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What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

A Simple Guide

Article by Dr. Kristine Godsil, PT, DPT

Photography by Lynn Townsend

Even though we hear more about pelvic floor physical therapy these days, it can still seem a bit mysterious. Let's dive into what it is, who it can help, and the issues it can address. We'll also explore the amazing role of those pelvic floor muscles and why therapy can be a game-changer.

What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a way to help people who are having problems with their sexual, bladder, or bowel systems. It looks at everything that connects to and works with the pelvis. During an evaluation, we take a close look at your back, hips, abdominals, and pelvic floor. This involves checking the muscles, joints, and nerves in these areas. The great thing is that pelvic floor therapy is for everyone who has a pelvis, which means everybody! I've treated patients of all ages and genders, whether you're a mom, an athlete, or someone dealing with discomfort – pelvic floor therapy could be the solution you need.

The Role of Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor muscles are located in the space within your pelvis, situated between your sit bones, tailbone, and pubic bone. These muscles play a crucial role that can be described using five S's: support, sphincter, sexual health, stability, and sump pump.

  • Support: The pelvic floor helps to support your bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs. It's the base of your core system.

  • Sphincter: These muscles assist in opening and closing the sphincters of your bowel and bladder, ensuring you can control these systems during your daily activities.

  • Sexual health: Pelvic floor muscles play a crucial role in supporting the pelvis and contributing to sexual health and function.

  • Stability: As mentioned earlier, they help stabilize your back, hips, and abdominals by serving as the foundation of your core system. They have to handle a lot of pressure throughout your day, even during simple tasks like breathing, walking, picking things up, or laughing.

  • Sump pump: The pelvic floor also plays a role in pumping blood and lymph in the pelvis up to the trunk.

When these muscles don't work properly, it can lead to issues such as leaking urine, pelvic pain, back problems, and other discomforts.

The Benefits of Therapy

So, why should you consider pelvic floor therapy? The great news is that it can enhance your quality of life. It can reduce or even eliminate problems like urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and discomfort after childbirth. With the right exercises and guidance from a pelvic floor physical therapist, you can get your life back on track.

At Sparq PT, you'll get one-on-one personal attention. We'll create a plan tailored to your needs to help you feel better in fewer visits. Together, we can manage your symptoms and bring back your quality of life!

Please note that the thoughts and ideas presented in this article reflect the author's viewpoint, unless stated otherwise. This content should not be considered as individual medical guidance. The details shared are designed to assist readers in making well-informed choices regarding their own health and well-being.

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