam will begin, which takes approximately 80 to 90 minutes.
The exam itself begins by checking the pelvic floor by viewing a kegel and a cough. A physio will also ask you to bear down and search for tight spots through your entire physical body. Afterward, if allowed, the therapist will internally assess the muscles with a glove and lubricant.
Once the exam is complete, the physical therapist will develop a routine for you to get better. The treatment itself can range from exercises, biofeedback, and the manual therapy of muscles. Physical therapists will also advise on fitness, good bladder and bowel habits, and more.
What are the benefits of pelvic physiotherapy?
The ultimate goal of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is to improve a person’s pelvic floor functionality through exercising, lifestyle adjustments, education, and actual treatment to decrease or eliminate symptoms.
Below are a few expected benefits of pelvic physiotherapy:
- Aids Bladder
- Helps Urinary Leakage
- Helps Bowels
- Alleviates Pain
- Aids Abdominal pain
- Helps Pain with Intercourse
- Alleviates Postpartum Issues
- Helps Pelvic Pain
- Aids Pelvic Organ Prolapse
How do I know if I need pelvic floor therapy?
- Significant pain while peeing or when the bladder is full.
- Pee spillage when coughing, wheezing or laughing.
- An impulse to pee, yet feeling incapable of doing so.
Again, the examples don’t necessarily mean someone has an issue with their pelvic floor. UTIs, bladder spasms, kidney stones, urethritis, or epididymitis, can all cause similar symptoms. It’s best to get a diagnosis and see what options lie ahead.
How do you know if you have a weak pelvic floor?
The primary way of knowing you need pelvic floor therapy is if you’re diagnosed. Diagnosing a weak pelvic floor can be tedious, mainly because there are many issues with similar symptoms. The best way for someone to get appropriately diagnosed is to visit their doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms:
- Leaking pee when laughing, wheezing, coughing, or running
- Neglecting to arrive at the toilet on time
- Passing wind from either the rear-end or vagina when twisting around or lifting
- Diminished sensation in the vagina
- Tampons that oust or drop out
- An unmistakable lump at the vaginal opening
- An impression of weight in the vagina
Causes Of A Weak Pelvic Floor:
Common causes of a weakened pelvic floor include:
- Prostate Cancer
- Chronic Constipation
- Lower levels of estrogen after menopause
Can pelvic floor treatments improve physical sensation?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an effective treatment for decreased sexual sensation due to a weak pelvic floor. Strengthening exercises can target specific muscles in the area and improve your sexual response.
Can pelvic floor exercises cure incontinence?
Reinforcing the pelvic floor muscles through physical therapy can help treat incontinence. After labour, the pelvic floor muscles become debilitated and can cause issues. Pelvic floor exercises after childbirth can prevent future stress incontinence issues.
What are the various physical therapy treatment options for urinary incontinence?
Kegel Exercises – Kegel exercises are performed by squeezing the sphincter muscles or envisioning that you are attempting to stop peeing.
Biofeedback – Electrodes measure your pelvic floor muscle movement. The biofeedback technique helps you gain voluntary control of your muscle groups through reinforcement techniques.
Muscle-strengthening Exercises – Your physical therapist will train you in activities to extend and reinforce other muscles that assist with supporting your bladder.
Electrical Stimulation – Your physical therapist might apply delicate electrical stimulation to assist with muscle function awareness.
How to do Kegel exercises
- Find the right muscles by stopping urination in midstream. Once identified, you can do the exercises in any position, but laying down tends to work best.
- Perfect your technique by imagining you’re sitting on a ball and stiffening your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the ball.
- Maintain your focus by tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex areas such as your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Make sure you breathe.
- Repeat this process three times a day. Aim to do sets of 10 to 15 with a few seconds for each. Do less if it’s too difficult.
Is pelvic floor therapy safe?
Inexperienced individuals can make their situation worse by not doing the right exercises. Thankfully, professional physiotherapists can show you the tools to do it correctly. The technique is critical with physical therapy. Always turn to professionals for information and seek a doctor if your condition worsens.
Where Can I Get Pelvic Floor Therapy in Edmonton?
Boost PT ensures a hands-on approach, and we specialize in pelvic floor physiotherapy. Make your appointment today by booking online or call us for a consultation.