6 Unknown Facts About Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
We often strengthen our bodies by hitting the gym and doing workouts. But an important part of the body is left overlooked, which is the pelvic floor. It is responsible for carrying out crucial functions. Pregnancy, childbirth, car accident, pelvis surgery, long-term chronic illness, etc can impact your pelvic floor.
You won’t notice it until it’s too weak. Whatever the reason might be, pelvic floor physiotherapy can support you crush your weakness and live a healthy life!
Here are 6 things about pelvic floor physiotherapy that you probably aren’t aware of.
1. Your pelvic floor is part of your core
A muscular gym hitting body is not called core muscle, it’s much more than that. The core is a deep set of internal muscles that work in a collective manner, which allows you to make any desired body movement. The pelvic floor muscles are one part of that system of inner core muscles. The set of muscles includes the diaphragm, transversus abdominis, multifidus muscle, and pelvic floor muscle.
These muscles work together just like a machine, if one of them ceases functioning then the rest won’t be able to function alone. Therefore, when you visit a physiotherapist, a detailed assessment of these muscles is carried out. To know the functionality of your core muscles. If your pelvic floor muscle isn’t working properly then your whole body may experience the side effects.
Moreover, the pelvic floor muscle is responsible for supporting your pelvic organs. These include bowel, bladder, (for women) uterus, and vagina. It also plays a major role in your reproductive system and disposal system.
2. Both men and women require a strong pelvic floor
We repeatedly hear about cases where women are experiencing disruptions with their pelvic floor muscles. In fact, 1 out of every 3 women will experience a pelvic floor disorder at one point in their life. This often leaves the impression that only women can have pelvic floor issues, especially those who have been through pregnancy and childbirth. Although it’s not true, pelvic floor muscle issues can affect any individual regardless of gender.
Men can suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction as well, along with erectile dysfunction, prostatitis, and urinary incontinence.
Pelvic floor dysfunction in women may cause pain during sex, incontinence, or cystitis.
3. Physiotherapy can help strengthen a weak pelvic floor
A weak pelvic floor muscle may show a variety of symptoms such as not getting toilet in time, tampons falling out on their own, passing wind when you bend over, peeing when sneezing, coughing, laughing, or running, and more.
A solution to this does not always have to be surgery. Many cases do not even require surgery, only pelvic floor physiotherapy will do the job.
Physiotherapists are trained professionals that can treat your weak pelvic floor through a variety of techniques. The physiotherapist will be preparing a treatment plan that will include a specific exercise program to train and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Apart from pelvic floor physiotherapy, the expert may carry out biofeedback, medications, yoga, and other complementary therapies to improve your condition.
4. Physiotherapy can help relax a tight pelvic core
Earlier we discussed people having a weak pelvic floor, so it only makes sense that there is also a group of people experiencing too tight pelvic floor. Too tight pelvic floor can be due to multiple reasons. This usually results in constipation, painful sex, pelvic pain, and the urgency to use the restroom.
The treatment of a tight pelvic floor can vary although the approach is just similar to a weak pelvic floor treatment. One should also note that tight pelvic floor muscle doesn’t equal to strong ones, both are unlike.
The first step here is to ensure that your pelvic floor is able to relax towards the basic resting tone. Only after that, any further exercise can be performed to treat hypertonic pelvic floor muscles. The physiotherapy treatment usually includes biofeedback, diaphragm breathing, manual therapy, exercises, awareness program, and relaxing techniques.
5. The research supports pelvic floor physiotherapy!
Several pieces of research have been conducted to know the effects and credibility of pelvic floor physiotherapy. Today, almost every physiotherapy therapy clinic in Hamilton as well across Canada has adopted pelvic floor physiotherapy.
Luckily, research done to study more about pelvic floor physiotherapy has shown promising results. It shows that pelvic floor physiotherapy is a low-risk and first-hand option to treat pelvic floor dysfunction. We can be hopeful that further studies based on the result of this one will also be positive in regards to hypotonic and hypertonic pelvic floor disorders occurring in the peripartum and postpartum period.
6. If you’re pregnant or have had a baby, get that pelvic floor checked
In our society, if you’re a pregnant woman or already a mother then it is not uncommon to hear people say that your body goes through a permanent pelvic floor change after birth. This is absolutely a myth.
It is true that women might suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction post-pregnancy, but living with it is not okay. Neither it is healthy nor functional or optimal. In addition to that, if left untreated, it may get worse. If you do not know what to do about it then head out to seek treatment from a professional physiotherapist. Pelvic floor physiotherapy has shown promising results for patients.
You should surely get checked if you experience the following:
- Leaking urine, stool, or gas when laughing, coughing sneezing, and exercising.
- Lower back pain
- Pain during sexual activity
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Burning, discomfort, tenderness, or similar symptoms in the vulvovaginal region
- Feeling weak in the core
- Prolapse or descent of a pelvic organ
Such issues rarely get better on their own. You should not delay in seeking a professional’s help. You might think this is embarrassing but it’s time we get over it and help others too.
These were the 6 things about pelvic floor physiotherapy that we bet you probably didn’t know earlier. Found it informative? Share the knowledge with others too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it common to leak after delivery?
A. Yes, it is common, but surely not normal. You should get it checked, there is treatment available for it!
Q. When should I have my pelvic floor assessed after I deliver?
A. We suggest you get assessed after 6 weeks post-partum.
Q. I had a C-section, should I still have my pelvic floor assessed?
A. The answer is yes! Regardless of how you deliver, pelvic floor assessment is recommended to all. The pressure of the baby throughout pregnancy often affects the pelvic muscles, therefore getting it assessed is a wise decision.
Q. Can my pelvic floor become too strong that it will interfere with labor?
A. No, strong pelvic floor muscles won’t interfere with labor. In fact, it will help you relax those muscles when required during labor!
Q. What is the difference between a good and a bad pelvic floor physiotherapist?
A. It’s pretty simple to differentiate. A good physiotherapist will take proper care, will make you aware of the issues you’re having, and will conduct accurate diagnosis of them.
Author - Denish Tamakuwala
Denish Tamakuwala is a Physiotherapist and Clinic Director at Innova Physio. He is a Registered Physiotherapist with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science. He obtained a Diploma degree (honours) in Fitness & Health Promotion from Humber College. He possesses extensive knowledge and practical experience in therapy and rehabilitation treatment. Apart from assisting his patients through physiotherapy, he loves to compose informational articles to educate the mass.