The pelvic floor is a collection of muscles, connective tissues, joints, and nerves that form the base of the body’s trunk or groin. The area supports and includes the bowel, bladder and sexual organs.
Dysfunction in this region occurs in both men and women and can be caused by trauma, surgery, infection, poor posture, and childbirth. These issues may lead to an imbalance in the function and anatomy of the pelvic tissues including the following:
- Muscles may become weak, tight, lax, or go into spasm.
- Connective tissue including fascia and ligaments can tear, become scarred down or overly lax.
- Joints may fuse, lose mobility or become unstable.
- Nerves can become compressed, scarred down or overly stretched.
- Blood flow and lymphatic drainage can be impaired.
Physical therapy can improve the strength and mobility of reproductive joints and tissues, resulting in improved blood flow, decreased pain, and an improvement in quality of life. Techniques include manual therapy to break down scar tissue and adhesions, strength training to build up muscle tone, and re-education exercises to restore normal neuromuscular balance.
Physical therapy can help improve the symptoms and function of the following conditions:
Pelvic Pain includes pain in the groin, abdomen, low back, hips, or sacro-iliac joint. Pain can occur with intercourse, urination, or bowel movements.
Pudendal Neuralgia includes pain with sitting, genital pain, tailbone pain, as well as urinary, bowel and/or sexual dysfunction.
Pelvic congestion is caused by chronic enlargement or dilation of the veins within the pelvis causing multiple issues which can be further read about here.
Bladder dysfunction can be caused by various neural or muscular compromises and encompasses many symptoms. More information can be found here.
- Urinary Incontinence (stress, urge, and mixed)
- Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome)
- Incomplete Emptying
- Urinary Retention
- Difficulty with Initiation
- Pain Before, During, After Urination
- Nocturia (frequent night time urination)
- Enuresis (bed wetting in the night)
Bowel dysfunction, issues with defecation, can have various symptoms. More information is found on our Bowel Dysfunction page.
- Rectal pain
- Incomplete Emptying
- Difficulty with initiation
- Bowel/Fecal Incontinence
- Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBS): constipation, diarrhea
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
Sexual dysfunction is a private issue for many people, with social and cultural influences affecting how we approach and speak about it. More information can be found here. Some common issues within sexual dysfunction include:
- Pudendal Neuralgia
- Pelvic Pain
- Genital Pain
- Vulvodynia / vaginusmus
- Dyspareunia (pain with intercourse)
Learn more about pelvic floor health on these pages
Learn about our treatment options on these pages