What’s Going On Down There?

Pelvic floor dysfunction is common, with research showing that 1 out of 5 men or women will have some form of dysfunction in his or her lifetime. Many times, patients are left without a concrete diagnosis and therefore minimal outlets for treatment. There is another answer: pelvic floor physical therapy.

There are several functions of the pelvic floor:

  1. Support: This region is mean to hold up the abdominal organs, keep tone of the vaginal and rectal muscles and maintain regular intra abdominal pressure
  1. Sphincter control: The pelvic floor is in charge of controlling the openings of the urethra, vagina and rectum, as well as urinary and rectal continence
  1. Sexual: These muscles regulate ability to orgasm and blood flow to the pelvis
  1. Stability of the lumbar spine, pelvis and hip complex: These muscles assist in joint stability of the sacroiliac, pubic symphysis, sacrococcygeal, jumbo pelvic and hip joints
  1.  “Sump pump:” This area performs as a venous and lymphatic pump for the pelvis

Pelvic floor dysfunction is therefore defined as a wide range of issues that occur when muscles of the pelvic floor are weak, tight, or there is an impairment of the sacroiliac joint, lower back, coccyx or hip joints. Because of this, the tissues surrounding the area may also be weak, restricted, hyper/hyposensitive or irritated resulting is pelvic pain or pelvic symptoms.

Commonly treated dysfunctions that can be seen by pelvic physical therapy include: pelvic pain, pre and post partum symptoms, urinary/fecal incontinence, vulvodynia, sexual health dysfunction, pelvic floor laxity, organ prolapse, dyspareunia (pain with intercourse), interstitial cystitis, post-op hysterectomy and post-op mastectomy.

A typical pelvic health examination with a specialized pelvic physical therapist will include a comprehensive examination of the all of the muscles and joints mentioned above, as well as as a thorough assessment of pelvic tissues themselves. This can include an external or internal palpation of the pelvic floor, which will be explained in detail before performing as to why this may be needed. You will also receive patient education on anatomy of the region and tips for management varying depending on your diagnosis.

If you have any questions, would like to speak with a pelvic health therapist personally, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Body Gears at (877) 709-1090.