Did you know that physical therapy is a conservative form of treatment for multiple pelvic health issues that lead to symptoms involving urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction? Urinary incontinence is reported in up to 45% of women (Hay-Smith 2012) and affects over 200 million people worldwide (Knorst 2013). Approximately 41% of women between the ages of 50-79 experience some degree of pelvic organ prolapse (Hendrix 2002). Pelvic floor muscles have multiple functions including continence control, support to pelvic organs, core stability/postural control, and sexual function.
Pelvic floor muscle disorders are classified in two general categories: underactive pelvic floor and overactive pelvic floor. Underactive pelvic floor is typically caused by childbirth, advanced age, obesity, and heavy lifting or straining. Underactivity of the pelvic floor results in weakness of the pelvic floor muscles and contributes to symptoms of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Overactive pelvic floor is often multifactorial and caused by childbirth/surgical trauma, anxiety/stress disorders, bowel and bladder disorders, and orthopedic joint malalignments. Overactivity of the pelvic floor results in tightness of pelvic floor muscles and may contribute to a variety of pelvic pain disorders.
Physical therapy interventions can be utilized to address weakness and/or tightness of pelvic floor muscles to reduce symptoms of incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain disorders. We are pleased to offer services at Horizon Physical Therapy to assist you in reducing symptoms associated with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and to help you return to a functional and active lifestyle. Examinations include internal and external pelvic assessment as well as musculoskeletal assessment to determine dysfunction of the pelvic floor. Interventions for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction often involves pelvic floor strength, endurance, and coordination training; behavioral training, including urge control/suppression techniques; musculoskeletal intervention; and diaphragmatic breathing techniques. For a comprehensive assessment and individualized treatment interventions to address your pelvic health issues, call today! ☺