How Well Do You Know Your Pelvic Floor?

Written by: Dr. Jessica Papa, PT, DPT


Tons of individuals go their entire lives without ever once experiencing pelvic floor pain. However, many of us are not that lucky, and might find ourselves dealing with abdominal discomfort, incontinence, or post-surgical pain at least once in our lives. 

At Arancia PT, we understand your pain and discomfort. We cater to the needs of all of our patients regardless of age, gender, or sexual identity. Our specialized therapists can address many different disorders relating to the pelvis and its joints, muscles, and nerves. We evaluate and treat a variety of problems related to general pelvic pain, incontinence,  pre and post-surgical gender reassignment rehabilitation, sexual dysfunction, and painful intercourse.

If you’re dealing with pelvic pain or discomfort, contact Arancia PT today to speak with one of our pelvic health specialists about treatment. We’re 100% committed to the health and recovery of all of our patients.

What Is The Pelvic Floor?

All people, regardless of gender, have pelvises, and therefore have pelvic floor muscles. Because you can’t see your pelvic floor, sometimes it can be a little difficult to know exactly what is causing pain
Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that lie at the bottom of your pelvis and surround your genitalia. These muscles support the rectum, bladder, and uterus, and allow for urination and defecation, as well as prevent leakage of urine or stool. They are also involved in sexual and reproductive processes. The pelvis is made stable by these muscles (when they’re working properly!)

Who Can Pelvic Physical Therapy Help?

Many people think that pelvic physical therapy is only beneficial for pregnant women or women experiencing postpartum pelvic pain. While women do benefit immensely from pelvic physical therapy, they’re not the only ones! Pelvic therapy can be beneficial to anyone regardless of age or gender identity. 

Our specialists are trained to treat transgender patients as well. According to Pullman Regional Hospital, “pelvic health physical therapy is beneficial for individuals who have undergone gender affirmation surgical procedures.” After undergoing reconstructive surgery, the muscular support of the pelvic floor is altered, and so function may be compromised. Seeing a pelvic floor specialist before and after your operation can speed up your recovery and improve your overall satisfaction with your results. 

Pelvic floor therapy is also beneficial to men dealing with prostate issues, as this is a commonly experienced problem in the older male population. Men with prostate conditions are particularly susceptible to pelvic floor issues such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Physical therapy can help to assess strength, endurance, flexibility, and motor control to ease symptoms and bring lasting relief.

Reasons To See a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist:

Pelvic pain symptoms can be stressful, embarrassing, and may limit your tolerance to daily activities. This list includes many symptoms and common conditions people with pelvic floor dysfunction may be diagnosed with:

  • Nocturia (frequent need to urinate)
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse
  • Bloating and abdominal pressure
  • Vaginismus
  • Vulvodynia
  • Post-surgical pain (from gender affirmation surgery, hysterectomy, prostatectomy, abdominal surgery)
  • Prostatitis (symptoms include rectal pain, sexual dysfunction, difficulty emptying bowels)
  • Dyspareunia
  • Constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Chrohn’s, Ulcerative colitis)
  • Pudendal neuralgia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Pain the low back, buttocks, and hips
  • Inability to sit, stand, walk, or exercise for a long time

Thankfully, physical therapy can help. If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms or conditions affecting the functionality of your pelvic floor, or have recently undergone gender reassignment surgery, it’s in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist to see if your pelvic floor is functioning properly.

How Does a Pelvic Floor Specialist Treat Pain?

Every patient we see with chronic pelvic pain has their own set of needs and goals. Our pelvic physical therapists will conduct a thorough physical examination, assess areas causing you pain, as well as ask you questions about your medical history to make an accurate diagnosis. 
Your physical therapist will want to know what movements and pressure levels increase or decrease your pain, and if there are activities you cannot do without experiencing discomfort. Based on your exam results, they will develop a specialized treatment plan for your recovery so that you can relieve your symptoms and prevent recurring pelvic dysfunction. Common pelvic physical therapy treatments may include: 

  • Soft tissue mobilization and massage
  • Spinal and sacroiliac joint manipulations
  • Electrical stimulation modalities
  • Therapeutic exercises to restore strength, mobility, and endurance of pelvic floor muscles

Contact Our Office Today

Pelvic pain doesn’t discriminate, and neither should treatment. If you are struggling with pelvic pain, recovering from gender reassignment surgery, or frustrated with incontinence issues, it’s time to take your discomfort to a specialist. Contact Arancia PT today to learn more about how we can bring long term pain relief from pelvic floor dysfunction.


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