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Posted by: laurel.peacock | Posted on: May 8th, 2013 | 0 Comments
Physical therapists who specialize in pelvic health work with patients who are experiencing issues with sexual function, pain or incontinence, as well as pre- and post-partum mothers, and those recovering from an injury or surgery.
Anyone who is suffering from the symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder should know that pelvic floor physiotherapy has an average success rate of between 50 and 80 percent.
In order to treat pelvic pain, women should see their doctor to find the cause, proper diagnosis and appropriate treatments. Physical therapy may not be appropriate for all causes of pelvic pain. For some of the leading causes of pelvic pain, like endometriosis, vulvodynia and interstitial cystitis, alternative therapies like dietary changes and acupuncture for pain relief may be recommended.
The chronic pelvic pain experienced by many women can be encompassed under the umbrella term Pelvic Floor Tension Myalgia. Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is a condition in which the pelvic floor, or the support system for the pelvic organs like the bladder, uterus and rectum, is not strong enough to function. This allows the pelvic organs to collapse into the vaginal canal.
Prolapse symptoms can include a heaviness or pressure in the low abdomen and lower back, as organs move downward out of place and rest against the vagina. In severe cases, pelvic organs can protrude from the vagina. Treatment can include injections, a pessary and/or surgery to repair the pelvic floor.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is experienced by the majority of women at some point in their lives. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the unintentional release of urine caused by everyday actions that put pressure on the bladder like coughing, laughing and sneezing.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy offers women an 85 percent chance of restoring continence. Like prolapse, surgery also can be an effective tool in treating SUI. However, because transvaginal mesh surgery has unique risks, women should discuss the safest surgical options with their doctor.
The pelvic floor is like any other muscle in your body—if you don’t use it, you lose it. The main function of the pelvic floor is to support pelvic organs, but it is also responsible for supporting the baby during pregnancy and helping during childbirth. It also plays a role in continence, balance, and sexual function and satisfaction. Suffice it to say, no one wants to lose it.
Biofeedback – led Kegel exercises are among the top tools used by physical therapists to teach women how to strengthen the pelvic floor. Biofeedback therapy helps patients and therapists isolate the pelvic floor muscles to ensure that Kegels are being performed correctly. Kegels should be performed daily.
Physical therapists also may use manual stimulation or various massage techniques, and can teach patients and their partners how to do these at home. They may also recommend incorporating yoga or Pilates, exercises that naturally promote a strong core, good posture and pelvic floor strength.
Linda Grayling is a content writer for Drugwatch.com. She educates the public about dangerous prescription drugs and defective medical devices.