Today, a substantial number of women battle pelvic floor dysfunction, leading more and more women to seek out pelvic floor therapy. The pelvic floor is a collection of muscles located on the base of your pelvic and those muscles render support to various organs in the area. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition where a patient is unable to relax and coordinate her pelvic floor muscles in order to urinate or perform a bowel movement. Other side effects or signifiers of pelvic floor dysfunction include pain during sex.
Causes of pelvic floor disorder
Full causes of pelvic floor disorder are not known, however Studies are underway to unearth the full causes of the problem. Still, scientists have discovered some of the known causes including injuries caused to the pelvic region, pregnancy, live birth, pelvic surgery, obesity, and aging. Although various options for curing the problem exist, pelvic floor therapy yields better results.
Symptoms of Pelvic floor disorder
Patients dealing with the issue may want to look for unusual symptoms in the area. If you frequently need to use your bathroom or feel pain while urinating, consult a specialist - your doctor may be able to refer you to a urologist or a pelvic floor therapy provider depending on your symptoms. Urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence, or constipation are other signs that indicate the problem.
Treatment for pelvic floor disorder
When it comes to curing the condition, women have a slew of options. However, sticking to non-invasive treatments is the best bet for alleviating the issues and symptoms surrounding the disorder. The following are the popular routes used for healing:
Pelvic floor therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a treatment that employs the principles of physical therapy to offer an effective, structured, and safe reconditioning of your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor therapy aims at improving the function and strength of pelvic floor muscles while alleviating weakness and pain.
During pelvic floor therapy, a skilled therapist accesses your muscles through the vagina or rectum. The therapist will then manipulate them in order to improve the functioning and strength of the muscles. The therapist may stretch the muscles if they're contracted and short. If they're dysfunctional and weak, they may apply resistance to boost strength. Pelvic floor therapy will differ depending on each persons body, needs and associated issues.
A PT may also help you put together a treatment plan including stretching exercises for your trunk, legs, or pelvic muscles, and relaxation exercises for contracted muscles. Coordination exercises, heat stimulation, and self-management also be included. If you are looking for a pelvic floor PT in your area you can find one using this directory.
Non-invasive treatments related to pelvic floor therapy
Common techniques include:
Pelvic floor exercises
These exercises are a staple of pelvic floor therapy and rehabilitation. Popularly called Kegels, these workouts build and maintain strength in your muscle group that supports your vagina, rectum, and bladder.
One should hold and lift the pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds and then release them for 5 seconds. One should repeat the exercises 10 times per session and 3 times a day. Over time, you might see visible results. The drawback - over-dependency or over-exercising can result in loss of sense of your pelvic floor, so be sure to consult a pelvic floor pt on the right regime for you.
Stress can also factor into aggravating pelvic floor issues. Relaxation techniques can bring down your stress level, thus easing symptoms or associated disorders. Acupuncture, meditation, and warm baths are worth mentioning here. Holistic medicine, like acupuncture, can actually be a great technique to help ease symptoms like UI - you can find out more about acupunctures benefits here, and look for acupuncturists here.
Often your PT will use videos and vaginal sensors to monitor your muscles when you try to clench or relax them. Based on the feedback, the expert will work to enrich muscle coordination. Your PT can tell you if this is the right means of gaining bodily feedback, as it doesn’t work for all bodies.
These tube-shaped devices can be placed inside the vagina to stretch tight tissues. Regular use relaxes muscles and eases the pain. The downside is they some discomfort and don't work for all patients. Consult with your doctor or specialist to see if a dilator might be right for you and for instruction on usage.
If pelvic muscles show little to no response, a therapist may apply low electric current to coordinate the contraction of your muscles. Stimulation can minimize muscle spasms and pain. This again is not right for every body, and you should have a conversation with your specialist about usage and the right level of stimulation.
While you are working with a therapist to strengthen the pelvic floor, if UI or bowel incontinence is a symptom you are experiencing using the right products can help you continue to lead a normal lifestyle. Be sure to use products designed for incontinence as period products do not work to absorb urine properly. It is also important to use products that are gentle on skin, and to change them often to avoid infection. For help figuring out the right product you can check out this guide.
Battling pelvic floor disorder can be difficult and managing symptoms can be not only physically but psychologically taxing. However, pelvic floor disorder is treatable and even curable in some cases through non-invasive treatments such as pelvic floor dysfunction exercises and other options. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is best to identify the problem early by consulting a medical expert. A professional will diagnose your problem and recommend you the best course of action.
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