What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?

Women suffering from pelvic floor disorders can benefit from specialized physical therapy. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and ligaments that stretch from the pubic bone to the tailbone, supporting the bladder and reproductive organs. Women with urinary incontinence, bowel problems or sexual dysfunction – as well as a number of other issues – can benefit greatly from pelvic floor physical therapy. Patients will see a change in their ability to control their pelvic floor, which increases confidence and translates to a better quality of life.

 

Pelvic Floor Disorder Treatment Options

 

St. Elizabeth offers a variety of treatment options for patients with pelvic disorders, including:

  • Therapeutic exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor muscles
  • Joint mobilization
  • Trigger point release
  • Soft tissue mobilization to improve tissue flexibility and mobility
  • Biofeedback to improve muscle awareness and coordination
  • Electrotherapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Modalities for pain management

They also offer in-depth patient education surrounding diet, exercise and nutrition.

 

Conditions helped by Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

 

St. Elizabeth’s pelvic floor physical therapy program is designed to aid in the patient’s physical and emotional well-being. So many women suffer in silence with conditions that can be addressed by pelvic floor physical therapy, including:

  • Bladder incontinence – leaking of urine at inopportune times.
  • Sexual dysfunction – pain (from a variety of reasons) that affects a woman’s ability to have a normal sex life.
  • Pelvic pain – pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or perineum; typically considered chronic if it lasts longer than 6 months.
  • Additional conditions – constipation, fecal incontinence, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and prenatal/postnatal posture issues

Pelvic floor issues are rarely seen in isolation. It’s typical for symptoms to lead to cascading complaints and additional symptoms.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare has two physical therapists who have undergone extensive training through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Women’s Health, making them knowledgeable and compassionate health partners to patients.

At the first appointment, patients will undergo a physical assessment, pelvic exam and a detailed medical history. Based on this information, one of the pelvic floor physical therapists will work with the patient to create a customized treatment plan, including a schedule of physical therapy visits and exercises to work on at home. Most patients start to see results in the first few visits.

Pelvic floor physical therapy is exclusively offered at the St. Elizabeth’s Florence campus in the outpatient physical therapy department.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy, please visit St. Elizabeth’s website or contact our outpatient Physical Therapy office at (859) 212-5400 to make an appointment. Many patients are referred to the program by their gynecologist, uro-gynecologist, urologist or other physician.