You may or may not know that the pelvic floor is part of your “core” musculature. Its purpose is to support the bottom portion of your core where your spine and pelvis connect to your lower body. When working properly, the pelvic floor supports your upper and lower body with everything you do, from performing deadlifts at the gym to walking to maintaining a sitting position at a desk at work. The pelvic floor consists of muscles, ligaments, bones, and nerves, just like other area of our body. It can also be prone to dysfunction for a variety of reasons and can be seen in both men and women. Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to pain in this region and is a common occurrence that affects millions of people, regardless of gender. Surprisingly, many cases of pelvic floor dysfunction actually go untreated.
Pelvic floor dysfunction may be a result of pregnancy and childbirth, infections, chronic low back pain, SI dysfunction, trauma, surgery or generally weakened pelvic muscles, among other causes. The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction vary but typically include any sort of pain in the pelvic region: pelvic pain, perineal pain, pain with intercourse, tailbone and groin pain, incontinence (both urinary or fecal) and constipation. At Therapydia Portland, our physical therapists are human biomechanics experts and can address the unique musculoskeletal problems of the pelvic region. We can help treat any current pelvic functional limitations and will provide you the knowledge and tools to prevent this from coming back.
Pelvic Health: Not Just a Women’s Issue
Men may suffer from pelvic health issues as a result of weakened pelvic muscles or those who are post-prostatectomy. Pelvic pain in men is typically muscular and is common among older men with prostate issues. In some instances, pelvic pain can be the result of chronic constipation and the symptoms become a product of the tightness in those muscles. Tight pelvic muscles are also common for athletes due to the frequent use of these muscles. Runners who hold their urine longer than normal, weightlifters who misuse their muscles and athletes who frequently jump—such as gymnasts—may be more prone to tight pelvic muscles.
Pelvic conditions treated by physical therapy include:
• Urinary incontinence
• Stress UI
• Pelvic Pain Syndromes
• Chronic Pelvic Pain
• Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome
• Pudendal Neuralgia
• Vulvar Pain
• Musculoskeletal Dysfunction Pre- and Post-Partum
• Low Back/Abdominal/SI Pain
• Diastasis Recti
PTs can test to see if incontinence is a result of weakened muscles. If the area is properly strengthened, they’re able to tell that it’s not a musculoskeletal issue. They also look for red flags like signs and symptoms of cancer and listen for things that don’t make sense. Physical therapists are well-trained in recognizing when a condition is outside the scope of their practice and will happily refer you to the appropriate practitioner.
Our physical therapists work individually with every patient to understand their needs and to tailor a plan that fits with their goals and lifestyle. Our goal is to build strength and flexibility while reducing any pain you may be experiencing so that you can return to a pain-free life, stronger and healthier than ever.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you address your unique pelvic musculoskeletal problems and improve your quality of life.