Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a common condition that affects both men and women. It can cause problems with bladder control, bowel function, sexual function, and pain.
PFD is usually treated with exercise therapy or surgery. Physical therapists are experts at treating PFD because they have the training to help patients strengthen their pelvic floor muscles through exercises specific to everyone’s needs.
Physical therapy has many benefits for people suffering from PFD including improving bladder control; reducing incontinence episodes; increasing sexual satisfaction; reducing pain associated with intercourse; improving quality of life by decreasing anxiety related to symptoms
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Incontinence (loss of bladder control)
- Constipation or diarrhea, which can lead to fecal incontinence (stool leakage)
- Painful intercourse
Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by several factors. Some of the most common include:
- Pelvic floor muscles are stretched and damaged during childbirth, which can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction later in life.
- As women transition into menopause, their estrogen levels decline, causing changes in their bodies that affect the pelvic floor muscles and other parts of the body as well.* Surgery or injury to the pelvic area may also result in damage to these muscles.* Chronic conditions such as diabetes or obesity put you at risk for developing pelvic organ prolapse (when one or more organs drop down into your vagina) or urinary incontinence (the involuntary loss of urine).
Diagnosis of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
To diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction, your doctor will perform a thorough medical history and physical exam. They may also order additional tests such as ultrasound or urodynamic testing.
- Medical History: Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, including when they began, how often they occur and how long they last. They’ll also want to know if there are any triggers that make the symptoms worse (for example: heavy lifting or coughing).
- Pelvic Exam: During this exam, which is performed by a gynecologist or urologist (a doctor who specializes in urinary tract disorders), pressure is applied to specific areas of your pelvis through gentle touch so that the doctor can feel for abnormalities such as muscle spasms or weakness in certain muscles. The doctor may also use an instrument called a speculum to look inside your vagina and examine its walls for signs of damage such as tears caused by childbirth or sexual intercourse; these injuries can lead to incontinence later in life if left untreated early enough on during pregnancy/childbirth.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves from high-frequency vibrations transmitted through gel placed on top of skin tissue near organs like kidneys & bladder so doctors can see inside them more clearly than with just plain sight alone! It works by bouncing off echoes created when those vibrations hit back against different types of substances found within each organ structure being studied – like bones vs muscles vs fat cells etc
Treatment Options for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
- Medication: There are several medications that can be used to treat pelvic floor dysfunction. These include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises: A physical therapist can help you develop an exercise program to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.
- Biofeedback: A biofeedback machine measures muscle activity and helps you learn how to relax those muscles more effectively through visual feedback on a computer screen or monitor in front of you.
- Electrical Stimulation: A small probe is inserted into the vagina or rectum, which delivers electrical impulses directly into the muscles at risk for tightening up due to stress or injury (like childbirth). The probe also emits heat that increases blood flow to help loosen tight tissue around nerve endings so they’re less sensitive when stimulated by touch later on down south! This treatment option may be used alone or combined with other therapies depending upon what works best for each individual patient based upon their needs & goals.”
Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
- Manual Therapy
- Education and Training
- Posture and Exercise
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction can help you reduce pain, improve bladder and bowel control, improve sexual function and even improve posture and mobility.
Physical therapists are trained to assess and treat the muscles that support the pelvic organs. They also know how to address other areas of concern such as low back pain or hip problems that may be contributing to your symptoms. Physical therapists work with you on exercises designed specifically for your condition so they can help you regain strength in those muscles while reducing painful spasms that occur when they contract too hard (called hypertonicity).
Physical therapists also use manual techniques such as massage and stretching techniques which help relax tight muscles around nerves or joints in order for them to work better together again after injury or disease has caused them not work properly together anymore before treatment began; this helps restore balance within our bodies so we feel better overall!
For example: if someone has had surgery on their back then this would include both physical therapy treatments plus exercises at home between visits where possible too – so make sure not miss any appointments because otherwise there might be consequences later down road…
Risks of Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
As with any physical activity, there are risks to consider. The most common risks associated with physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Allergic Reaction (to the medication or treatment)
Preparing for Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Before you begin physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, it’s important to make sure that you are choosing a qualified therapist and that your goals are realistic. A good therapist will ask questions about your symptoms and medical history and may perform tests to determine how well the pelvic floor muscles are functioning.
A good physical therapist will also help you set realistic goals for treatment. For example, if you have pain during intercourse but want to continue having sex, the goal might be improved comfort rather than eliminating all pain. If there are no other health problems associated with this condition (such as incontinence), then improving muscle tone may be sufficient treatment in itself without needing surgery or medication.
In conclusion, pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated with physical therapy. If you are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction and would like to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for this condition, please contact us today.