The Missing Link: An Introduction to Pelvic Floor Rehab

The Missing Link: An Introduction to Pelvic Floor Rehab

GUEST BLOG BY JESSIE THOMAS, DPT

 

medical illustrationDay in and day out, my patients’ say things like ”There’s PT for this? I’ve had two kids so of course I leak when I exercise!” I usually respond by saying, ”Yes and I am so glad you’re here! Your symptoms are common, but not normal.” The pelvic floor muscles are so important but most people don’t even know that this type of PT exists.” So, let me back up and explain what pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation entails and how you or someone you know may benefit from this type of physical therapy.

The pelvic floor muscles are part of the deep core. They work as a team with the diaphragm (our breathing muscle), the transversus abdominus (a deep abdominal muscle that acts like a corset), and the multifidi muscles (deep spinal stabilizers) to support our spine, pelvis, and hips. They attach from the pubic bone in front of the pelvis to the tailbone at the back of the pelvis as well as from sit bone to sit bone. They can be described as a sling or hammock providing support and stability to our spine, pelvis, and hips. They also support our organs such as the bladder, uterus (in females), prostate (in males), and rectum. They control bladder and bowel function, they are the muscles involved with intercourse, and the muscles used when having a baby. So I’d say these muscles are just slightly important right?

When I chat with my patients about pelvic floor dysfunction, they usually say, “I just need to do Kegels then, right?” My response is usually, “not quite.” There are actually different types of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, so sometimes Kegels can actually aggravate or worsen your symptoms! Learning to coordinate the pelvic floor muscles with the other members of the core is how to produce the best results with PT treatment. This is why it is so crucial to come see a pelvic floor specialist! It’s important for us to do a thorough history and examination to let you know what is actually going on so we can create an individualized program just for you.

“I just need to do Kegels then, right?” My response is usually, “not quite.” There are actually different types of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, so sometimes Kegels can actually aggravate or worsen your symptoms!

 

So what are some of the causes of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction? It can start as early as childhood with bladder and/or bowel dysfunction, from trauma due to a fall on the tailbone or saddle area, from a sports injury, a history of painful periods, constipation, from pregnancy, and from heavy physical labor that can strain the pelvic floor muscles. There are other causes as well but these are just a few of the most common reasons.

When should you come see a specialist? When traditional PT or other modalities have failed to assist with persistent low back pain, pelvic pain, sacroiliac joint pain, hip pain, tailbone pain, and neck pain or if you experience leakage of urine, urinary urgency, constipation, and pain with intercourse. Unfortunately these symptoms are “common, but not normal.” cDon’t suffer in silence; pelvic floor PT could really change the quality of your life!

Please join me for a free informational seminar on the pelvic floor muscles and their relationship to musculoskeletal dysfunction.

An Introduction to the Pelvic Floor Muscles

Saturday November 12, 10:30-11:30am

Though this is a free event we need you to pre-register to ensure there is enough seating for all that want to attend. Evolution Fitness Systems Located at 5252 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, Arizona, 85712

Jessie Thomas, DPT, is a spine and pelvic health specialist.  Jessie comes to us from Portalnd, OR, where she collaborated with OBGYN’s, midwives, urologists, urogynecologists, nurse practioners, and primary care physicians at the Oregon Health and Sciences University Medical Center.

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