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Published on August 18, 2017

Pelvic floor physical therapy: The treatment many are missing

Pelvic floor: a group of muscles that form a sling to support the bladder, uterus (for women) and bowel.

Pelvic floor disorders: pain and/or disruption of bladder, bowel and/or sexual function due to weakened or injured muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor

If you have any of the following conditions, you could benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy (PT):

  • Urinary frequency, urgency or leaking
  • Bowel leakage
  • Constipation
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Hip or tailbone pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor posture
  • Decreased strength or stamina following injury or surgery

Pelvic floor PT may include:

  • Muscle strengthening
  • Behavior modification
  • Biofeedback
  • Water therapy
  • Proper body mechanic instruction
  • Exercise recommendations
  • Manual therapy
  • Braces or assistive devices
  • Deep heat, ice or electrical stimulation

Did you know?

  • 1 in 3 women suffer from a pelvic floor disorder; however men and children can be affected, too
  • Not all physical therapists treat pelvic floor disorders—only those who have completed education to gain the knowledge and clinical skills to treat this complex condition.
  • 60-70% of Gundersen patients notice improvements in bladder control with pelvic floor PT alone

A life-changing story

Pelvic floor PT helped Sharmaine Johnson, of Winona, regain her dignity. Read her story at gundersenhealth.org/sjohnson.