Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic floor therapy draws upon the principles of physical therapy to identify and treat pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor includes the muscles and ligaments that attach to the bones of the pelvis. The structures form a sling, providing support for the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Similar to other areas of the body, imbalances in the muscles can develop. Some become too tight, others lack tone, or most commonly, a combination occurs.  

Common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction:

  • Pelvic surgery
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Injury to the pelvis
  • Overuse of pelvic muscles – i.e. gymnastics, dance
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic low back or pelvic pain
  • Sexual trauma
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Aging

Common symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction:

  • Pain with intercourse
  • Painful periods
  • Incontinence (urine leakage with laughing, coughing, sneezing)
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty emptying bladder
  • Chronic constipation
  • Recurrent vaginal or urinary tract infections
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

An initial pelvic floor visit includes a short intake where you’ll be asked about your symptoms, followed by an evaluation for muscle tone, strength, and coordination. The exam is similar to a gynecologic exam, though no instruments (i.e. speculum) are used. Based on the findings, initial treatment will be performed. For trigger points (knots in muscles), gentle myofascial release techniques will be performed. For lack of tone or coordination, proper Kegel technique will be taught. An individualized treatment plan with at-home stretches and exercises will be provided. The number of treatments needed varies based on symptoms and your response, though most require 4-6 once weekly sessions.


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