Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a safe and non-invasive procedure that focuses on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints of the pelvis and lower back. The pelvic region is the body area between your thighs and the belly button.
What Conditions Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Treat?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is shown to be effective in the treatment of many pelvic conditions and diseases, including:
- Bowel incontinence
- Difficulty urinating
- Urinary incontinence (including urge, stress, and mixed incontinence)
- Low-grade prolapse of the pelvic organs (including the bladder, rectum, and the uterus)
- Pelvic pain disorders (like Vulvodynia, Vaginismus, and Dyspareunia)
- Prostate problems
- Pre-natal & postpartum pelvic pain
- Painful intercourse
- Erectile dysfunction
- Chronic low back pain
- Diastasis recti (split abs)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Low back pain
- Increased tone or weakness in the pelvic floor
- Pelvic floor myofascial dysfunction
How Does Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Work?
Pelvic floor physical therapists use several techniques to treat pelvic conditions. These include;
Education - Patients may need to know more about the anatomy of their pelvis and how its different components work. Physiotherapists may also teach them how hygiene or habits affect your symptoms.
Manual therapy - A pelvic floor physiotherapist may use stretching or hands-on massage to help with blood circulation, mobility, and posture.
Pelvic floor exercises - Patients are taught certain exercises that specifically target pelvic muscles. Experienced physiotherapists also taught their patients the breathing and timing techniques to make these stretches more effective. Pelvic floor exercises can improve flexibility, stretch tight muscles, and strengthen weak ones.
Pelvic floor biofeedback - Biofeedback is a system that helps patients “see” how their pelvic floor muscles are working. It is done by inserting a probe into a man’s anus or a woman’s vagina, and results are viewed on a computer screen.
Electrical stimulation - An electrical current of very low voltage is used to teach patients how to coordinate the contractions and relaxations of their pelvic floor muscles.
Vaginal dilators - These are tube-shaped plastic devices that can help women relax their pelvic floor muscles to allow easier penetration. Women with gynecological conditions such as uterovaginal cancer may also find dilators helpful for vaginal rehabilitation after treatment.