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Pelvic Floor

SoutheastHEALTH's experienced physical therapists provide physical therapy for a variety of pelvic floor disorders that affect both men and women. You receive one-on-one treatment with a therapist in a comfortable, private setting. Southeast's therapists are the experts you can trust.

Pelvic floor physical therapy includes individualized assessment and treatment of the following conditions:

  • Bowel incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Prenatal and postpartum care
  • Urinary incontinence

Bowel Incontinence

Bowel Incontinence is an unwanted loss of bowel control, often due to weakness or poor coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. Physical therapy strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and improves bowel control.

Constipation

Constipation occurs when one has difficulty having a bowel movement or straining is required to void. This is often due to poor coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. Physical therapy improves coordination of the pelvic floor muscles in addition to addressing bowel mechanics and lifestyle modifications.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse involves the descent of the abdominal organs into or outside of the vaginal opening. This is often associated with pelvic floor laxity and weakness. Physical therapy strengthens the pelvic floor and teaches functional strategies to minimize stress to the pelvic floor.

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain involves pain in the lower abdomen, vulva, vagina, perineum, anal or tailbone regions and encompasses several different diagnoses, including:

  • Dyspareunia (pain with intercourse)
  • Vulvodynia
  • Vaginismus

It can also be associated with hip, low back or sacroiliac joint issues. Muscle tension, scarring, radiation fibrosis and pelvic floor weakness can all contribute to pelvic pain. Physical therapy promotes soft tissue mobility, scar mobility and muscle coordination to
improve pain levels and functional ability.

Prenatal and Postpartum Care

Pregnancy causes many changes to a woman's body throughout the pregnancy and after birth. Physical therapy addresses many of these issues allowing for women to get back to their active lifestyle.

Common complaints during or after pregnancy:

  • Low back pain
  • Pain in the pubic area or tailbone
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or arms
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic pain

Common complaints postpartum:

  • Pain or sensitivity to the C-section or episiotomy scars
  • Prolapse
  • Incontinence
  • Pelvic floor weakness
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles)
  • Difficulty returning to a fitness routine

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is an unwanted loss of bladder control, often due to weakness in the pelvic floor muscles or urinary urgency. This can also be a result of treatments associated with breast or prostate cancers. Physical therapy strengthens the pelvic floor and improves bladder control. Changing bladder habits and bladder retraining also helps with urinary urgency.

Physical Therapy can Help

Our physical therapists specialize in the treatment of pelvic floor related issues for both men and women. They have undergone extensive training to become experts in evaluation and treatment of movement, posture, muscle strength, coordination and flexibility of the entire musculoskeletal system and how it relates specifically to pelvic health. Physical therapy can help decrease your symptoms without side effects or complications of medications or surgery.

At the beginning of treatment, your physical therapist will ask about symptoms and how they are affecting your life. A musculoskeletal exam will be performed to assess your spine, hips, and abdomen. Depending on your specific symptoms, a more detailed evaluation of the pelvic floor musculature may be performed. Care is taken throughout the exam to ensure your comfort and privacy and to not increase your pain level. The results of your evaluation will be reviewed with you and an individualized treatment plan will be developed to address your specific needs. As you progress through treatment, your physical therapist will guide you on your personal path to improved health and wellness.

Treatment may include:

  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Pelvic floor strengthening
  • Education about how to manage and improve your symptoms
  • Soft-tissue mobilization, myofascial release and scar massage
  • Modalities for pain control
  • Home exercise instruction