Many questions come to mind with the term Pelvic Floor therapy (PFT). This article is meant to break down PFT and aid in gaining a better understanding of these unrated interventions.
What is your pelvic floor?
Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments and bones working together to provide support to your organs, allow you to have normal bowel movements, urinate and engage in sexual functioning. There are different layers of your pelvic floor (think about your shoulder and how it is composed of multiple muscles as well) to work together to function as a whole. Pelvic Floor therapy can address a multitude of issues: pain, preparation for childbirth, correction of urinary as well as fecal incontinence, returning you to “normal” post childbirth and promoting overall wellness throughout your day to day lives are just a few examples.
What can I expect during a treatment?
With Pelvic Floor Therapy the clinician will assess your body from head to toe. They will observe your posture, check your alignment (different then your car’s oil change), test for areas of restriction (tightness) and strength of both the internal and external muscles as well as the pliability of your muscles. During the internal assessment you will be fully draped and the clinician will use one gloved finger with lubricant, to access the pelvic floor muscles either vaginally or rectally. The goal is to gain a better understanding of how the muscles are functioning. We are able to release the pelvic floor muscles, which is just like any other muscle in the body which may get tight and weak. With this trigger point release we are able to promote blood flow and work directly on strengthening if needed. With open education of the findings from the assessment, together we can then create a plan of care.
Do I need it?
Whether your female or male, your body goes through numerous changes throughout the lifecycle. Here at Wellest we specialize in male and female pelvic health, cancer care, complex conditions, pregnancy, postpartum, LGBTQ care and advanced body work.
How do you know if you have a pelvic floor issue?
An “issue” can be a broad term in regards to dysfunction, abnormalities, pain or something that just feels “off”. Here we will explore some common pelvic floor “issues”.
Incontinence: This is the involuntary loss of urine or feces. This can occur with movement (running, jumping, sneezing, laughing), experiencing a strong urge and not having the ability to “hold it in” or after a traumatic event (child birth or injury to hip, lower back, etc). Incontinence usually occurs because the muscles of the pelvic floor are too weak or too tightened resulting in leakage.
Discomfort/Pain: This can include pain with intercourse, initial penetration, burning or tightness when urinating/moving your bowels or inability to wear tight clothing.
Constipation: This is when one’s stool becomes difficult to pass. This can include lack of bowel movements, difficulty physically moving bowels on your own, significant bloating, gas or discomfort along the abdominal area.
Pressure: This pressure can feel like heaviness along the front or back of your pelvic floor area. It may feel like something is “falling out” or out of place.
With these above “issues” pelvic floor therapy at Wellest has the ability to address all of them. Here we address not only the root of the problem but give you tools in the future to prevent any future issues from developing.
We look forward to seeing you soon and please reach out with any questions you may have!
Rachel Benjamin, PT