There is no need to feel embarrassed or hopeless about pain down under! Although not often spoken about pelvic pain, incontinence and bowel disorders affect women and men at all ages. The treatment offered by trained physical therapists can improve or cure these conditions. Physical Therapists focus on the functionality of your pelvic floor and surrounding muscle, bones and connective tissue which are critical to your bladder and bowel function, your sexual activity and the body’s core strength and stability. Physical therapy encompasses a wide range of treatment explained below while it is also designed to empower you to “help yourself.”
Painful intercourse is not as uncommon as you might think and affects around 75% of women at some point during their lives. Painful orgasm, painful penetration, recurring urinary tract or yeast infection symptoms, are conditions that can be treated. We have successfully helped thousands of patients get back to normal, healthy sex lives with their partners.
Chronic constipation which includes not having daily bowel movements (or at least every other day) can result in abdominal or pelvic pain. Pelvic floor therapists have a program of massage, exercise, dietary recommendations and relaxation techniques that is highly effective in treating the symptoms of constipation.
If you are experiencing loss of urine or feces , we help you get back control of your pelvic floor muscles and give you back control of your bladder and bowels. Treatment includes manual therapy, exercise, biofeedback, electric stimulation, relaxation techniques and education.
What conditions can we help with physical therapy?
Our team of physical therapists treats several pelvic floor issues, including:
- Pelvic pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Incontinence and voiding problems
- Prenatal pain and dysfunction
- Postnatal pain and dysfunction
- Visceral manipulation
- Vestibular dysfunction and balance disorders
- Sacroiliac pain
- Neck, mid-back and low back pain,
- Foot, ankle and heel pain
- Hip pain
Your pelvic floor stabilizes your hips and lower body while also supporting your trunk. As a result, pelvic floor dysfunction can cause problems throughout your body.
What are the signs of pelvic floor dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction causes various symptoms, depending on the severity of your condition and if any organs are affected. For example, some of the common signs of pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Pelvic pain
- Painful intercourse
- Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh
- Not emptying your bladder completely when you urinate
- Frequent urination (more than 8x a day)
- Painful urination
- Lower back pain
- Muscle spasm in the lower back or pelvis
Many conditions can cause these symptoms. It’s essential to make an appointment with the team at Maiden Lane Medical for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
What happens during pelvic physical therapy?
There are usually three parts of pelvic physical therapy.
Our team begins with a thorough evaluation of your health and wellness. We review your medical history and symptoms. To gather more information about your needs, we might ask questions about:
- Pregnancy and childbirth history
- Menstrual cycle-related symptoms
- Diet-related symptoms
- Medical history
- Medications and supplements
- Urinary and bowel habits
- Sleep habits and hygiene
- Exercise and sports
- Past injuries or pain
- Other treatments and surgeries
We also provide a physical assessment as part of your evaluation. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, the physical part of your evaluation could include:
- Posture assessment
- Movement assessment
- Special tests, such as, assessing if stress on the pelvic girdle, back or hip increase the pain?
- Strength testing
- Palpation of the affected and related areas
We might also ask you to collect some information before your next appointment. Depending on your symptoms, our physical therapists could request:
- Diary of voiding habits including urination and bowel movements
- Food diary
- Gathering of tests such as MRIs or procedures if not available at Maiden Lane Medical
Following your evaluation, your therapist creates your customized treatment plan. We aim to help you change behaviors that could be contributing to your condition, correct your posture, and heal your body. Your pelvic physical therapy program could include:
- Myofascial release
- Scar massage
- Joint mobilization
- Postural re-education using Gravityfit
- Visceral mobilization
- Biofeedback to retrain the pelvic floor
- Electric stimulation for pain relief and muscle retraining
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Functional movement re-education
- Relaxation programs
You will also be provided with educational information and support to help you change behaviors and habits that could contribute to or exacerbate your condition.
A series of exercises and stretches will be given to you to practice at home to maintain your progress between appointments. Retraining your body takes time and practice. Doing a little work every day helps you reach your goals and develop habits that will keep your pelvic floor normal.
Your condition will be evaluated at every appointment and treatment is adjusted as needed to ensure you’re moving toward relief, home management, and eventual discharge.
We can also share your evaluation and treatment notes with your other physicians to enhance coordination with your healthcare team. In many cases, severe or chronic conditions require multimodal treatment from several different providers.
PREGNANCY PROGRAM: PLAN, PREPARE, PREVENT
Pregnancy is a celebration of womanhood that comes with its fair share of challenges. The PREGNANCY PROGRAM helps you prepare for your new baby as well as the demands of pregnancy into early motherhood. It was developed to help women meet the physical demands of pregnancy and post-birth. Weight gain, lax joints, water retention, nausea, fatigue, and breathlessness are commonly mentioned symptoms but we take a step further to address issues like posture, balance and daily function.
Pregnancy and post-pregnancy can be easier then you imagine.
The PREGNANCY METHOD is tailored to your particular needs and is even covered by health insurance plans. Your custom program may include the following:
- Manual Therapy
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Re-Education
- Postural Re-education and movement techniques
- Strength Building
- Baby Training
- Q & A
- Postpartum education and recovery
If you’re looking for expert, compassionate, and effective pelvic physical therapy, call Duffy & Bracken Physical Therapy at Maiden Lane Medical or schedule a consultation online today.