Pelvic floor disorders can have a significant impact on the quality of a person’s life. For many people, topics surrounding pelvic health are better left unsaid. Yet, people who do talk about it are often surprised to realize how common these problems are, especially in women. Statistics show approximately 1 in 3 women in the U.S. experience pelvic floor dysfunction, according to the National Institutes of Health & Science Daily.
PLEASE NOTE: Although we primarily hear about women having pelvic floor dysfunction, men also experience pelvic health difficulties!
What You Should Know
The term “pelvic floor” refers to the group of muscles that attach onto and within the pelvis and aid in supporting the pelvic, spinal and abdominal structures. Pelvic floor dysfunction can refer to pain with sex or exercise and daily activities, urinary or fecal incontinence, feelings of heaviness or bulging between the legs (prolapse), nerve pain, and sexual dysfunction, and even though these symptoms can affect millions of people, many cases of pelvic floor dysfunction go untreated. According to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25% of women in the U.S. live with one or more disorders of the pelvic floor.
Whether people believe that this type of pain is something they should learn to live with or they’re just not aware that pelvic floor treatment is available to them, it seems clear that the general public is not clued in to the fact that pelvic health is an issue that can be addressed with the help of a knowledgeable medical team, including physicians, pelvic health physical therapists, and even psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, and/or other alternative treatment methods.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a broad term that refers to problems that can arise from pelvic floor muscles that are weak, tight, a combination of both, or have poor coordination contributing to bowel, bladder or sexual dysfunction. Although both men and women may be affected, women are particularly vulnerable to pelvic floor disorders. For women, it is often related to hormonal changes, pregnancy and childbirth, menopausal changes, or even stress.
Common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include (source):
urinary issues, such as the urge to urinate, painful urination, or leaking.
Constipation, painful bowel movements, or urgency
lower back pain
pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
discomfort during sexual intercourse
pressure in the pelvic region or rectum
muscle spasms in the pelvis
How can physical therapy help with pelvic floor dysfunction?
Physical therapy can help with pelvic floor dysfunction by working to strengthen the weakened muscles or relaxing muscles that may be too tight. Through a combination of manual therapy techniques, down training, custom exercises, stretching and patient education, your physical therapist can work with you to pinpoint the cause of your pelvic floor dysfunction and create a plan of care that is unique to your body and specific symptoms.
Still have questions? Would you like to book an appointment?
If you would like more information or would like to speak to an experienced physical therapist in Miami, Florida, you can contact me via phone at (305)-982-7595, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply fill out an online form. To schedule an appointment, click here.
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