Commonly-Treated with Physical Therapy at The Physical Therapy Effect
Urinary Incontinence: Incontinence is defined at any unintentional loss of urineStress Incontinence- Stress incontinence occurs when any physical activity (ie: coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping, running or heavy lifting) puts pressure on your bladder causing leakage.Urge Incontinence- Urge incontinence is associated with the bladder muscle contracting, usually associated with an increased urge to urinate, causing a leakage of urine.
Urinary voiding dysfunctions: Voiding dysfunction describes conditions where there is poor coordination between the bladder muscle and the urethra. This can result in incomplete relaxation or over activity of the pelvic floor muscles during voiding. Voiding dysfunction can manifest as a wide range of symptoms which can include difficulty in emptying bladder, urinary hesitancy, slow or weak urine stream, urinary urgency, urinary frequency or dribbling of urine. These conditions can be due to nerve dysfunction, non-relaxing pelvic floor muscles or both. Voiding dysfunction is also classified as being caused by either underactivity of the bladder (detrusor) or outflow (urethra).
Pelvic/Pareneal/Vaginal pain: This can refer to any pain within the pelvis or vagina. For men this can include scrotal or testicular pain.
Fecal incontinence: Much like urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence can be a very embarrassing condition that is described as the inability to control bowel movements, causing stool to leak unexpectedly from the rectum. Also called bowel incontinence, fecal incontinence ranges from an occasional leakage of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control. Damage to the nerves that control the sphincter muscles in your rectum is the most common cause of fecal incontinence. This can happen during a surgical procedure, childbirth, or most commonly due to constant straining due to constipation.
Chronic constipation: Long-term constipation can lead to many other pelvic floor disorders and can be a big cause of pelvic and abdominal pain. PT can use biofeedback and muscle retraining to help improve bowl habits along with diet modifications to aid in reducing constipation.
Coccydynia: Pain associated with the coccyx or tailbone. This pain is usually due to some form of trauma such as falling and landing on your bottom.
Pain with sexual activity: Also known as a condition called dyspareunia. This can included any pain that occurs before, during or immediately following intercourse. Males may experience painful ejaculation or erection.
Nerve pain syndromes: Pelvic nerve conditions can be associated with the following nerves: pudendal nerve, ilio-hypogastric nerve, ilio-inguinal nerve, or the genito-femoral nerve. These nerves are located either in the abdominal wall, the pelvic cavity or surrounding the groin and perineal area. Damage to any of these nerves can cause chronic pelvic pain.
Pre and/or Post operative Therapy: This can refer to any pelvic, hip or low back surgery. Whether you have had a hysterectomy, bladder suspension surgery, prostatectomy, spinal fusion or hip surgery its possible for your pelvic floor muscles to respond in a way that can cause pain. PT can help with any pain issues that can arise from muscle imbalance, instability, scar tissue formation or a combination of the above!
Bladder pain: Can be referred to a condition called Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome. These conditions result in reoccurring pain and discomfort in the bladder and surrounding areas. Symptoms can vary in severity and patients may experience worsening pain as the bladder fills and empties.
Post-partum pelvic and low back pain: Following childbirth it is very common to have some sort of low back or pelvic pain. PT can be very helpful to decrease the pain faster and return you to your prior level of functioning!
For your first visit you will meet with our women’s health physical therapist and together you will go over the history of your current condition. We will discuss such things as how long you have been experiencing symptoms for, what exactly your symptoms are and what other aspects of treatment you have explored as well as what has worked and what has not. After the discussion we will move on to the portion of the evaluation where your therapist will look at your posture, the strength of your muscles as well as the stability within your pelvis and low back. They will also take a close look at your muscles and whether there are any tender spots or if there is tightness in any specific muscle groups. The next portion of the evaluation is where your therapist will look at the muscles of your pelvic floor (yes this does involve an internal examination but there are no scary tools involved I promise!). This portion of the exam will help your therapist be able have a better idea of how the muscles of your pelvic floor are able to contract and relax as well as if there are any tender spots or increased muscle tension within those muscles. Once the exam portion of the evaluation is complete you and your therapist will go over the findings and together create an individualized plan of care that may include: manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, muscle re-education, stretching and patient education.
How We Effect Patient Care
Manual therapy techniques
Therapeutic modalities for Pelvic dysfunction:
Therapeutic exercise and functional training
Patient education and goal setting
Team approach involving your doctor and other healthcare providers
Our pelvic floor physical therapist is skilled in the evaluation of the pelvic floor musculature and associated structures. She works one on one with the patient to educate them and develop a personalized rehabilitation program involving their goals to achieve the optimal results.