Pelvic Floor Issues

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles at the base of your pelvis that provide support and stability to organs such as the bladder, the bowels, the uterus and prostate.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is the inability to correctly relax and coordinate your pelvic floor muscles.

For instance, when we go to the toilet the pelvic floor muscles relax in normal circumstances, however, when there is pelvic dysfunction the body keeps tightening the muscles rather than relaxing them.

It is a common condition and symptoms of pelvic floor issues can include:

  • Difficulty controlling urination – urinary incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Organ prolapse
  • Pain in the lower back, genitals or rectum

What causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

There are a number of known causes of pelvic floor dysfunction, which include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pushing too hard on the toilet
  • Going to the toilet too often
  • Being overweight
  • Inactivity or sedentary lifestyle
  • Surgery in the pelvis or abdomen
  • Injury to pelvic area
  • Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing
  • A previous history of interstitial cystitis or urinary tract infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • A family history of pelvic floor dysfunction

What can I do if I am experiencing these Symptoms?

We recommend that if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction that you seek advice from a medical practitioner, including a Physiotherapist or Osteopath, who will be able to diagnose the issue and devise a treatment plan accordingly.

They will ask you questions and do a physical examination in order to rule out other conditions in the pelvis and abdomen, such as pelvic floor prolapse (in women) and prostatitis (in men).

Can Pelvic Floor Dysfunction go away on its own?

Pelvic floor dysfunction tends to get worse over time if it is left untreated, we recommend that you seek medical help to restore normal function.

Pelvic floor and core muscle exercises can:

  • Improve bladder and bowel control
  • Reduce risk of prolapse in women
  • Assist recovery from childbirth and surgery in women
  • Increase sexual sensation
  • Increase social confidence and quality of life

Treatments for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction is very treatable. Although it differs from person to person, it may take a few months to rehabilitate. Treatments include:

  • Physical therapy: teaching you exercises that help to coordinate your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Relaxation techniques: to help to relax the tight muscles of the pelvic floor. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, pilates, acupuncture
  • Sometimes supplements are recommended to help keep bowel movements soft and regular, so to reduce strain and pressure when going to the toilet.

If you suspect you have pelvic floor dysfunction, the sooner you seek help the better and quicker the recovery. Our practitioners at City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy treat this condition regularly and we would like to reassure you, as this can be an embarrassing or sensitive problem, that all consultations are strictly private and confidential.

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