You might have seen ads for pelvic health physiotherapy and wondered how a physiotherapist could assist you with your pelvic health. When we think of physiotherapists, we usually think of those who treat pain and orthopaedic issues, but there are many other types of physiotherapy treatment.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy treatment is a subset of physiotherapy that focuses on the internal and external assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles, placed between the hip bones and the sacrum, act as a bowl to support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, colon, and uterus.
What Exactly Is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Pelvic health physiotherapy is a treatment method that employs physical therapy principles to deliver an effective, structured reconditioning of muscles. The treatment’s goal is to enhance the function and strength of the pelvic floor muscles while also alleviating pain, weakness, and dysfunction in the muscles.
During treatment, a skilled physical therapist enters the rectum or vagina and manipulates the muscles to enhance their strength and function. If the muscles are contracted and short, the specialist may stretch them or use resistance to build strength if they are dysfunctional and weak.
How Does This Treatment Work?
Pelvic floor therapy starts with a history of previous surgical and health history, sexual, medications, gynecologic, or obstetric background. A comprehensive orthopedic examination is conducted, with special emphasis on the lumbar spine and hips, as well as posture. Patients are frequently required to walk, stand, and sit during the assessment to allow the therapist to identify any current posture or joint problems influencing the pelvic floor muscles.
The evaluation assists in determining whether the therapy is acceptable and in creating a suitable care plan. Moreover, the kind of treatment advised is usually determined by the signs experienced. Soothing and lengthening muscle exercises, for instance, may be required to relieve some symptoms, whereas strengthening exercises might well be suitable in other cases.
When Should Physiotherapy Treatment For Pelvic Health Be Use?
Pelvic health physiotherapy focuses on the ligaments, muscles and connective tissues of the pelvic floor, which collaborate to support the pelvic organs, make a contribution to sexual arousal and orgasm, and aid in bladder and bowel control. The tissues, which are attached to the pelvis, tailbone, and sacrum, work together to support the urinary and reproductive tract, which includes the prostate, uterus, rectum, bladder, vagina, and urethra.
They offer pelvic stability and encourage proper pelvic organ function, including sexual and voiding function, posture and breathing. Pain and symptoms that interfere with normal functioning happen when pelvic muscles fail to function properly.
Moreover, physiotherapy treatment for the pelvic floor and orthopaedic rehabilitation can help with the following:
- Incontinence, frequency, and urgency of urination
- Bowel and bladder movements
- Fecal incontinence
- Pain in the genital parts or painful sex
- Menopause signs
- Rectal pain
- Pain in the abdomen, hip, low back, or thigh
- Unexplained pain
- Rectal pain
- Testicular discomfort
- Pregnancy-related pain
Who Would Benefit From Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy treatment is recommended as a first-line treatment for many pelvic floor disorders. Exercises can be performed by both men and women with weak pelvic floor muscles to strengthen the floor and improve bladder and bowel control.
A doctor will immediately refer you for therapy if the cause of the pelvic floor dysfunction is assumed to be neuromuscular. The dysfunction can be caused by ageing, childbirth, illness, surgery, or other factors. It can coexist with other genitourinary issues like urinary, faecal, bladder, and constipation.
When patients have chronic pelvic pain, incontinence, painful intercourse, or difficulty with bowel movements or urination, they are related to pelvic floor therapy. Women may seek treatment from pelvic floor physiotherapists for endometriosis or vaginismus, while men may seek treatment for premature ejaculation.
Pelvic exercises are helpful for women who are less likely to experience bowel and bladder issues, vaginal prolapse or who are recovering from childbirth. The treatment also allows men who have had prostate surgery to recover faster, reduce the risk of rectal prolapse, and improves bladder and bowel control.
Is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Effective?
While pelvic physical therapy may appear unusual and invasive, it is extremely effective. Patients have a high success rate and a higher quality of life after treatment, though efficacy is dependent on the severity of the condition being treated. Treatment for myofascial pelvic pain with the therapy takes 6-8 one-hour sessions over a few weeks but may take several months in extreme cases. Patients may also need to return for follow-up care to keep their problems under control.
Are you or a loved one experiencing pelvic pain and other symptoms? You should be aware that pelvic pain isn’t really normal and that prompt treatment is critical. The longer you are in pain, the more likely your nerve receptors will become sensitised to it. Therefore, your body’s response to pain will be heightened, making it more serious and challenging to treat. So, if you have unexplained chronic pelvic pain, see a specialist as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.