Pelvic floor dysfunction
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles in the pelvic area. These muscles support the organs in pelvis like a sling. The organs in this area include the bladder, uterus, and rectum (the area at the end of the large intestine where your body stores solid waste). By contracting and relaxing these muscles, one can control bowel and bladder movements.
The female pelvic floor serves multiple functions:
- urination and urinary continence,
- fecal continence
- keeping the pelvic organs in position.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction?
- Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a wide range of issues that occur when muscles of the pelvic floor are weak, tight, or there is an impairment of the sacroiliac joint, lower back, coccyx, or hip joints.
- The three most common and definable conditions encountered clinically are
- Urinary incontinence,
- Anal incontinence and
- Pelvic organ prolapse.
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
- Poor posture
- Musculoskeletal imbalance
- Pregnancy and childbirth.
- Traumatic injuries to the pelvic area, such as in an accident, and complications from vaginal childbirth can contribute to this condition.
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- Pain or pressure in the vagina or rectum.
- Unable to postpone first urgency
- Lose of urinary control when coughing and laughing.
- The feeling that you cannot complete a bowel movement.
- Constipation or straining pain with bowel movements.
- Painful urination
- Pain in your lower back that cannot be explained by other causes.
- Ongoing pain in your pelvic region, genitals, or rectum.
How is pelvic floor dysfunction treated?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can often be successfully treated without surgery. Treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction include:
Biofeedback The most common treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction is biofeedback, done with the help of a physical therapist. This non-painful, non-surgical technique provides improvement in more than 75% of people with pelvic floor dysfunction.Physical therapists may take several approaches to biofeedback. These include using special sensors and video to monitor the pelvic floor muscles as the patient attempts to relax or contract them. The therapist then provides feedback and works with the patient on improving their muscle coordination.
Relaxation techniques: Physical therapist may recommend relaxation techniques such as warm baths, yoga, and exercises.