Have you recently given birth?
Are you experiencing new, worrying symptoms around your pelvic area, such as urinary incontinence, constipation, and lower back pain?
If so, you might be living with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Don’t worry because you’re not alone.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 25% of Americans assigned female at birth are living with some form of pelvic floor disorder.
Despite its prevalence, pelvic floor dysfunction is a serious condition that requires medical intervention.
Most cases of pelvic floor dysfunction will continue to worsen if left untreated.
Fortunately, pelvic floor physical therapy can help you manage these issues, including urinary incontinence.
At Capitol Physical Therapy, we offer a variety of physical therapy options for women’s health aimed at improving your pelvic floor function and quality of life.
For now, let’s get some more information about this condition and what you can do about it.
What Is Your Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is made up of several muscles and ligaments in your pelvic region that support your rectum, bladder, uterus, and other organs like a sling.
A variety of functions rely on the contraction and relaxation of these muscles, including bowel movements, urination, and sexual intercourse.
This area of your pelvic floor is very delicate and can easily sustain injuries.
Occasionally, injury to your pelvic floor may result in a debilitating condition known as pelvic floor dysfunction.
What Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that happens when the pelvic floor muscles have too much or too little tension.
This condition can lead to several health issues and complications, if left untreated.
Some of these issues include:
- Urinary incontinence
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain in the genital region
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Pain in the rectal region
Other examples of specific pelvic floor dysfunctions include levator ani syndrome as well as pelvic organ prolapse.
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction, you might’ve noticed that performing certain bodily functions, such as passing a bowel movement, are more difficult than they used to be.
That’s because pelvic floor dysfunction causes frequent contractions in your muscles.
Without intervention, pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to other more serious problems, such as colon damage and infection.
Thankfully, pelvic floor physical therapy at Capitol Physical Therapy can help prevent such complications and get you back to feeling your best.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
The exact cause of pelvic floor dysfunction currently remains unknown.
Certain conditions or life events may increase your likelihood of experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, including:
- Pelvic surgery
- Chronic constipation
- Traumatic pelvic injury
- Nerve damage
These conditions and life events can increase your risk of sustaining a pelvic floor injury, and subsequently develop pelvic floor dysfunction.
If you have experienced anything from this list, come into Capitol Physical Therapy today for a risk assessment.
Symptoms Of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction often differ from person to person.
Certain factors, such as the cause of your dysfunction, may influence the type and severity of symptoms experienced.
Generally speaking, certain symptoms are more common than others.
Common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Urinary incontinence
- Painful urination
- Bowel incontinence
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Diminished sensation in the vagina
- Tampons that drop out
- Lower back pain
- A lump at the vaginal opening
- A feeling of weight in the vagina
- Pressure in the pelvic region or rectum
- Pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
- Muscle spasms in the pelvis
- Hip pain
- Bowel pain
It’s worth mentioning, however, that many of these symptoms overlap with other conditions, like urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or urethritis.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with one of our DC physical therapists to find the root of your symptoms and create a treatment plan.
How Can Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Help?
If you’re living with pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic floor physical therapy can help.
Physical therapists are skilled professionals that can help manage your symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as assess and provide treatment for the underlying cause.
Additionally, pelvic floor physical therapy can help speed up your recovery.
Your physical therapist will help retrain and recondition your muscles to support your recovery.
RELATED: What Happens When You Pull A Muscle?
The main goal of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction is helping your pelvic floor muscles regain their strength and functionality.
If you’re experiencing symptoms such as urinary incontinence when coughing or laughing, it could be an indication that pelvic floor dysfunction may be present and getting worse.
Early intervention is especially beneficial to get you on the road to recovery.
During your first visit, your physical therapist will ask you a series of questions regarding your medical history, which might include questions surrounding:
- Your bladder function, bowel function, and sexual function
- The type and amount of exercise you do
- History of pelvic injuries
- History of pregnancy
Your physical therapist will also conduct a full physical examination of your pelvic floor, which typically includes:
- How your pelvic floor responds to coughs, kegels, and bowel pushing
- How your pelvic floor muscles feel internally
- How your pelvic floor muscles stretch or contract
Once the assessment is complete, your therapist will design a unique therapy plan that fits your specific needs.
Goals of pelvic floor physical therapy may include:
- Help manage bladder issues, such as urinary incontinence
- Help bowel issues and abdominal pain
- Relieve postpartum issues
- Prevent pelvic organ prolapse
- Help with pain during intercourse
- Increase sexual sensation
- Relieve pelvic pain
These are all safe and effective solutions for pelvic floor dysfunction.
Consult with a physical therapist at Capitol Physical Therapy today, and we’ll make sure you’re following a routine and plan that is right for you.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
Do the symptoms we listed above sound familiar?
Are you wondering whether you’re living with an undiagnosed pelvic floor issue?
If so, Capitol Physical Therapy can help.
We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor conditions, regardless of the cause.
We know that the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction are debilitating, but there’s no reason for you to suffer.
We’re also proud to offer telehealth physical therapy for physical therapy options from the comfort of your own home.
Book your appointment today with Capitol Physical Therapy to find out more about our services.
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005
9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC