Everything You Need to Know About Pelvic Floor Therapy

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One-third of American females have pelvic floor disorders (PFD), and 377,000 women in the US opted to have surgery in 2010 to correct a pelvic floor disorder such as a bladder control problem of pelvic floor prolapse, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

There are three types of pelvic floor disorders:

  1. Urinary incontinence (insufficient bladder control)
  2. Fecal incontinence (insufficient bowel control)
  3. Pelvic organ prolapse (“a condition in which the uterus, bladder and bowel may ‘drop’ onto the vagina and cause a bulge through the vaginal canal,” described a contributor to UChicago Medicine.)

“For many people, particularly women, the pelvic floor does not work as well as it should. Almost one-quarter of women face pelvic floor disorders, according to a study funded the National Institutes of Health.” — UChicago Medicine

The Causes of Pelvic Floor Disorders

Pelvic floor disorders develop when, according to the UChicago Medicine website, “the ‘sling’ or ‘hammock’ that supports the pelvic organs becomes weak or damaged.” The primary cause of pelvic floor disorders is childbirth, obesity, heavy lifting over a period of time, and genetic predisposition to pelvic floor disorders.

Who Can Treat PFD?

There are many healthcare professionals who are qualified to treat pelvic floor disorders, including…

  • Urologists
  • Urogynecologists
  • Colorectal surgeons
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Plastic/reconstructive surgeons
  • Radiologists
  • Nurses  
  • Physiotherapists

Any of these types of healthcare professionals might be very helpful in treating pelvic floor disorders. Let’s take a closer look at the role physiotherapists play in helping individuals with PFD recover.

How Physiotherapy Treats Pelvic Floor Disorders

PFD can be treated successfully by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can reduce the number and severity of PFD symptoms in many patients. When a physiotherapy program is adhered to for the recommended length of time, PFD patients may:

  1. Develop stronger and more relaxed pelvic floor muscles
  2. Have an easier time rehabilitating before and after surgery
  3. Experience improved bladder and bowel control and symptoms
  4. Successfully prepare for childbirth as well as post-birth recovery

Physiotherapy is an exercise-based therapy that can be beneficial to those suffering from pelvic floor disorders. “Pelvic floor rehabilitation or re-education is not only about pelvic floor exercises. After a thorough assessment, a treatment plan will target your current problem and underlying causes. Treatment modalities vary according to your needs and may include relaxation and strengthening pelvic floor exercises, manual therapy, biofeedback, electrotherapy, education and advice,” stated a contributor to Physio For All.

Physiotherapy is a safe, drug-free treatment option for PFD. Individuals with these health issues may want to research physiotherapy as a viable treatment for pelvic floor disorders.

Get Help For Pelvic Floor Disorders

Do you suspect you may have a pelvic floor disorder of some kind? If so, a physiotherapist can help you navigate this frustrating situation. If you live near Winnipeg and want more information about how physiotherapy treats PFD, contact the team of physiotherapists at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • “Am I suffering with a pelvic floor disorder that could be easily treated by physiotherapy?”
  • “How long have I had pelvic floor problems? What solutions for it have I tried? Am I open to a new solution like physiotherapy?”

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