31 Jan 2018
Although it is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help to improve bladder and bowel control, and reduce the likelihood of accidentally leaking from your bladder or bowel. Brill Physical Therapy adds pelvic floor training with all our core strengthening exercise to prevent future problems for our patients.
In order to understand how physical therapy helps pelvic pain or incontinence one needs a quick introduction to the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is literally the floor of the pelvis and like any floor, it needs to be strong enough to support anything that is resting on it. In women it is the bladder, uterus and bowel and, in men it is the bladder, prostate and bowel. The added complication of this floor is that it has to be both strong and flexible at the same time. In addition, it has to be able to relax to let urine and bowel movements through, and perform important functions during sexual activities and orgasm. Finally, for women, it has to be able to stretch an incredible amount during childbirth.
Benefits from pelvic floor training:
- Improve bladder and bowel control
- Reduce risk of prolapse
- Faster recovery from childbirth
- Quicker rehabilitationafter gynaecological surgery
- Improve recovery after prostate surgery
- Increase quality of life and social confidence
Risk Factors and Groups:
- Pregnant or Postnatal
- Ever had a baby
- Gynaecological Surgery
- Prostate Surgery
- Elite Athletes - doing high intensity/endurance training
Signs of a pelvic floor problem:
- Accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
- Needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
- Constantly needing to go to the toilet
- Accidentally losing your control of your bladder or bowel
- Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
- Pain in your pelvic area or
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- In women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
- In men this may be felt as a bulge in the rectum or a feeling of needing to defecate but not actually needing to go
- The only group who need pelvic floor training are women after childbirth
The truth is that pelvic floor training can help with patients experiencing a big variety of symptoms: urinary incontinence, difficulties in urination, bowel incontinence, constipation, abdominal pain, low back/Sacroiliac Joint pain, sexual dysfunction, pelvic or coccyx pain, vaginal or rectal pain, penile or testicular pain, as well as men and women prior to or after having pelvic surgery.
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises are done by stopping the flow of urine over the toilet
The truth is this is not an exercise, but merely one way to identify your pelvic floor muscles.
- If a person has already had surgery or is planning to have surgery, pelvic physical therapy won’t help them.
Brill Therapists usually work closely with surgeons to help patients achieve optimal recovery. Surgery will often correct an anatomical problem, but it is important to have improved muscular control and function to help a person attain optimal outcomes after surgery. Research has shown that physical therapy prior to and after surgery improves patient outcomes as well as reduces the need for future surgery.
- I don’t have any of these problems, so I don’t need to do pelvic floor exercises
Everyone (including women who haven't had a baby, and men) can benefit from doing pelvic floor muscle exercises.
For women, pelvic floor muscle training is important to control incontinence which may or may not start during pregnancy. Pelvic floor muscle exercises done during pregnancy will help the recovery of pelvic floor muscle function and bladder control after giving birth as well as assist in efficiency of deliver your baby.
For men, pelvic floor muscles not only help to control the bladder and bowel but they also assist in sexual function.
- Strong Pelvic Floor muscles are making birthing more difficult
Research shows that strong pelvic floor muscles may ease the birthing process and aide in a quicker recovery from both vaginal and caesarian delivery.
What to expect and how can Brill Physical Therapy help?
The first appointment at Brill Physical Therapy includes an interview and discussion about your experience, including your symptoms as well as medical history and lifestyle. Pelvic floor therapists are trained to be sensitive to how personal and intimate these topics and this part of your body can be. The therapist will then evaluate your posture, back and hips and they also explain how Brill Physical Therapy can help.
To complete the assessment, your Physical Therapist may need to conduct an internal exam. Internal examination helps to get a full sense of the strength and flexibility of your pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and fascia. For women, this will be through the vagina. For men and also some women, the exam is done rectally. In some cases an internal exam is not necessary or possible.
Brill Physical Therapy has 22 years of experience success fully treating pelvic floor and our therapists consider pelvic floor function with every exercise they prescribe.
Call Brill PT today at 212-333-7224 or 212-325-0961 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.