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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Symptoms and Treatment

pelvic floor dysfunction

Our pelvic floor comprises of a combination of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that support major organs present in the region like a flexible strap. This band of muscles allows you to control your bowels and bladder movements and provides support to vital organs like urethra, rectum, and uterus (in females) or prostate (in males). Hence, it is crucial to ensure the fitness of our pelvic region to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common disorder characterized by the loss of control over the pelvic region leading to the inability of patients in controlling their bowels and bladder movements. Usually caused by undue trauma to the pelvic floor, this ailment increases contraction of muscles in the region, impeding the bowel movements. Here’s a closer look at the symptoms and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction to understand the ailment better:

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor disorders are profusely common in Canada with at least one in three people experiencing them at some point during their lifetime. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also be a symptom of a severe issue in your digestive tract or reproductive organs. It is most commonly characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Fecal incontinence

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Pain during intercourse

  • Visible bulging in the bladder accompanied by consistent pain

  • Overactive movement of the bladder.

Treatment of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Though most patients, especially women, consider these symptoms as an inevitable consequence of pregnancy, childbirth and aging, pelvic floor dysfunction can be remedied with timely diagnosis and regular treatment from an experienced Physical Therapist (PT).

A physiotherapist diagnoses your condition by performing a thorough inspection of the muscles in your pelvic area to tailor a unique program ideally suited to your condition. The therapist may also include a rectal/vaginal examination to ensure a complete evaluation of your condition.

Post an accurate diagnosis, the PT uses a varied number of methods including the following to treat the condition effectively:

  • Biofeedback
  • External and Internal Manual Therapy
  • Core Strengthening exercises 
  • Postural retraining 

These exercises strengthen the damaged muscles of your pelvic region and enhance their coordination and endurance. This treatment isolates the pelvic muscles affected by the condition and provides pain-relief to patients. It is easily adaptable to your everyday lifestyle and hence decreases the recurrence of similar disorders. Consulting a physiotherapy expert timely can also help in preventing issues like urine leaks, constipation and reduces the chances of incontinence. 

Other treatment options for pelvic floor disorders include:

  • Relaxation procedures - These procedures include the use of different relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and soothing exercises to relieve pain in your pelvic muscles and increase their flexibility.

  • Medication - In cases when patients suffer a high severity of pain in their pelvic region, physicians may also subscribe mild muscle relaxants to soothe their discomfort.

  • Surgery - Certain cases of pelvic dysfunction which result due to a rectal prolapse are difficult to treat externally and require immediate surgery. If you are experiencing severe pain in your pelvic region, consult a physician as soon as you can to avoid the progression of the condition.

Timely treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction with a Certified Pelvic Floor Therapist can be greatly effective for most patients. If you are experiencing pain in your pelvic region, consult our certified experts today.