Pelvic Health

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Women’s health encompasses a broad spectrum of medical concerns, including pelvic floor dysfunction, which ranks as a prevalent yet often under-discussed issue due to the stigma, embarrassment, or lack of awareness about symptoms related to pelvic floor dysfunction. The societal taboo surrounding topics related to pelvic health further contributes to the lack of open dialogue and education about the importance of pelvic floor physical therapy.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the bottom of the pelvis. It plays a crucial role in supporting the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum, and helps control bladder and bowel function. These crucial muscles work together to provide strength and flexibility to the pelvis, support your spine, contribute to sexual function, and maintain overall well-being.

According to available data, pelvic floor dysfunction affects 10% of women in their 20s and 30s and more than 30% of those over the age of 40. Pelvic floor physical therapy has emerged as a vital aspect of women’s health care, offering specialized interventions aimed at addressing conditions such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. Women can utilize it during pregnancy and postpartum. Some common conditions, such as low back pain, have also been associated with pelvic floor dysfunction.

Like any other muscle in the body, things begin to go wrong when the muscle is too weak and loses flexibility or coordination. Once this happens to your pelvic floor, it can no longer support your pelvic organs, contract and relax during sexual function, regulate your sphincters that hold in your urine and bowel movements or assist your back and hips in stabilizing your core. Being able to identify common symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction can aid you in seeking help from an appropriate provider.

Pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms: 

  • Heaviness on your lower abdominal region or vaginal area (caused by poorly supported pelvic organs pressing on your vagina)
  • Leaking urine when you sneeze and jump (even a little) or not being able to hold in gas or poop can be a symptom of incontinence
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pain during intercourse or when inserting a tampon
  • Pain in any part of your pelvis, including your vulva, vagina, or bladder

One of the most familiar interventions associated with pelvic floor disorders is Kegel exercises. While these exercises may be helpful when prescribed appropriately, they can backfire by tightening pelvic floor muscles. When working with a specialized physical therapist specializing in the pelvic floor, your interventions can be carefully prescribed based on your specific symptoms. If you identify any symptoms related to pelvic floor dysfunction, share your concerns with your primary care provider or gynecologist/obstetrician. After determining if you’re a candidate for pelvic floor physical therapy, you can be referred to a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor. A typical visit for a pelvic floor patient begins with a thorough evaluation, which includes a detailed medical history discussion and assessment of pelvic floor function and strength using an internal or external exam. After an initial examination, follow-up treatment can consist of techniques and modalities such as manual therapy, biofeedback, therapeutic exercises, and relaxation techniques tailored to each patient.

Recognizing the need for pelvic floor physical therapy services in the RGV, Moveo Performance is moving forward to provide comprehensive solutions to address pelvic floor dysfunction. Moveo Performance aims to fill a crucial gap in women’s health care, offering specialized interventions to support pelvic health, improve mobility, and enhance overall quality of life. Through a patient-centered approach, Moveo Performance hopes to empower women with the knowledge, tools, and support to overcome pelvic floor issues and thrive in all aspects of life.

Increasing awareness and normalizing discussions about pelvic floor health are crucial steps in ensuring that women receive the care and support they need to address these often debilitating issues.

Source: Chicago Medicine (n.d). Pelvic floor disorders. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/conditions-services/pelvic-floor-disorders

Https://www.theoriginway.com/pelvic-floor-101?utm_source=google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=LS_SE_Brand_Satelite. (n.d.). 

 

Victoria Garcia