If you experience pelvic pain or incontinence, you would likely benefit from the skilled service of a physical therapist. Gundersen's trained team of pelvic therapists is qualified to diagnose and treat many types of pelvic pain and incontinence following a physician's referral. They work closely with primary care providers and experts from Gynecology, Urology and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, to provide comprehensive care.
In addition to special testing performed by your physician, your physical therapist will perform a detailed verbal and physical evaluation to help determine the source of your problem. You and your therapist will work together to develop a customized treatment plan to suit your needs.
Pelvic floor physical therapy can be an easier, more cost-effective treatment option often resulting in less need for pain medication, shorter recovery time after surgery or an injury, improved strength and balance, more independence and better quality of life.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is one of several treatment options available at Gundersen for pelvic dysfunction.
Incontinence, or urinary leaking, affects millions of people (men, women and children). When it comes to continence care, physical therapy is a non-surgical treatment option that can be tried before surgical management and has shown to be very effective.
Physical therapy incontinence treatment approaches include:
- Muscle strengthening, particularly of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles
- Behavioral modifications techniques related to the bladder
- Removing foods from your diet that may irritate your bladder
- Scheduled voiding
- Electrical stimulation
Weak pelvic floor and abdominal muscles can contribute to both stress and incontinence. Pelvic floor muscle exercises—Kegel exercises—can be difficult to perform properly when they are very weak or when they have sustained nerve damage because they are hard to locate.
The human body is an amazingly complex machine. Pregnancy can alter all of your body mechanisms leading to aches and pains. Although quite common, these aches and pains do not have to alter your lifestyle.
A physical therapist can help:
- Select a specially designed brace to address low back, pubic and pelvic pain due to changes in your posture and muscle function
- Realign body changes and calm sore muscles and irritated nerves through joint mobilization and stretching
- Promote proper healing in post-partum by using soft tissue mobilization and massaging episiotomy scars and abdominal scars
- Promote general health and pain relief through body mechanics instruction, exercise recommendations and partner massage
Pelvic pain can occur for many reasons, such as multiple abdominal and pelvic surgeries, trauma to the pelvis or perineum and vascular or nerve changes following chronic bladder infections and vulvar irritations.
Some people describe pelvic ache, pressure or pain during intercourse, urination or prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Pelvic pain can often be accompanied by low back pain, abdominal pain, inner thigh pain and hip pain.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Specific scar and soft tissue mobilizations in the legs, pelvis and abdominal regions to help calm muscle spasms and quiet overactive nervous systems
- Modalities such as deep heat, ice and electrical stimulation
- Biofeedback—a device your therapist can use to help teach you proper use of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles