| Tara Langdale
In today’s world, sexual problems, pelvic floor problems and pelvic pain are very common. Before discovering pelvic floor physical therapy, many women find it difficult to broach these subjects even with their Doctors. This is why such issues seem less prolific than they really are.
Suffering in silence isn’t necessary though. There are techniques and products available to get your life back on track quickly. If the time has come for pelvic floor physical therapy, you might be wondering what it involves. In this article we’ll take a look at how pelvic floor physical therapy is done. We will also highlight the reasons you might need it and the benefits you can expect to gain:
Who needs pelvic floor physical therapy?
This type of therapy works on the pelvic floor muscle group that supports the pelvic organs. When they are not functioning correctly you may experience issues such as:
- Lack of bladder or bowel control (incontinence or constipation)
- Vaginal tightness/spasm and painful intercourse (vaginismus)
- Problems with sexual arousal and orgasm
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Organ prolapse
You can also ease debilitating conditions such as endometriosis through pelvic floor physical therapy.
What does this therapy entail?
Biofeedback and electrical stimulation
Your pelvic floor physical therapist is likely to use a probe or put biofeedback sensors on your vaginal wall. This measures muscle tone and strength of contractions. You’ll be able to see how this works on the therapist’s computer screen. Electrical stimulation through a low-voltage current is another technique to help you control muscle contractions.
Your therapist might perform some myofascial release techniques (similar to massage). This relaxes and loosens tight muscles, connective tissue and pelvic bones. The therapist may also use general massage and stretching to improve circulation, posture and general mobility.
Pelvic floor exercises
Your therapist will give you pelvic floor exercises (known as kegel exercises) to practice at home. You may then gain better control of your pelvic floor muscles. The exercises involve timed contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles in relation to other muscles. They are done in accordance with breathing techniques. You can measure the success of this during your next biofeedback reading.
Your therapist should talk you through your pelvic anatomy to give you a clearer idea of how everything functions. This may also include the effects of hygiene and common habits on your condition.
Vaginal dilators are tubes made from various materials (such as silicone or plastic). Dilators are designed to fit inside the vagina and come in various sizes. They help you to stretch the vagina gently, aiding relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles.
What are the main benefits of pelvic floor therapy?
- Biofeedback and kegel exercises help to stretch, tighten or relax pelvic muscles. Muscular flexibility is also likely to improve
- Sexual problems can be lessened through the gradual improvement of chronic pelvic or vaginal pain
- A few months of therapy can be a reliable treatment for incontinence problems
- The symptoms of chronic conditions such as endometriosis can be more easily managed with the use of vaginal dilators
In short, pelvic floor physical therapy can benefit conditions relating to sexual function, bowel and bladder control, and pelvic pain. Those in recovery from chronic gynecological conditions can also benefit. Our site is full of information on the topics at hand, so take a look around and feel free to ask us questions about how our products can help!