Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

May 20, 2008 by Jane O'Brien  
Filed under Women's Health

Commonly, people associate pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) with incontinence. However, there are a myriad of diagnoses that fall under this category such as overactive bladder, pelvic pain, prolapsed uterus, interstitial cystitis, coccyx pain, painful intercourse, and many others. Symptoms may limit a woman’s ability to perform her daily activities, change or limit her exercise habits, and create embarrassment. Problems in this area are often not discussed with medical professionals, and therefore, go untreated.

Physical therapy can greatly benefit the pelvic floor. Exercises geared for this area greatly enhance muscle function. Relaxation techniques may be utilized to assist with decreasing tone and pain. Manual techniques, such as Myofascial Release and soft tissue massage are often used to relieve tension. Biofeedback is used to increase awareness of proper muscle recruitment or to quiet overactive muscles. Electrical simulation may be used to recruit and train pelvic floor musculature. In addition, patient education can assist with prevention of dysfunction.

When choosing a physical therapist for treatment of a pelvic floor dysfunction, it is important to ascertain if she is qualified to treat this area. Be sure she has taken coursework specifically for PFD. Ask her how many clients she has treated for your issue. Ask outcomes of treatments. Ask if she can help you gain relief of your symptoms and improve your lifestyle.

PFD is common, but not normal. You do not need to simply accept your symptoms as a process of growing old or due to childbirth. You can take control of your symptoms and often relieve them completely.

Jane O’Brien, MSPT works with clients ( male and female) who have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction at North Tahoe Physical Therapy.

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