Pelvic floor physical therapy can help you improve your pelvic health and quality of life. Learn why it is more important than you think and how to get started.
If you’re dealing with pelvic pain, UTIs, or other issues related to your bladder and bowels, pelvic floor physical therapy could answer your prayers. We’ll explain pelvic floor therapy, what it can do for you, and where to find a certified PT.
Table of Contents
What is the pelvic floor?
It comprises muscles and tissue that help keep your bladder, uterus, and other organs in place. It’s also important for sex and keeping your bladder and bowels in check.
What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a type of therapy that works to help your pelvic floor muscles work better and stay healthy.
Pelvic floor muscles are a bunch of muscles that sit in a sling-like shape at the bottom of the pelvis.
They support your bladder, uterus, prostate, rectum, and other pelvic organs. Plus, they help you control how you pee, poop, and have sex.
Signs that I need pelvic floor physical therapy
Some of the signs that you may benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy include:
- Pelvic pain or discomfort that interferes with your daily activities or quality of life
- Urinary or faecal leakage, urgency, frequency, retention, or difficulty emptying
- Sexual pain, difficulty, or dissatisfaction
- Feeling of pressure, bulging, or heaviness in your pelvic area
- History of pelvic surgery, trauma, childbirth, or other factors that may affect your pelvic floor health
How Can Pelvic Floor Therapy Help You?
Pelvic floor therapy can help you improve your pelvic health and quality of life in many ways. Some of the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy include:
Reducing or eliminating pelvic pain
Muscle spasms can cause pelvic pain but can also be caused by nerve irritation or inflammation. It could also be caused by an infection, an endometriotic condition, or even a cyst in your ovaries.
Various things can cause pelvic pain, but physical therapy on the pelvic floor can help determine what’s causing it.
It can be done manually, with exercises, or with biofeedback. It can also be done with electrical stimulation or other methods.
Improving or restoring bladder and bowel function
Bladder and bowel problems can affect your daily life, self-confidence, and social life. Some of the most common bladder and bowel problems are leakage, urgency, frequency, difficulty emptying, and constipation.
Pelvic floor physical therapy helps you regain control of your bladder and bowels by strengthening or loosening your pelvic floor muscles.
It also helps you coordinate your pelvic floor muscles with other muscles involved in urination and defecation. Plus, it can help you adjust your lifestyle to help improve your bladder and bowel health.
Preventing or treating pelvic organ prolapse
Pelvic prolapse is when your bladder, uterus, or rectum starts to fall out of the opening of your rectum because the muscles in your pelvic floor are too weak or stretched. It can cause pressure, bulge, pain, or difficulty urinating or defecating.
Physical therapy can help prevent or treat it by strengthening your muscles, keeping your organs strong, and fixing any issues that could cause it, like chronic coughing, straining, or being overweight.
What Happens During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
- Your pelvic floor physical therapist will examine your muscles and see if they’re weak or tight.
- They’ll then help you do exercises to make them more robust and flexible.
- You can do the exercises at home; your PT will tell you how and how often you should do them.
What exercises are done in pelvic floor physical therapy?
The pelvic floor physical therapy exercises are designed to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles. Some of the joint exercises include:
Kegel exercises are exercises that involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor biofeedback
Pelvic floor biofeedback is a technique that uses sensors to measure the strength and activity of the pelvic floor muscles.
This information can help you learn how to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles correctly.
Electrical stimulation is a technique that uses mild electrical currents to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles. It can help to strengthen and relax the muscles.
How Long Does Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Take?
The time you need to do PFPT will vary depending on your needs.
Some people see improvement in their symptoms after a few weeks of treatment, while others may need to continue treatment for several months.
Is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Safe?
PFPT is a safe and effective treatment for various pelvic floor conditions.
However, working with a qualified PT experienced in treating these conditions is crucial.
Who Can Benefit from Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
PFPT can benefit anyone who is experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction. It includes women and men of all ages.
How do I find a qualified pelvic floor physical therapist?
To find a qualified pelvic floor physical therapist, you should look for someone who has:
- A license to practice physical therapy in your state
- Specialized training and certification in pelvic floor physical therapy
- Experience and expertise in treating patients with similar conditions as yours
- A good reputation and positive reviews from previous or current patients
- A comfortable and professional environment where you feel respected and supported
You can search for a pelvic floor physical therapist online using websites such as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) or the Section on Women’s Health (SOWH).
You can also request a referral from your doctor or other health care providers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many sessions of pelvic floor physical therapy do I need?
The amount of time you need to go through pelvic floor physical therapy will depend on your circumstances. Some people find their symptoms improve after a few weeks, while others must keep going for a few months.
Does insurance cover pelvic floor physical therapy?
The cost of pelvic floor physical therapy depends on your insurance policy. Some insurance plans will cover the cost of your treatment, while others won’t cover it at all.
What are the risks of pelvic floor physical therapy?
There’s not much to worry about regarding pelvic floor therapy. Some people might feel tired or sore, but that’s about it.
Pelvic floor therapy is way more important than you know! It can help you stay healthy and have a better quality of life by treating all the problems affecting your muscles and pelvic floor.
If you’re dealing with pelvic pain, incontinence, sex dysfunctions, or prolapse of your pelvic organ, pelvic floor therapy can be a great, safe, and natural way to help.
If you want physical therapy for your pelvic floor, talk to your doctor and find an excellent physical therapist near you.