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Pelvic Floor Therapy

The group of muscles in the pelvic area make up the pelvic floor. Similar to a sling, our pelvic muscles support the bladder, uterus in women, prostate in men, and rectum. Bowel and bladder movements are controlled when we contract and relax the pelvic muscles.

But hundreds of people in Northern Utah are unable to control their pelvic floor muscles; a problem known as pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that support pelvic organs don’t work as they should. It’s an issue that can affect men and women, although it’s much more common in women. Up to a third of all women experience some type of pelvic floor disorder in her lifetime.

For some, the pelvic floor muscles are too weak; in others they are too tight. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also be result of a lower back, hip joint, sacroiliac joint, and/or coccyx impairment.

What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?

There are many reasons pelvic floor dysfunction can develop. A few common ones are:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Endometriosis
  • Poor posture
  • Infections (yeast, bacterial, etc)
  • Trauma
  • Past surgeries

For some people, pelvic floor dysfunction is a symptom of another medical issue. Ogden Clinic’s pelvic floor therapy program is part of a multidisciplinary treatment approach for people who live with:

  • Urinary urgency or frequency (lack of bladder control)
  • Fecal incontinence: lack of bowel control
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: a condition wherein the uterus, bladder, and/or bowel “drop” into the vagina can cause a bulge through the vaginal canal.
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Vaginismus: Vaginal pain or spasm during penetration

Pelvic floor therapists work closely with urologists, OB/GYNs, physical therapists, and primary care physicians using this therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?

Many people don’t feel comfortable talking about personal topics like pelvic floor dysfunction. But these issues are very common treatment is available. If any of these symptoms affect your quality of life, reach out to your primary care physician or contact our pelvic floor therapists in Ogden to discuss your condition.

  • Feelings that you can’t complete a bowel movement or that you need to have several bowel movements within a short period of time
  • Constipation or straining during bowel movement
  • Frequent urination or urgency to urinate
  • Pain while urinating or having a bowel movement
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unexplained pain in your pelvic regions, rectum, or genitals
  • Bladder or bowel leakage

What treatment options are available?

Ogden Clinic now offers Pelvic Floor Therapy, a subspecialty of our Physical Therapy program. Pelvic floor dysfunction is very treatable and, with the help of a trained professional, surgery may not be needed. A few services offered from our pelvic floor therapist include:

  • Exercises to identify and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Relaxation techniques: Therapy and self-care techniques like yoga, exercises, and heat (hot baths, sauna use, etc.) can help relax the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Biofeedback: A non-painful and non-surgical technique to help patients improve muscle coordination. Biofeedback training has shown improvement in up to 70% of patients in recent studies.
  • Soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release to address muscle imbalances.
  • Medication: Sometimes a low-dose muscle relaxant can help ease the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Education on diet, nutrition, and behavior changes that can help improve symptoms.

You don’t need to live with the life-altering or embarrassing symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. To learn more about our multidisciplinary treatment options or schedule an appointment, call Professional Center Physical Therapy at 801-475-3300.

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