The pelvic floor consists of muscles that support the bladder, bowel, and other pelvic organs. When these muscles are weak, this can lead to dysfunction, which leads to multiple issues. Both men and women can have pelvic floor dysfunction, although women tend to experience this condition more frequently. Movement and exercise can help keep these muscles strong, and seeking physical therapy in Phoenix is beneficial if you have pelvic floor issues.
Why It Is Important to Keep Moving
No matter where they are located, muscles need to be exercised in order to get stronger. The pelvic floor muscles are no exception. When they become weak, this can lead to incontinence or prolapse. Other muscles in the body are also connected to the pelvic floor, so when the pelvis is weak, it causes the other muscles to work harder, which can eventually lead to imbalances, and hip pain or low back pain can result.
Unlike exercises for larger muscles of the body, pelvic floor exercises are more subtle and less strenuous. Common movements that support the pelvic floor include:
- Quick squeeze and release of the muscles
For people with weak pelvic floor muscles, there are also exercises to avoid, as they can further weaken the muscles. These include double leg lifts, high-impact activities, sit-ups with legs in the air, and heavy lifting.
Why You Should Enlist the Help of a Physical Therapist
When you search for a physical therapy clinic near me, make sure there are therapists that have experience working with pelvic floor issues.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
How do you know if you have pelvic floor dysfunction? There are various symptoms, such as:
- Pain in the pelvis, rectum, genitals, or coccyx
- Difficulty urinating
- Long-term constipation
- Painful intercourse
- Urinary leakage
- Pain following a hysterectomy
Experiencing recurring urinary tract infections may also indicate pelvic floor dysfunction.
How a Physical Therapist Can Help
A physical therapist will first discuss your symptoms and medical history and then will conduct an exam of your lumbar spine, pelvic muscles, and surrounding muscles. Based on her findings, she will recommend a treatment plan.
Treatment focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and releasing tension of surrounding tissues. Manual therapy, which includes trigger point therapy, is often used to do this. Dry needling may also be used to release trigger points. Your therapist may also use electrical stimulation to activate pelvic floor muscles or laser therapy to heal the muscles.
The physical therapist also assists with exercises to strengthen the area. You may also be given exercises to do at home, as the more frequently you engage the pelvic floor and supportive muscles, the quicker you will improve. Expect to attend a series of sessions, as it generally takes a number of appointments to heal the area.
Pelvic floor issues are common, and they are especially common after giving birth. Women can strengthen and heal the area with the help of physical therapists. Because of the high demand, experienced therapists do not have trouble finding physical therapy jobs near me.