Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy at a glance
- The pelvic floor is the group of muscles stretching from a woman’s tailbone (back) to pelvic bone (front) that serve as a physical support to local organs.
- Over time, movement of the pelvic floor muscle can adversely affect urination, bowel function and sexual intercourse.
- Pelvic floor therapy is intended to strengthen this collection of muscles through a series of non-surgical intervention.
- Physical therapists help women to retrain their pelvic floor muscles through outpatient sessions to return position, function and strength to a patient, typically within six to eight weeks.
Benefits of pelvic floor therapy
This pelvic floor helps to cushion – and keep in place – the bladder, uterus, rectum and urethra, which aids bladder retention. The coordinated muscle movement of relaxing and contracting in the pelvic floor allow for healthy function of the bladder and bowels.
Should the pelvic floor become weakened or damaged and a pelvic floor disorder occur (such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence and other storage and evacuation problems) pelvic floor therapy can help to “rewire” the brain and muscles to control the coordination of key muscle groups.
Every patient undergoing pelvic floor therapy will have a specialized program built around the level and frequency of rehabilitation needed.
Pelvic floor therapy is nonsurgical and has an 80 percent success rate in treating pelvic floor health problems.
What pelvic floor dysfunctions does the therapy address?
Pelvic floor therapy can be used to address a variety of problems such as:
- Rectal pain
- Fecal incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Urinary incontinence & frequent urination/frequent nightly urination
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Chronic constipation
- Pelvic floor prolapse
The length and type of therapy can only be assessed on an individual basis by a trained physician depending on a patient’s medical history and pelvic floor muscle measurements.
Biofeedback therapy involves placing a sensor near the pelvic floor muscles, which transmits the amount of force you’re exerting to a computer. The computer displays the results on a monitor so you can immediately see whether you are using the correct muscles. Once you get a sense of how to properly do the exercises, you can continue doing them without biofeedback therapy.
Pelvic floor stimulation
Using a sensor in both the vagina and rectum, signals are channeled into targeted muscle groups to gauge their strength and ability to constrict and relax properly to further help therapists to plan treatment exercises.
Post stimulation and follow-up
- Following the 6-8 weeks of exercise and stimulation, your therapist will put together an exercise program and schedule follow-up appointments to assess muscle coordination, strength and overall function.
- Patients typically will experience improvement in pelvic floor function 3-4 weeks following strength training.
Contact us to request an appointment with one of our Urogynecologists to learn if this nonsurgical therapy is an option to treat your pelvic floor disorder.