Pelvic floor therapy is a mainstay at Alliance Urology and we have an entire team of providers dedicated to this treatment for both male and female patients.
Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) is administered by a trained physical therapist and involves teaching techniques that can assist in pelvic muscle strengthening, relaxation, and coordination. According to Harvard Medical School, pelvic floor physical therapy is not only limited to relief of myofascial pelvic pain, but can also help to reduce other symptoms of pelvic floor problems. Some of these symptoms include urinary and anal incontinence, painful intercourse, and sexual dysfunction.
Pelvic floor therapy may also provide relief for women experiencing chronic pelvic pain, and may help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles for women who have given birth, had pelvic surgery, or who experience bladder weakness in age. If you experience any symptoms of pelvic floor problems, such as painful urination, constipation, back pain, pelvic muscle spasms, and pelvic pressure, pelvic floor therapy may be the right option for you.
If you suffer from any of the following conditions, pelvic floor therapy may be able to benefit you.
Vulvodynia is vulvar discomfort, categorized most commonly by burning pain. Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause tissue hypersensitivity, decreased blood flow, and referred pain to the vulva. PFPT has been shown to decrease the pelvic floor muscle response to pain, decrease the pelvic floor muscle tone, improve vaginal flexibility and to improve the pelvic floor muscle capacity.
Dyspareunia and vaginismus
Dyspareunia is characterized by pain during sexual intercourse, and vaginismus is characterized by a spasm of the pelvic floor muscles, making vaginal penetration difficult. PFPT can help improve muscle relaxation, normalize resting muscle activity, as well as increase vaginal elasticity and muscle awareness that can ultimately help relieve the symptoms associated with both dyspareunia and vaginismus.
Pelvic floor myofascial pain
Pelvic floor myofascial pain disorder generally includes short, tight, pelvic floor muscles that cause pain in the pelvic floor and in other referred pain areas. Symptoms include chronic vaginal discomfort and dyspareunia. PFPT is typically the first treatment option when it comes to myofascial pain and spasm.
Peripartum and postpartum period
Pregnancy and childbirth are common factors that can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. In fact, pelvic floor dysfunction can occur in 46% of women in the weeks following childbirth with up to 34% reporting urinary incontinence and 4% reporting fecal incontinence.
Anal incontinence includes gas, liquid, and stool incontinence. Fecal incontinence, also known as accidental bowel leakage, is the involuntary loss of solid or liquid stool. It is common for patients who experience fecal incontinence to also have urinary continence. PFPT for fecal incontinence may help to reduce incontinence episodes.
Stress urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary loss of urine. Certain activities such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, impact movements or squatting can prompt SUI. Around 25–45% of women experience stress urinary incontinence. PFPT is used to strengthen and support the pelvic floor structures to maintain continence and prevent urinary leakage.
Overactive bladder syndrome is characterized by a variety of symptoms including urinary urgency, frequency, and urgency incontinence.These symptoms are caused by involuntary contractions of the muscles within the bladder. PFPT can help manage overactive bladder symptoms by activating pelvic floor muscles to inhibit bladder muscle overactivity and to avoid urinary leakage.
Pelvic floor physical therapy for nonsurgical pelvic organ prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when there is weakness of the pelvic floor and connective tissue attachments to the pelvis causing abnormalities in the normal positioning in the pelvis. Women with pelvic organ prolapse usually complain of pelvic heaviness, fullness, low back pain, and/or problems with defecation. PFPT can improve muscle strength and coordination of the resting position of the uterus, bladder, and rectum to help alleviate symptoms.
Return to Urinary Function after Prostatectomy
When the male prostate is removed for cancer there is a loss of resistance in the urinary system often leading to stress urinary incontinence. We have a dedicated pre and post-op PFPT program tailored just for this! The program consists of pre-surgery education and therapy as well as post-surgery therapy to regain urine control more quickly and completely. This program is also appropriate for men who have had surgery elsewhere or years ago and are still not meeting their goals with urinary control.
Alliance Urology Specialists is now offering pelvic floor therapy that can assist with various pelvic floor disorders. If you are experiencing the symptoms of pelvic floor disorder, call our office at (336) 274-1114 to make an appointment.