The pelvis area—situated between your thighs and your stomach—has twenty six muscles that help keep organs like the bladder, uterus, and intestines in place. Those muscles make up an area near the bottom of your pelvis that doctors call the “pelvic floor.”
When something is not right with the pelvic floor, people experience a range of symptoms, such as
- Frequent peeing
- Trouble controlling when one goes to the bathroom
- Pain during sex
- General pain or pressure in the pelvic area
Lots of people with these symptoms will assume there’s nothing they can do—that these are a result of age or pregnancy that everyone just has to live with. But for many people, that’s not true at all. By strengthening or relieving muscle dysfunction in the pelvic floor, many of these symptoms can be reversed.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a way of treating the pelvic floor using exercises, trigger points, and devices that stimulate or relax the muscles. Your doctor will begin with a very gentle pelvic exam to identify what may be causing the symptoms. From there, they can recommend a treatment plan including small ‘workouts’ you can do at home, such as Kegels.
Kegel exercises are often brought up when women are navigating a pregnancy, but they are helpful at many other times, too. Kegels are the most direct method of strengthening the muscles in your pelvic floor. However, like any muscle exercise, it is very possible to do them in a way that does not actually get the results you want. For this reason, your provider will walk you through them to help you identify what a proper Kegel exercise should feel like and how to repeat it on your own.
Other options include trigger point therapy, where your doctor or physical therapist can press on places both in and outside the body that release muscle tension. It is also possible to inject anesthesia into these trigger points to cause relaxation. Finally, electrical stimulation is an option for tightening muscles that may have loosened.
The most important part of pelvic floor physical therapy is getting you closer to your goals: being able to pursue your daily life without working around frequent bathroom use, pelvic pain, or pain during sex. Give us a call at 68- 282-5591 to schedule an appointment at our Princeton, West Virginia office, or use our scheduling portal if you are having any of these problems.