Many women live with personal and private medical conditions that negatively impact their lives. These conditions include (but are not limited to) bowel or bladder dysfunction and pelvic pain. Women’s health physical therapists have specialized training in the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of these conditions.
With one in four women affected by some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetime, this is an essential subject for patients to bring up to their physicians. Pelvic floor assessment can reliably identify the cause of the dysfunction and aid in the treatment of restoring a healthy and functional pelvic floor.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: A Core Problem
There are many misconceptions and questions surrounding the pelvic floor muscles and often these answers are not found online. The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that sit like a bowl, at the bottom of the pelvis, in both men and women. Pelvic floor muscles are an integral part of bowel and bladder function and serve a sexual role as well. These muscles are also an often-ignored part of the core.
Most think of the core muscles like the abdominals and the back muscles, however, the diaphragm (our breathing muscle) and pelvic floor muscles are just as much a part of that musculature. The core is frequently described as a corset, with the abdominals and back muscles surrounding the spine on all sides. While this is true, the core is best thought of as a cylinder, with the top being the diaphragm the bottom being the pelvic floor, and the back and abdominal muscles comprising the sides. All of these muscles work together to support the lumbar spine.
Just like any other muscle in our body, the pelvic floor can become dysfunctional. The muscle may be weak, too tense, or there may be an improper co-contraction between it and the other core muscles. Most often, more than one, if not all, of these dysfunctions are taking place together.
In people with pelvic floor muscle problems, there are bowel, bladder, and pain implications. Whether it is incontinence, frequency, retention, pain with intimacy, constipation, or generalized pain throughout the pelvis, the pelvic floor is often to blame. Women’s health physical therapists have specialized training in the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles. Treatment commonly begins with restoring muscles to their normal resting state, then strengthening and/or re-training the pelvic floor in various ways, all the while managing current symptoms.
Treatment of pelvic floor muscles can assist in decreasing pain and ROM impairments in the hips and lumbar spine, and increase core and pelvic floor muscle strength. Internal pelvic floor treatment, in conjunction with other indicated manual therapy interventions, allows for a return to functional tasks with less dysfunction and improved quality of life.
Pelvic physical therapy can help to treat many of the patient’s pain complaints and tremendously improve their overall quality of life. We not only address the patient’s physical complaints but also provide education on lifestyle changes to allow each individual to achieve her desired goals.
Pelvic floor physical therapy experts may be found at several Makovicka Physical Therapy locations, including Aksarben, Bellevue, Gretna, Millard, Papillion, Plattsmouth, Wahoo, and 70th and L in Lincoln. Help IS available! Women’s health physical therapy is a proven and effective step in the path to improved quality of life.
Benefits of Women’s Health
Treatment of conditions
Strengthen pelvic floor muscles
Help decrease or resolve urinary leakage
Improved quality of life