The pelvic floor comprises muscles that support the urinary and reproductive tracts; this group of muscles also controls your bladder and bowels. In women, the pelvic floor keeps the bladder in the front and the vagina and rectum in the back. The uterus is held at the top of the pelvic floor muscles by tendons, muscles, and connective tissues. In men, the pelvic floor keeps the bladder, urethra, bowels, and bladder in place. Stretching muscles during childbearing and heavy lifting can weaken the muscles in the pelvic floor; this problem is called pelvic floor dysfunction. The good news is that pelvic floor therapy Boca Raton can help reduce symptoms such as constipation, peeing frequently, erectile dysfunction, pain during sex, and trouble controlling your bowels.
What is pelvic floor therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy is a type of physical therapy designed to relieve symptoms of pelvic floor muscles and restore the normal functioning of the muscles. The treatment includes several exercises that help your pelvic muscles relax and become stronger.
When you begin pelvic floor therapy, you will learn more about your symptoms through the help of a physical therapist. Your specialist will also examine your core muscles to see how strong they are and determine your core endurance. They will also have you try out certain activities and positions to check the coordination of your pelvic floor muscles.
Treatment modalities for pelvic floor dysfunction
These popular exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by contracting and relaxing them. Kegels can also help improve incontinence symptoms and relieve pain during sex. Your physical therapist will guide you to doing Kegels correctly to get the most out of this exercise.
- Trigger point therapy
This technique involves applying pressure on certain internal or external spots in your body called trigger points. These are sensitive areas in the muscle or connective tissue that are painful to touch and pressure. Sometimes healthcare providers inject anesthesia into the area to relieve pain.
- Electrical stimulation
This treatment delivers a painless electrical impulse through electrodes placed on your skin, anus, or vagina. The mild electrical stimulation helps reduce muscle spasms, pelvic pain, and swelling by causing muscles to contract and release.
How to assist your recovery
The good news is you can do things to speed up recovery and maintain the results. The following self-care practices will keep your recovery from pelvic floor dysfunction on track and improve your physical, mental, and overall life quality.
- Practice Kegel exercises regularly or as advised by your doctor
- Practice home stretches, as your physical therapist recommends
- Adhere or commit to a healthy living plan. For example, exercise regularly, drink enough water, get adequate sleep and engage in mind-body practices such as meditation, yoga, positive thinking, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques.
- Avoid straining when urinating or having a bowel movement
- Be consistent in the use of home devices recommended by your physical therapist. These include an electrical stimulator, a dilator and biofeedback machine
- Perform self-massage as taught by your physical therapist
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction, consult your doctor at MyDoc Women’s Health Specialist to learn how you can benefit from pelvic floor therapy.