There’s a good chance that you or someone you know has been to physical therapy. Typically, people think that PT is useful for surgery recovery or treating neck or back pain. And it is useful for these purposes. However, did you know that there is a specific type of physical therapy that can help with pelvic floor issues? If you didn’t, you’re not alone, but pelvic floor physical therapy does exist and can offer many benefits to many different people.
What is pelvic floor physical therapy?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a unique type of PT that has one main goal: treat the symptoms and underlying issues behind pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD). PFD happens when the muscles of the pelvic floor become weak, overly tight or aren’t working together as they should. This condition can lead to many issues because the pelvic floor acts like the muscular foundation of organs like your bladder, rectum, uterus and vagina (in women), and prostate (in men).
And this condition happens more often than you might think. In fact, health study statistics show that 32% of women will experience PFD at least once in their lifetime. But it’s not just women. Another study reveals that 16% of men also have PFD.
Specialists in pelvic floor PT use science-backed techniques to address the specific issues with your pelvic floor. In addition, they’ll work with you to address lifestyle, environmental and other factors that likely caused your PFD in the first place.
Who can benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy?
It’s clear that both men and women can suffer from PFD, and those who do can benefit from pelvic floor PT. However, it’s possible to be even more specific about who this type of PT can benefit. The more specific list of people who can benefit from pelvic floor PT includes anyone:
- Having trouble evacuating their bowels (pooping).
- Experiencing incomplete bowel movements.
- Needing to use the restroom frequently.
- Feeling pain when straining during bowel movements.
- Experiencing continued leakage after urination or bowel movements.
- Feeling unexplained lower back pain.
- Experiencing chronic pain in their pelvic region.
- Having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection (men).
- Feeling pain during sex (women).
If you fall into one or more of these categories, you should get in touch with a medical professional. This can, in many states, include seeking help directly from a physical therapist without going to see your primary care provider first.
What benefits can you expect from pelvic floor physical therapy?
Pelvic floor PT can be used to benefit PFD sufferers in many different ways. The most common, and to many people, the most important, benefit this type of PT can offer is reduced pain. You see, the exercises and other techniques used in pelvic floor treatment plans are designed to address the root of your pelvic pain. It should come as no surprise then that medical studies have shown that custom pelvic floor PT plans can significantly ease pelvic pain.
However, there are additional benefits that these plans can offer to those suffering from PFD. Some of the these benefits include:
- Increasing pelvic floor muscle control — Before pelvic floor PT, many people don’t know that they can’t control their pelvic floor muscles. However, physical therapists can use techniques such as biofeedback to help you become more aware of your pelvic floor. This increased awareness can, in turn, help you have better control over your pelvic floor muscles.
- Helping to boost core strength — Most people think of the abs when someone says core muscles. But the pelvic floor muscles are also considered part of your core. By boosting pelvic floor muscle strength in PT, you’re also boosting your overall core strength.
- Increasing control over urination and bowel movements — An increase in pelvic floor strength and control can result in you having more control over your ability to go to the bathroom.
- Improving men’s and women’s sexual function — For women, pelvic floor PT can lead to less or even no pain during sex. For men, it can make it easier to get and maintain an erection.
These are just a few of the benefits that pelvic floor PT can offer, but you can find out even more about the benefits it can offer you personally. All it takes is an initial appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in this type of care.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find a pelvic floor PT specialist
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need.
Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address pelvic floor dysfunction and its symptoms with pelvic floor PT.
Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.
Come find help for your pelvic pain and other PFD symptoms today!