Health + Fitness Newsletter
WOM E N ’ S H E A L T H MAT T E R S ! I N C O N T I N E N C E , C H R O N I C P E L V I C P A I N , & P H Y S I C A L T H E R A P Y
A physical therapist is highly skilled in evaluating and treating various musculoskeletalandneurologicalconditionsaffectingthebody.Thisprofession focusesonassessinganyunderlying factors,suchasstrength,neuromuscular control, balance, coordination, skeletal alignment, and endurance, which may be contributing to impaired functional mobility, activity participation, and quality of life. Of course, most people only seek physical therapy when they’re suffering from a common injury or condition such as whiplash, tendonitis, low back pain, ligament sprains, and plantar fasciitis. Perhaps lesser known is that chronicpelvicpainanddysfunction, including incontinence,canalsorespond positively to physical therapy intervention. Causes Of Incontinence And Chronic Pelvic Pain Ifyouhavepain inyourpelvis, itmaynotalwaysbe fullyclearwhat’scausing it. Some common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain include, but are not limited to:
Anyoftheseconditionsmay leadto inadequatesupportoftheorganscontained withyourpelviccavity, increasedpressureor inflammationofnerves,muscles, andotherconnectivetissues(includingyourbladder),and impairedpelvicbone alignment. These symptoms can be frustrating, painful, and embarrassing, and may limit your tolerance to daily participation in desired activities, including exercise. Other symptoms frequently appear with pelvic pain, including incontinence, bloating,abdominalpressure,reluctance tostrainwhiledefecating,andpain in the low back, buttocks, and hips. You may also have decreased tolerance to a variety of activities including sitting or standing, walking, exercise, and sexual intercourse. How A Physical Therapist Can Treat Pelvic Pain Every patient presenting with chronic pelvic pain is unique. If you come to see a physical therapist for your pelvic dysfunction, you’ll be taken through a thorough physical examination and patient history questionnaire. He or she will ask you specific questions about your pain, what makes it worse and better, and whether you have a history of any related issues. Based on the results of the examination, your physical therapist can then develop a customized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and address the suspected underlying causes to prevent recurring dysfunction.
• Levator ani syndrome (increased tension in pelvic floor muscles) • Post-surgical complications (e.g., pain following a hysterectomy, hernia repair, cesarean section, and/or prostatectomy)
• Pregnancy • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction • Coccydynia • Irritation of the pudendal nerve (which originates near the bottom of your spine) • Irritable bowel syndrome
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