Updated: Jan 10, 2020
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles located in the lower abdomen and pelvis. In this sense, they are responsible for functions such as continence and support of the pelvic organs (being able to help eliminate bowels and bladder control), in addition to stabilizing the lower back and intervening in the posture. There are also links that show the pelvic floor is important for breathing and rib cage control.
The injury of this musculature can occur in anyone, but it is predominant in women who have had one or more births. For various reasons, talking about this topic is not very common and patients see their quality of life diminished due to embarrassment or from ignorance of the very effective and accessible forms of treatment such as physiotherapy aka physical therapy.
What symptoms cause pelvic floor dysfunction?
The most frequent symptoms in the dysfunctions that the pelvic floor can suffer are:
Lumbar and pelvic pain, both acute and chronic
Urinary, fecal or gaseous incontinence
Weak Urine Stream
Prolapses of pelvic organs
All of these can be treated through physiotherapy and physical exercise and manual therapy techniques. These therapies should be guided by a professional who will make a clinical history and do a thorough physical examination in order to personalize the intervention and achieve maximum benefits.
What happens in a first session of pelvic floor physiotherapy?
To begin with, a series of questions are carried out, both of a urogynecological and obstetric nature, as well as of emotional involvement and current physical condition.
Next, the potential diagnosis proposed in the first part of the session is confirmed with an assessment and physical examination. We only do external work at Rehab and Revive Physical Therapy (some may assess internally but we do not) and tie it all in with a holistic assessment of your nerves and function.
Finally, a treatment plan is designed in order to achieve the patient's objectives according to the indications and supervision of the physiotherapist.
What kind of physiotherapy techniques are used to treat the pelvic floor?
Depending on the person and the symptoms they present, the treatment will be focused in one way or another. Some of the techniques used are:
Muscle training, through directed Kegel exercises (contractions of the pelvic floor muscles) and use of Chinese balls
Hands on Neuromechanical Therapy work, myofascial therapy, stretching and treatment of muscular contractures, adhesions, and/or weaknesses
Abdominal and core stabilizing exercises
Generally, the first way to try to solve the problems generated by a weakened pelvic floor is conservative treatment through physiotherapy. Performing strengthening exercises, such as Kegels, can in most cases improve the tone and elasticity of this musculature.
However, there are diagnostic and treatment techniques that, combined with these fundamental exercises, will be used by the pelvic floor physiotherapist so that recovery is quicker and more efficient in each case.
The combined work of a table of strengthening exercises and the right techniques will have more effective and faster results when established with progressions.
The physiotherapist aka Physical Therapist will assign the treatments that best suit your case.
Conclusions and benefits of physiotherapy of the pelvic floor
In conclusion, physiotherapy of the pelvic floor is a very effective and beneficial tool which can be used to treat problems such as incontinence and pain, as well as decrease and control the symptoms of prolapses in this area. It also serves to improve the physical wellbeing of women who seek to become pregnant; the intervention being very positive both during the process of mot
herhood and in the postpartum period. That is why giving visibility and offering a good service can greatly help to promote the comfort, health and self-esteem of many people. Contact us at Rehab and Revive to receive a personalized treatment from the most qualified professionals in the area. We’re here for your well being!