Pelvic Health encompasses a wide array of issues including pain, incontinence, and other potentially embarrassing issues that most “brush off” as a part of life and aging. However, you do not need to settle and live with the issues. There is hope.
Enablr Therapy has highly-qualified physical therapists that specialize in pelvic health and are ready to help to make positive changes in your life. Keep reading to learn more about some of the common focuses.
Many women believe that bladder control will eventually fail with age, causing leakage with coughing, sneezing, laughter and other activities. While this can happen, our pelvic health physical therapists will teach you how to strengthen your pelvic floor. There are several daily exercises that can promote bladder control, like kegels and diaphragmatic breathing. Start these exercises anywhere, as they work small, fine movements through the pelvic floor.
Pre- and Post-Prostatectomy
Did you know that men can also benefit from kegel exercises? After the prostate is removed, one of the major issues is loss of bladder control. These exercises become important during recovery!
Many doctors are sending their patients to physical therapy before surgery to become educated on exercises like kegels, techniques to decrease frequency and urgency, and strategies to manage potential post-surgical pain. After surgery, the patient generally returns to physical therapy for a short time to review and implement what they learned. This education helps to improve quality of life and promote freedom away from the restroom.
Do you immediately get the urge to use the restroom as you are trying to put your key in the door when you get home, causing you to do the “pee dance?” Or, do you find yourself waking up frequently throughout the night to urinate, constantly interrupting your sleep? These are not normal behaviors and can be helped! Triggers, like putting the key in the door, can take over your life and limit what activities you enjoy.
Cause & Treatment
Frequency is an issue that builds over time from continuously emptying your bladder when only a quarter full (or less). After several occurrences, your bladder then programs to empty every time it is only a quarter full, even while sleeping. A pelvic health physical therapist can teach you to take control of these urges. With suppressive breathing and mindfulness techniques, your brain and bladder will reprogram reducing urge and frequency.
Intimacy is an important part of a relationship. If pain is occurring during sexual intercourse, it is imperative to address it. Reducing pain will not only stop physical discomfort but negative emotions.
Cause & Treatment
Painful intercourse can arise for several reasons. Trauma and having an overactive pelvic floor are two of the main causes. Depending on the diagnosis, a pelvic health physical therapist can help with multiple methods. Such as redirecting thoughts, deep breathing techniques, and performing deep stretches to eliminate tightness through the pelvic floor and improve sensation.
Although it is often overlooked, mothers benefit from physical therapy both before and after giving birth. Birth is a traumatic experience to the body. Most moms are not prepared for the overall body strength and postural exercises to follow.
Preparing for Birth
Mothers can experience separations in their abdominal muscles, known as diastasis, as the baby grows. This can result in a hernia if improper form and pressure are added during exercises or daily activities. Pelvic health physical therapists work with moms-to-be to guide them in stretching their pelvic floors in preparation for birth.
After giving birth, there also may be trauma and/or tightness in the pelvic floor. Pelvic health physical therapists can assist new moms with any pain, discomfort, and strengthening needed. It is important that moms take care of themselves too!
There are many reasons a person may experience constipation: including diet, medications, activity level, toilet sitting position and breathing techniques, bowel obstructions, etc. However, our therapists are prepared to address each. Most commonly, people think of adjusting food intake to include more fiber and reviewing medications with a doctor as ways to manage constipation. While true, it is not the entire list. There are sitting positions, intestinal massage and breathing techniques that can also help to stimulate bowel movements. Have you heard of a “Squatty Potty?” A pelvic health physical therapist can help to provide recommendations and education in these areas.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
A prolapse of the pelvic organs (bladder, rectum, uterus, etc.) can cause strange sensations, pain and discomfort, and disruptions of daily activities. Depending on the degree of your prolapse, physical therapy is a great option to help reverse the effects of a prolapse. Through mild introverted positioning, kegel exercises with diaphragmatic breathing, and a retraining of when, and how, to perform kegels throughout the day, a prolapse can correct itself. The pelvic health physical therapists can assess the degree of prolapse, help to address it and create a long-term plan to maintain positioning of the pelvic organ.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction/SI Joint Pain
If squatting, walking, sitting, laying down, and/or exercising creates pain through your pelvic floor or hips, you most likely need pelvic floor therapy. There are several causes of pelvic floor dysfunction, whether it be that your hips are misaligned, you have tighter muscles on one side, or that your whole pelvic floor is weak. Your physical therapist will be able to assess your hip alignment, strength, and flexibility to determine the appropriate course of action. Glute and core strengthening exercises help to stabilize and support the pelvic floor, while proper stretching helps with mobility and decreased stiffness of joints. A pelvic health physical therapist can assess and create an individualized program for your unique needs.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the pelvic health issues above, contact us to get scheduled with a licensed professional and see how Enablr Therapy can help. Our incredible Physical Therapists that specialize in Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation and can help you thrive.