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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Coping With Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be difficult to live with. The Holistic Healing Center reveals how to cope with this condition, common symptoms, and more.
For a lot of people, especially females, the pelvic floor does not work as effectively as it should. Almost one in every four women have a pelvic floor disorder.
Pelvic floor dysfunction means you cannot control your muscles in the pelvic floor. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at pelvic floor dysfunction in further detail, revealing common symptoms and pelvic floor dysfunction treatment options.
What Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction means you cannot control your pelvic floor muscles.
Your pelvic floor is a number of ligaments and muscles in your pelvic area. The pelvic floor acts as a sling, supporting the organs in your pelvis, including your rectum, bladder, and prostate, or uterus.
Relaxing and contracting these muscles enables you to control urination, bowel movements, and for females especially, sexual intercourse.
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction, it may mean that you contract your muscles instead of relaxing them. This may mean that you have trouble having a bowel movement and may suffer from constipation or hemorrhoids.
When untreated, pelvic floor dysfunction can cause infection, long-term colon damage, or discomfort.
It is important to recognize that pelvic floor dysfunction can refer to a number of issues, as there are many things that can cause the pelvic floor to function incorrectly.
There are often related impairments of the hip joint, coccyx, low back, and/or sacroiliac joint that comes with this condition, causing loss of function and contributing to the pain.
As the anatomy is so complex and the pelvic region has numerous functions, it is often challenging to determine the underlying cause of pelvic pain. To resolve symptoms, the entire body must be treated holistically.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
While research is still being carried out into the exact causes of this condition, doctors can link pelvic floor dysfunction to events or conditions that tear connective tissue or cause the pelvic muscles to weaken. Examples include:
- Nerve damage
- Pelvic surgery
- Traumatic injury to the pelvic region
What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
There are several symptoms of this condition. This includes:
- Muscle spasms in your pelvis
- Pressure in the rectum or pelvic region
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse for women
- Pain in the rectum, genitals, or pelvic region
- Lower back pain
- Hip or tailbone pain
- Bowel strains or constipation
- Urinary issues, such as painful urination or the urge to urinate
How Can Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Be Treated?
The aim of pelvic floor treatment is getting the pelvic floor muscles to contract or relax so that you have more control of your bowel and bladder. Others are seeking pain relief during intercourse and this is something that pelvic floor therapy can definitely help with. Most people will look to pelvic floor dysfunction exercises as part of physical therapy treatment so that they can avoid surgery.
Physical therapists that are experts in treating pelvic pain can identify and address the different contributing factors of pelvic floor dysfunction. They will put together a specific treatment regimen that is geared toward your individual needs. Here are some of the techniques that may be incorporated into the plan:
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Physical Therapy
Physical therapy involves the therapist determining which muscles in your pelvic floor, pelvis, and lower back are really tight. Your therapist will perform manual therapy to gently release these tight muscles. Your therapist will also teach you how to relax them yourself. You will then learn pelvic floor exercises so you can stretch and strengthen these muscles so their coordination can be enhanced.
Biofeedback is often done alongside physical therapy, as it is also conducted with the help of a physical therapist.
Biofeedback is shown to help more than 75 percent of people with this condition. It is not painful either, which is always a relief!
There are numerous ways that biofeedback can be used to retrain your muscles. For instance, your physical therapist could use video and special sensors to monitor your muscles in your pelvic floor while you are trying to clench them or relax them. After this, your therapist will work with you, giving you feedback and assistance to improve the coordination of your muscles.
A lot of physical therapists will recommend different relaxation techniques to try as well. This includes things like acupuncture, exercises and yoga, warm baths, and meditation.
Do I need to Have Surgery to Treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
A lot of people are worried about having surgery, and that’s understandable. When it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction, there is not a surgery that can treat this. This is because the issue is with your muscles. Therefore, it is unlikely that surgery will be recommended for those with pelvic floor dysfunction. While there are procedures to lift a prolapse, there is no surgery, medication, or injection that can strengthen or stretch your muscles. Making an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist is crucial to resolving the issue even if you have had surgery.
What Makes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Worse?
It can take a number of months of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction before your symptoms begin to get better. Because of this, it is important to be patient, no matter how hard this can be. If you do not practice your exercises and you skip physical therapy appointments, this is only going to slow down the healing process.
Any sort of activity that increases the pain or tension in your pelvic floor muscles can make the symptoms get worse. For example, repetitive jumping or heavy weightlifting can increase the tension in your pelvic floor, making the symptoms get worse.
If you have issues with constipation because of gas pain, abdominal bloating, or hard bowel movements, then you should watch your diet closely and you may want to consult with your doctor for further assistance.
It is vital to eat a healthy diet and to drink plenty of glasses of water; at least eight per day. Avoiding chemicals, gluten, and artificial sweeteners can help reduce the urgency to urinate. Too much caffeine can make it harder to control your urine when you have pelvic floor dysfunction. Your physical therapist and doctor can work with you to help you learn what triggers affect you.
Contact Us For Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Physical Therapy
If you have been diagnosed with dysfunction of the pelvic floor or are worried that you may have this condition, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. There is no script required and most insurances are accepted at Holistic Healing Center.
Meet Our Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Team
What is Women’s Health?
“They listen to everything you have to say. Every single person I’ve encountered has been very sweet, understanding and informative. Easy to schedule with. I’ve seen a handful of doctors elsewhere and no one has helped as much as Dr. Nancy and Dr. Bri has helped in the last month. Highly recommend. Dr. Nancy is also very knowledgeable with pelvic floor issues and that is hard to find!”
~ M. K.
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~ D. S.