1. Pelvic Muscle retraining:
Physical therapists are known to treat issues related to bone, muscle, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Did you know that the pelvic floor consists of these same tissues? Just like a muscle in, lets say, your hip or arm can become weak if you do not exercise it, your pelvic floor muscles can become weak too!
2. Pee Management (Urinary Incontinence):
Ok, that was a reach….but urinary incontinence is one of the top issues that a pelvic floor physical therapist can help with. As mentioned above, the pelvic floor muscles play an important role in allowing you to go to the bathroom.
This can mean the muscles allow you to “hold it” when going to the bathroom is not appropriate. The muscles also allow you to relax enough to empty your bladder fully when it is the right time. If your pelvic floor is too tight or too weak, urinary incontinence may result.
It has been found that 25% of young women, 44-57% of middle-aged and post menopausal women, and 75% of older women experience urinary incontinence at some point- YOU ARE NOT ALONE! (Urinary Incontinence New Hope, 2012)
3. Pelvic Organ Prolapse:
The pelvic floor plays an important role in lifting the internal organs and keeping them in place, especially during daily activities. If the pelvic floor and core muscles are is damaged or weak (childbirth, aging) pelvic organ prolapse may occur.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist may have some great suggestions of little things that can be done throughout the day to help with this issue.
4. Pelvic Pain:
Many people experience pelvic pain and suffer in silence because they just do not know who to talk to about these issues. Pain with sex is not normal and needs to be investigated by someone who has been trained to treat the pelvic floor muscles. Just like if you were to have a tight hamstring, the pelvic floor muscles can become overly tight and this becomes dysfunctional if it causes pain and interferes with daily life.
Luckily, your pelvic floor physical therapist has many ideas for treatment and knows how to target this specific muscle group!
If you have any specific questions, please give me a call!
About the Author:
Dr. Alli Riddering
Women's Health, Orthopedics and Pediatrics
Alli received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Governors State University and was nominated by the faculty for the Alpha Eta Honor Society (Allied Health Professionals).
Alli first became interested in physical therapy in grade school after she witnessed her aunt graduating and becoming a PT. She honed a deeper understanding of the human body and a passion for the profession while earning a degree in biology from Purdue University.
She has a keen interest in understanding the full nature of her patients’ injuries, then utilizing proven therapies that lead to recovery and improved function for them. Alli has a special interest in Women's Health and pelvic rehabilitation.
She also enjoys participating in fitness and nutrition programs herself and she spends significant time each week working out. She also loves to travel, dining out at new places, and experiencing the outdoors (especially when the weather is nice).