You want me to go to PT for what!?
Every day patients walk into the clinic and say, ” It was suggested I come to PT for my pelvic floor, but I am not sure how you can help me.” Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists are specially trained to treat conditions such as urinary or fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain or dysfunctional voiding in both men and women.
PT can help improve symptoms in all of these conditions by improving awareness and conditioning of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that helps make up the core, and yes this is more than just doing kegels!
Your core is a group of four deep muscles: the diaphragm, transverse abdominis, pelvic floor and the multifidi that act like a corset around your torso providing stability and support during functional activities.
In some conditions, like incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, strengthening the pelvic floor and the core as a whole is essential. Activation of the pelvic floor muscles can be challenging as you cannot see the muscles the same way you can see, say your biceps. Pelvic floor therapists can use various tools to aid in activation of the pelvic floor muscles such as general exercise, tactile cues, and biofeedback.
With pelvic pain disorders, the pelvic floor muscles need to be relaxed, just like any other tight muscle in your body. Treatment techniques to help relax or down train the muscles include modalities such as heat and electrical stimulation, therapeutic exercises, visual imagery, biofeedback and manual therapy techniques.
If you are experiencing urinary or fecal leakage, pelvic or lower abdominal pressure, feel a bulge in your pelvic region, have difficulty voiding or experience pain with intercourse, a pelvic floor therapist wants to help you!
Amanda Alling PT, DPT, PRPC has a special interest in treating lower extremity injuries, especially those that are sports related. She also specializes in treating women’s health related disorders such as incontinence, pelvic pain disorders and pelvic organ prolapse with certification from the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. Amanda is the Clinical Director of Tidewater’s Westchester Commons Clinic in Richmond.