Pelvic Health

How Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Therapy Works

Select locations within the Ivy Rehab Network can provide non-surgical approaches to rehabilitation of male and female pelvic health, including Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD).

What is PFD?

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) is a condition that renders a person unable to control their pelvic floor muscles. PFD affects many women, especially as a result of pregnancy, delivery, trauma such as a fall or car accident, surgery, obesity, or other pelvic health conditions including endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, or prolapse.

What are some of the symptoms of PFD?

Common symptoms of PFD include, but are not limited to, a feeling of pain or heaviness/pressure in the area of the lower abdomen or vagina, incontinence, leakage, or urgency. Symptoms tend to occur when upright, straining or coughing.

How can we help?

The Ivy Rehab Network has physical therapists that can provide a non-surgical approach to rehabilitation of dysfunctions in the pelvis that contribute to bowel, bladder, sexual health, and pain complaints.

Approaches may include:

  • Behavioral strategies
  • Manual therapies
  • Modalities
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Education
  • Functional retraining

What are tips to support pelvic health?

  • Strengthen your pelvic floor muscle. Kegel exercises can be incorporated into your daily routine to help.
  • If your pelvic muscles are overly tight, consider practicing meditation or guided relaxation.
  • Consume sufficient fiber and fluids as well as exercise regularly to help avoid constipation.
  • Refrain from pushing too hard during bowel movement.
  • Lower your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and other dehydrators to help avoid urinary incontinence or a urinary tract infection.

Scroll down to see which locations within the Ivy Rehab Network near you offer Pelvic Floor Dysfunction physical therapy. 

  • Q: What is Pelvic Health?
    Pelvic health focuses on a group of conditions in men and women that may interfere with both bowel and bladder control, sexual health, and cause chronic pelvic pain. The unique anatomy and function of of the pelvic floor is the primary focus of this type of physical therapy.
  • Q: What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?
    Pelvic floor dysfunction can manifest itself in urine or fecal leaks or difficulty with control, difficulty starting or stopping urine flow, painful intercourse, low back pain, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and even referred pain to the hip.
  • Q: What exercises do you recommend for the pelvic floor?
    The answer is "it depends." If muscle tone is too high - from trauma, stress, abnormal posture or other reasons - the exercise focus is to relax and "downtrain" the pelvic floor. A physical therapist is needed to guide this activity. If the pelvic floor is weak or too low, exercises focus on tightening the pelvic floor and progressing the amount of time the contraction can be held. Other ways to progress are to move from exercise laying on your back, then sidelying, sitting, and then standing and walking. These types of exercises are very specific and the technique needs to be correctly executed or problems can worsen. All therapeutic exercise is unique and specific to the individual's needs.
  • Q: Is Pelvic Health offered at all Ivy Rehab locations?
    Pelvic health services are best performed by a specialist who has extensive special training in this area. Not every Ivy Rehab site has a pelvic floor specialist, but all physical therapists can provide a fundamental evaluation and instruction to start a patient on the road to recovery.
  • Q: What does pelvic floor physical therapy consist of?
    Depending on the exact diagnosis and condition, pelvic health therapy includes specific patient education, manual therapy techniques as needed, therapeutic exercise and home program guidance, as well as occasional use of supplemental modalities such as electrical stimulation, dilators or treatment combined with orthopedic physical therapy. Education may focus on hydration and nutrition recommendations, teaching how to suppress urge and methods to improve control. All treatments are always thoroughly discussed with the patient first so the best pelvic floor rehabilitation plan is implemented.

Find a location that offers Pelvic Health near you

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