What is Pelvic Floor Therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy involves treating the muscles, soft tissues and bony structures of the pelvis. These structures are designed to support the urethra, bladder, uterus, and other organs within the pelvis. Pelvic floor therapy aims to normalize muscle strength, reduce pain, restore joint alignment and improve a patient’s quality of life.
The most common diagnoses treated by Pelvic Floor Therapists are: incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain. These impairments are treated through exercise to improve the function of the pelvic floor muscles and restore proper support to the pelvic organs.
Talk to your healthcare provider. Discuss any pain or discomfort you may have, or if you have problems with urinary or fecal leakage.
Patients who have recently given birth may be referred to pelvic floor therapy to address weakness in pelvic floor that developed during pregnancy.
Is it normal to leak when I exercise or laugh?
No, many women think this is part of normal aging or something you have to deal with after having a child, but that is not true. This is called stress incontinence and can be treated with pelvic floor strengthening.
Incontinence is losing control of one’s bladder or involuntary urination. There are different types of Incontinence:
- Stress – loss of bladder control during moments of increased pressure on the bladder such as laughing, coughing or jumping.
- Urge – this describes the sudden and intense urge to urinate followed by the loss of bladder control. Someone with urge incontinence may be using the bathroom more frequently or multiple times during the night due to this increased urge.
- Overflow – dribbling or leakage due to incomplete emptying of the bladder.
- Functional – loss of bladder control due to other mental or physical impairments. For example, if someone with dementia is not aware they need to use the restroom.
- Mixed – a combination of any of the above.
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