The pelvic floor is made up of a layer of muscles covering the bottom of the pelvis that support the bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs of men and women. These are known as pelvic organs. The pelvic floor is a structure of muscles that run like a hammock from the front of the pelvis to the tailbone. The pelvic floor muscles have the ability to move up and down and gain strength through exercise.
Is there a difference between chiropractic & physical therapy?
Yes! Physical therapy focuses on performance and function, while chiropractic focuses on treating injuries and pain without drugs or surgery. A physical therapist will design a workout or training plan targeting specific muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc., whereas a chiropractor will manually treat those areas to improve their function.
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can be done by doing specific exercises called ‘Kegels’. Your physiotherapist will discuss the best techniques and provide you with easy-to-follow information that you can do in the comfort of your own home. If you are experiencing issues with your pelvic floor, it’s important that you seek help and address the issues with a professional. Pelvic floor dysfunction can have negative effects on the quality of life for both men and women. A weak pelvic floor can impact home and work activities, personal relationships, social lives, and mental well-being.
Yes, pelvic floor muscles training can work. It is very hard to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles when the conditions in your pelvis are wrong which may be why you have a problem in the first place. A physiotherapist can help sort out these issues and provide specific exercises for you and also advise on lifestyle changes and other factors that may be affecting your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor physiotherapists treat a range of conditions and problems that can affect the strength and function of your pelvic floor muscles. These include bladder problems such as urinary stress incontinence, bowel control issues such as rectal prolapse and uterine prolapse, chronic straining to pass stools or gas, pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) and erectile dysfunction.
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel and uterus. When these muscles are weak or lose force they may not be able to provide adequate support for your pelvic organs. This can lead to incontinence or organ prolapse. The pelvic floor serves many important functions in the body.
When should you see a physiotherapist about your pelvic floor?
Ideally, you should make an appointment with a physiotherapist as soon as you know there is a problem with your pelvic floor or if you are pregnant. When people have a problem with their pelvic floor muscles, they can experience issues with their pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs). They often exhibit the following symptoms: incontinence, leaking bladder, prolapse of one or more of the pelvic organs, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and chronic pelvic discomfort. It is important to discuss this with your physiotherapist so they can help determine the root cause of your symptoms and ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment.
You should visit a physiotherapist if your pain is mechanical. Also, other reasons you may choose to attend a physical therapy session include when pain is not going away, the pain has severely affected movement, or it prevents you from sporting activities. Any of these reasons show that it is time to see a physiotherapist.