When Do You Need Help For Your Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? | Physical Therapy for everyBODY
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When Do You Need Help For Your Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Pelvic Floor

Many women suffer silently from pelvic floor dysfunction because they think it’s normal for their age, they’ve had children, or everyone has this problem. Well, just because so many women suffer silently does not make it normal.

The pelvic floor, a group of muscles situated at the base of the pelvis, plays a crucial role in supporting the organs within the pelvic region, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. When these muscles become weak, tight, or dysfunctional, it can lead to a range of symptoms. These symptoms are often progressive which means if you don’t get help now the problems are likely to progress.

The good news is that there is help for you if you are suffering with any of the symptoms discussed below. Working with a Pelvic Floor Specialist early on can prevent your symptoms from progressing and leading to further dysfunction later on in life.

#1 Urinary Incontinence

Inability to control your bladder with laughing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing is often the first sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. This is called stress urinary incontinence, the most prevalent type related to pelvic floor dysfunction, and happens when pressure is exerted on the bladder.

The pelvic floor muscles play a crucial role in maintaining bladder control, and when these muscles are weakened or tight, they fail to provide adequate support to the bladder. This results in the unintentional release of urine and can significantly impact your daily life, leading to embarrassing situation and a reluctance to engage in social activities.

You may have heard your friends discussing how they have to “pad up” before going to a trampoline park or bouncy house. Many women do choose to wear pads when they are going to be in a situation that involves high impact activities such as jumping or running after child birth. But, that does not make it normal. Every tissue in your body is designed to heal itself as long as it is moving correctly and this includes your pelvic floor muscles.

#2 Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a more advanced sign of pelvic floor dysfunction and occurs when the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, descend into the vaginal canal due to weak or tight pelvic floor muscles. This condition can cause a sensation of heaviness or pressure in the pelvis which may lead to pain.

Many women first notice the bulging when they are washing their pelvic floor region in the shower. They can feel a new bulge with their hands. You may even notice that this bulge goes away when you are lying down or in the bath. This happens the pelvic organs are able to return to their normal location when gravity is not pushing down on them.

Women who have given birth, especially through vaginal delivery, are more prone to pelvic organ prolapse. However, it can also affect individual who engage in activities that put strain on the pelvic floor, such as heavy lifting or chronic constipation. Identifying and addressing pelvic organ prolapse early is crucial to prevent further complications and improve overall quality of life.

#3 Constipation and Abnormally Shaped Stool

Pelvic floor dysfunction can also affect bowel function, leading to issues such as chronic constipation or difficulty with bowel movements. The pelvic floor muscles assist in regulating bowel movements by relaxing and contracting appropriately. When these muscles are dysfunctional, they may not coordinate effectively, causing difficulties in passing stool.

Individual with pelvic floor dysfunction may experience straining during bowel movements, a feeling of incomplete evacuation, or even fecal incontinence. These symptoms can be distressing and often result in lifestyle modifications as individuals may avoid certain foods or modify their lifestyle to avoid embarrassing situations.

Many women are wondering what is “normal” when it comes to bowel movements. A healthy bowel and pelvic floor will produce one complete bowel movement every day that is the shape of a fat snake. The bowel will often curl in the bottom of the bowl while retaining it’s width.

#4 Pelvic pain

Pelvic pain is the symptom that will get women reaching out to a Specialist for help as quickly as possible. For good reason! You may be experiencing a deep, aching pain in the pelvic region or lower abdominals that occurs during or after intercourse with intensified symptoms during menstruation. The pain from pelvic floor dysfunction is increased from your usual cramping associated with menstruation.

Some women will suffer with a sharp, stabbing pain during intimacy which may be a sign of a more acute problem. This can be caused by increased tension in the pelvic floor that is not able to relax which leads to a decreased desire for intimacy and can significantly impact your overall well-being.

Your pelvic floor dysfunction may be manifesting as a deep, aching pain that increases after intercourse which is a sign of a more chronic problem. Chronic pelvic pain can zap your energy, lead to decreased mobility, and an overall decline in mental health. Our patients who suffer with chronic pelvic pain are often worn out from the mental burden of trying to live their lives and do all the things while managing this invisible problem. Unlike other chronic pain problems, pelvic floor dysfunction is not one that you can talk with your friends and family about easily.

#5 Low Back Pain

Many women who come to see us here at PT4EB are surprised to learn how often low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction occur together. You may be struggling with low back pain that you have tried to treat with rest, ice, medication, PT, chiropractic and a variety of other treatments only to find it constantly reoccurring. If this is you then you should consider your pelvic floor as a potential cause.

The muscles of the pelvic floor, low back, and abdominals in the front all have to work together in order for your core to be the stable base required to perform daily activities. Many people know about the low back and abdominals but have not thought about how the pelvic floor forms the base of that triangle. This is why it is so important to work with a Specialist who understands the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and the intricate connection with the core musculature.

Here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY, our Specialists take a holistic approach to your pelvic floor dysfunction. Often the pelvic floor is tight or painful because too much stress is being place on it from other regions of the body. Our goal is to understand what is going on with your pelvic floor dysfunction, what started this problem in the first place, and create a plan that will get you back to doing the things you love.

If you would like to come in person for a free consultation to discuss what is going on with your body and how we can help you eliminate pelvic floor dysfunction then sign up for one of our Free Discovery Visits. During this visit you will get to sit down with one of our Specialists to determine if we are a good fit for what your body needs. If we determine that we are not the next best step on your health journey then we will do our best to help you find the person who is.

Have you ever been given the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a specialist about your problem without absolutely any cost to you? Why not give it a try and see for yourself why hundreds of women have chosen Physical Therapy for everyBODY over your standard pelvic floor specialist who will only address your pelvic floor and not take a holistic approach to determine what your body needs.

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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