Pelvic floor therapy is a type of physical therapy that helps alleviate pelvic floor pain and other issues. Your pelvic floor consists of muscles, ligaments, and tissue that support the pelvic region, which includes the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. With age or after childbirth, these muscles and ligaments may become loose or damaged and may not provide adequate support for your pelvic organs.
Just as a physical therapist can help with your muscle, ligament or tendon issues in other areas of your body, a pelvic floor therapy specialist helps you strengthen and/or stretch the muscles in your pelvic region to help eliminate pain and other issues.
Pelvic floor disorders are common, affecting about 25% of all women. Some common pelvic floor issues include:
- Urinary incontinence
- Painful sex
- Pelvic organ prolapse
At Park Avenue Women’s Center, we want you to understand how pelvic floor therapy could help you. We put together the following information.
What is pelvic floor therapy?
There are a variety of different pelvic floor therapies that our providers use to help women with pelvic floor issues. These therapies include:
Kegel exercises, also called pelvic floor muscle training exercises, are simple exercises you can do at home, or anywhere, to strengthen your pelvic muscles. The trick, though, is to be sure you’re working the right muscles. To find this muscle, try to urinate, then stop yourself by contracting your muscle.
Holding that muscle for a count of 10, then releasing and repeating is a Kegel. You can do this exercise standing up, lying down, or sitting. Try doing Kegels 10 times in a row, three to five times a day. The more consistent you are with your Kegel exercises, the better your results.
Biofeedback is a therapy that better helps women identify and strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. This therapy is a non-invasive procedure where a probe is inserted into the vagina with sensors. As you try to relax and contract your vaginal muscles, the sensors record the movement and display it on a monitor.
This therapy helps you receive feedback about how your muscles are working and enables the provider to offer guidance on how to adjust or improve the movements.
Myofascial release is a type of manual therapy or stretching. An internal or external massage or stretching of the muscles and fascia, a tissue that encloses the muscle, in the pelvic region can release tension and loosen muscles that are too tight.
Eating a healthy diet, exercising, and practicing yoga and other relaxation techniques can help improve pelvic health.
Who can benefit from pelvic floor therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy can improve your quality of life. Incontinence or painful sex are not conditions you must endure. Through proper treatment, including pelvic floor therapy, the following may find relief:
- Women going through menopause
- Pregnant women or women who have given birth
- Women with endometriosis
- Women who experience painful sex
- Women suffering from incontinence or constipation
For more information about pelvic floor therapy and how it can help you, or information about other pelvic floor disorder treatments, call Park Avenue Women’s Center or make an appointment online.