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What is Pelvic Floor Therapy?

You or someone you know may have been to physical therapy for joint/back pain, recovery after surgery, or even after a stroke or heart attack. We know that PTs work with muscles, movement, and recovery. But did you know that PTs can also treat the pelvic floor? You may ask, Why was I referred to a physical therapist for my incontinence? Why is my friend going to pelvic floor therapy after she delivered a baby? What does lifting weights have to do with my bladder?

You are correct that PTs work with muscles and movement. And your pelvic floor is full of them. A pelvic floor is a group of muscles that are like a hammock or sling that attach from your pubic bone in the front to your tailbone in the back, as well as to your hips to the side. The pelvic floor muscles do a lot for us. They are part of our core and help hold up our trunk. They also help us control/use our bowel, bladder, and reproductive organs.

Common Symptoms Of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
  • Strong, frequent urge to urinate (urgency)
  • Unwanted leakage of urine or stool (incontinence)
  • Pain in the pelvis, hip, abdomen, thigh, low back, including with sexual activity or tampon insertion
  • Constipation
  • Prenatal/postpartum weakness, pain, or incontinence
What Does a Pelvic Floor Therapist Do?

A trained pelvic floor therapist will do an internal exam by palpating either vaginally or rectally to see if the muscles are strong, weak, or tight. Unlike a gynecological exam, PTs typically won’t use any tools but use their finger to assess and release any painful muscle trigger points that may be causing discomfort/symptoms. 

Pelvic floor therapists can address problems with the pelvic floor similarly to how one would with back pain or shoulder pain. By improving the strength, coordination, and flexibility of the pelvic floor and the muscles surrounding it. 

Pelvic Floor Therapy Treatment 
  • Stretches and strengthening exercises to stomach, hips, and pelvis 
  • Coordination Exercises 
  • Breathing techniques
  • Trigger Point/ Muscle release
  • Education in self management and behavior changes (finding and reducing symptom triggers)
  • Biofeedback to strengthen or relax pelvic floor. 

If you have symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction check out our website at ReachYours.com and to receive a sample exercise guide. Or contact one of our skilled pelvic floor therapists to find out how we can help you!

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