Pelvic health physical therapy is a branch of physical therapy that treats dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles sit at the bottom of our pelvis. They help to support our organs, control when we go to the bathroom, and work with our abdominals and hip muscles to stabilize our hips and lower back.
Just like any other muscle, the pelvic floor muscles can become sore and painful. Many people “clench” or activate these muscles too much throughout the day without even realizing it. On the other hand, they can also be weak, which can lead to problems like urinary incontinence (leaking urine). Sometimes, the pelvic floor muscles can be both sore and weak at the same time.
A pelvic health physical therapist can help determine whether your pelvic floor is tight, weak, or both. Based on these findings, your pelvic health physical therapist will create a plan to get you back on track.
Pelvic health physical therapy can help people with many different conditions, including the following:
To determine the cause of your symptoms, your pelvic health physical therapist may wish to perform a vaginal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles to determine whether they are tense, weak, or both. Treatment can also be provided in this way to help decrease muscle tension. Will can allow the muscles to function more effectively. However, this is optional. You can still benefit from pelvic health physical therapy treatment even if you prefer not to do this part.
Your pelvic health physical therapist will teach you exercises to either relax, strengthen, or both relax and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles depending on your unique needs. You and your pelvic health physical therapist can also work on improving the coordination of your pelvic floor muscles with your abdominal muscles. You will likely be taught breathing exercises to help improve this coordination.
If you have urinary incontinence, your physical therapist will work with you to determine other causes of your incontinence and teach you strategies to overcome those obstacles.
Girl Fit Physical Therapy offers both pelvic health physical therapy and postpartum physical therapy services. If you think pelvic health physical therapy may be right for you, please reach out to us at office@girlfitPT.com to learn more and/or to schedule an appointment. Get your questions ready! We would love to help you get back to living your life without pelvic discomfort!
Jess Danahy, PT, DPT
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