What is Pelvic Floor and Urine Incontinence?
If you are suffering from urinary incontinence, occasional or chronic pelvic pain, physiotherapy can help. Urinary incontinence signs are:
- Leaking urine during normal activities like lifting, bending, coughing, or exercising
- Sudden, strong urge to urinate; feeling like you might not make it to the toilet in time
- Leaking urine without feeling any warning sign or urge
Pelvic pain refers to pain in the region of the reproductive organs. It can occur in both men and women. Pelvic pain may be the result of nerve conditions, pelvic disorders, bladder disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases. Pelvic pain can occur for a vast number of reasons, and a certain pelvic therapy known as “pelvic floor rehabilitation” can help reduce or eliminate the pain and symptoms you are experiencing. Typical patients who would be strong candidates for our pelvic floor rehabilitation treatments include:
- Urine incontinence
- Postpartum women.
- Postmenopausal women.
- Women with pelvic organ prolapse.
- Women dealing with urinary or fecal incontinence.
- Women dealing with pain during intercourse.
Why am I experiencing pelvic pain?
The pelvic area is a complex and important part of the body that serves several functions, especially for women. Pelvic pain can occur at different points during your menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, after giving birth, after surgery, or as a result of an underlying condition, such as endometriosis. Some pelvic conditions may also result in painful intercourse or infertility issues, which can be addressed and possibly fixed through pelvic floor rehabilitation. Some of the most common pelvic conditions that our physiotherapists treat include:
- Postpartum pelvic pain. 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 in reducing pain, in addition to strengthening any damaged muscles or tissues.
- Pain following abdominal surgery. If you are recovering from a recent surgical procedure, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help in breaking up scar tissue, improving strength, and regaining range of motion in your abdomen/pelvic region.
- Endometriosis. Endometriosis can affect the bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the pelvic region. 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 frequency or leakage. A physiotherapist can help determine the root of your problem with urinary incontinence, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Pelvic floor rehabilitation will focus on strengthening the muscles under your bladder in order to treat and eliminate incontinence issues.
- Constipation. Pelvic floor rehabilitation can loosen and relax the muscles in your pelvic and anal areas, which can help relieve and eliminate constipation. While these are just a few of the most common conditions of pelvic dysfunction that can be treated with physiotherapy, there are a number of additional pelvic conditions that PT treatments can relieve. For example, painful intercourse and infertility problems may also be improved with pelvic therapy. Some less common conditions that can be treated also include pelvic organ prolapse, dyspareunia, and diastasis recti. Contact Expert Physio Plus today to find out more.
What Can I Expect From Pelvic Floor Therapy?
This specific form of physiotherapy works on strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the pelvic floor. When muscles in the pelvic area become tight or weak, your daily life can be greatly affected, as this region helps in supporting the core of your body and is an integral part of everyday movement. Mary Bishai, our dedicated physiotherapists will evaluate your medical history and provide a musculoskeletal examination to determine what specific type of treatment you’ll need. This may include proactive and/or preventative treatments. For example, pelvic floor rehabilitation can help prepare a woman for childbirth by ensuring an easier delivery and possibly preventing the need for a C-section. Some common techniques used during pelvic floor rehabilitation include:
- Postural exercises: These exercises are aimed at improving posture and strengthening the pelvic floor muscles that affect posture. These exercises are typically done with large therapy or medicine balls.
- Myofascial exercises: These exercises will target the pelvic floor muscles and the connecting fascia. This treatment may include light exercise, in addition to stretches and massage, in order to target painful trigger points and provide relief.
- Diaphragmatic breathing: Deep breathing exercises allow your diaphragm to expand and contract, which helps in relaxing muscles in the pelvic area. When the muscles are relaxed, they will drop and lengthen, providing pain relief and allowing for regained function.
- Relaxation techniques: Relaxation is a large part of physiotherapy. It allows your muscles to ease tension, making it easier for them to be stretched and massaged. Your physiotherapist may suggest certain techniques, such as guided imagery or biofeedback, in order to help you relax.
- Ultrasound therapy: This kind of therapy focuses on using soothing heat for relief in the affected pelvic region. It’s a safe and effective way to relax tight muscles and tissue.
If you are suffering from urine incontinence and /or pelvic pain, don’t wait any longer to contact Expert Physio Plus and schedule an appointment today. We are the experts in Gloucester to correct your pelvic floor problems so you can get back to living your life comfortably!