How does physical therapy help?
Physical therapists are trained to evaluate and treat the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. We address the site of pain or weakness and create a plan of care to prevent additional episodes. During treatment, home programs are critical to create new health habits, self-treat, and manage pain flare-ups.
Skilled, specialized pelvic floor physical therapy addresses several aspects of pelvic floor dysfunction. As physical therapists we evaluate and treat:
- strength, weakness or overactivity of the pelvic floor and other muscles
- flexibility and tissue pliability of the pelvic floor and other muscles
- movement impairments and retrain for optimal neuromuscular coordination and control
- weakness in the abdominal wall (including diastasis recti abdominus) and supporting pelvic and hip muscles
- myofascial and visceral restrictions
“Physical therapists are evidence-based health care professionals who offer cost-effective treatment that improves mobility and relieves pain, reduces the need for surgery and prescription drugs, and allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.” —American Physical Therapy Association
Pelvic floor muscles can present as weak, tight, asymmetrical between sides, or difficulty initiating a contraction. Through an evaluation and treatment by a pelvic health therapist, you can discover which cues work best for you for optimal contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor.
Here are some ways a tight pelvic floor can show up:
- Urinary urgency
- Urinary frequency
- Urinary leakage
- Pain with vaginal penetration
- Pain with sitting
- Back, hip, or abdominal pain
Here are some ways a weak pelvic floor can show up:
- Urinary or fecal leakage
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Weakness in the core
- As a contributing factor to back or hip pain
In addition to manual therapy and neuromuscular reeducation, physical therapists prescribe corrective exercise for the client to self-manage symptoms and maintain optimal movement patterns and functional strength.
How we treat
In our clinical practice, we integrate several styles of manual therapy, corrective exercise, biofeedback, yoga, and address pain with neuroscience education. Manual therapy techniques include:
- myofascial release
- visceral mobilization
- functional mobilization
- strain counterstrain
- craniosacral therapy
- joint mobilization
- soft tissue mobilization
We don’t just treat the part of the body where the pain and weakness is showing up. We look beyond that area to identify the cause of the pain or weakness and how to prevent it in the future. Retraining core stability, breathing patterns, and movement patterns help eliminate the cause of the dysfunction.
Our bodies take us through our life experiences, complete with injury and normal wear and tear, and it is our goal to empower our clients to create and maintain healthy musculoskeletal habits.