Pelvic Floor Therapy Could Change Your Life

Written by: Dr. Jessica Papa, PT, DPT


Pelvic pain is no joke. The pelvic area is an important part of the body that serves many purposes, especially for women. Pelvic pain can happen at different points throughout your menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, after giving birth, and even as a result of an underlying condition. Some pelvic conditions may also result in painful intercourse or infertility issues.

Dealing with pelvic pain alone can be very confusing and scary, but luckily, it can be addressed and possibly fixed through pelvic floor rehabilitation. Some of the most common pelvic conditions that our physical therapists treat include postpartum pelvic pain, pain following abdominal surgery, dyspareunia, and endometriosis.
Take a look at the following reasons for pelvic floor pain:

Why Am I Experiencing Pelvic Floor Pain?

  • A recent abdominal surgery. If you are recovering from a recent abdominal surgery, pelvic floor rehabilitation can assist with breaking up scar tissue, improving strength, and regaining range of motion in your abdomen/pelvic region. 
  • Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition many women suffer from without even knowing it. This condition can affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the pelvic region and cause excess scar tissue. Pelvic floor rehabilitation can help reduce the pain and bloating that you may be experiencing with endometriosis, in addition to strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Urinary leakage or frequency. If you’re struggling with urinary incontinence, a physical therapist can help determine the root of your problem. Instead of simply treating the symptoms, your physical therapist can focus on the cause and focus on strengthening the muscles under your bladder. This will help treat and eliminate your incontinence issues.
  • Constipation. Pelvic floor therapists can loosen and relax the muscles in your pelvic and anal areas, which can help relieve and eliminate constipation. 
  • You recently had a baby. After giving birth, it is common for new mothers to experience strained muscles and/or connective tissue damage in their pelvic floor. Pelvic floor rehabilitation helps with postpartum  pelvic pain, in addition to strengthening and restoring any damaged muscles or tissues.

What To Expect From Pelvic Floor Therapy 

Pelvic floor therapy focuses on strengthening the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the pelvic floor. When muscles in the pelvic area become tight or weak, your daily life can be negatively impacted, because this region helps in supporting the core of your body and is a key part of everyday movement. 

One of our licensed physical therapists will take a look at your medical history, and conduct a thorough examination to decide what type of treatment you’ll need. This may include stretches, manual therapy, and at home exercises to reduce pain and strengthen or loosen your pelvic muscles, depending on your condition. Did you know that pelvic floor rehabilitation is a common option with women who are preparing for childbirth? It ensures an easier delivery and oftentimes can prevent the need for a C-section. 

Some common techniques used during pelvic floor rehabilitation include:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing. Your physical therapist can teach you how to practice deep breathing exercises. These will allow your diaphragm to expand and contract properly, which helps in relaxing muscles in the pelvic area. Relaxed muscles will drop and lengthen, providing simple pain relief. These breathing exercises can also be done at home.
  • Relaxation techniques. Physical therapy also focuses on relaxing! Relaxing your muscles allows them to ease tension, which makes it easier to stretch and massage them later. It’s not always easy to relax on command though, so your physical therapist may suggest specific relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, to assist you with the process.
  • Postural exercises. These specific types of exercises are aimed at refining and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles that affect posture. These exercises are typically done with large medicine balls. Your physical therapist may suggest that you purchase one to use at home on your own as well.

Pelvic pain is caused by a number of different factors, and pelvic floor rehabilitation can help reduce or eliminate the pain and symptoms you are experiencing. If you are suffering from pelvic pain, endometriosis, having issues with urinary incontinence, have recently given birth, or just want to make sure that all is well with your pelvic floor, it’s a great idea to see a physical therapist!

At Arancia PT, your physical therapist will conduct a thorough examination, find the source of your pain, and create a customized treatment plan to help reduce the severity of your symptoms. We want to make sure you feel seen and heard, and leave our office knowing you’re in good hands. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and get back to living your life without that nagging pelvic pain!

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