The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the bladder and bowels. While all people have a pelvic floor, individuals with vaginas are more likely to experience problems with this area, especially if they have gone into menopause or given birth. Pelvic floor disorders can drastically impact your life, regardless of gender, so do not ignore the warning signs. If you suspect something is wrong with your pelvic floor, you need the best physical therapy near Cherry Hill.
Pelvic Floor Symptoms
As you grow older, you may notice increased pain and incontinence. While these may seem like natural parts of aging, the truth is that they may signal a severe disorder. Without proper treatment, you can develop infections or sustain long-term colon damage. As a result, it is essential to look out for symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Pain is one of the most common symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder. It can manifest in several ways:
- In the rectum
- In the genitals
- In the lower back
- In the pelvic region
- During urination
People with vaginas may also experience pain during penetrative sex.
Individuals with a pelvic floor disorder may also have trouble defecating, as their muscles lock up during bowel movements instead of relaxing. Unfortunately, they can also experience incontinence, which means accidental urination, flatulence or bowel movements, since the pelvic floor also encompasses the sphincter and bladder.
Physical Therapy Treatments For Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor physical therapy can significantly reduce symptoms by strengthening weak muscles. For example, a therapist may recommend Kegel exercises, which target support muscles for the following:
- Small intestines
Practicing Kegels is relatively simple, as it involves intentional relaxation and contraction of the pelvic floor. Your physical therapist can determine an exercise regimen that works best for you.
Biofeedback utilizes technology to measure your pelvic floor’s strength. A computer screen shows readouts from internal probes or external electrodes, which measure muscle contractions. Once the therapists place the devices, they direct patients to perform specific exercises and note the data. They will then use biofeedback throughout your treatment to gauge your progress.
Trigger Point Therapy
Sometimes exercise is not enough to relieve pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. In these cases, physical therapists may try trigger point therapy, also called trigger point injections. Trigger points are knots in muscle tissue, which can develop nearly anywhere on the body due to stress or strain. During trigger point therapy, a medical professional relaxes pelvic floor trigger points by injecting anti-inflammatory medication into the knot or inserting a dry needle.
If you experience muscle spasms, your physical therapist may suggest electrostimulation. Treatments last up to 30 minutes and require the insertion of a vaginal probe. The device mimics the effects of Kegel exercises by forcing the muscles to contract via a low-grade electrical current. Depending on your needs, your physical therapist may give you a device for home use or perform treatment in the clinic office.
You deserve to live without pain and incontinence. If you struggle with pelvic floor symptoms, search for “physical therapy near me.” Under the care of a medical professional, you can find relief and reclaim your life.