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PELVIC HEALTH

Let our physical therapy team help you find relief from pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, sexual dysfunction and urinary and bowel conditions.

What We Treat:

South Aiken Physical Therapy & Wellness  now offers pelvic floor physical therapy for men and women, including internal & external evaluations for pelvic floor muscle integrity. Some of the conditions that we treat are:

  • Anorectal pain
  • Coccyx pain
  • Constipation
  • Diastasis recti
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Interstitial cystitis / painful bladder syndrome
  • Low back and hip pain
  • Pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Prolapse
  • Prostatitis syndrome
  • Pudendal neuralgia
  • Sacroiliac dysfunction
  • Urinary incontinence, frequency, and urgency

If you have any of these symptoms or have a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC), pelvic floor therapy might be right for you.

Our Philosophy:

You Are a Whole Person

We believe in finding and fixing the underlying 'why' behind your symptoms. Our holistic approach yields lasting results because we look beyond the pelvic floor to address all the factors contributing to your symptoms.

We also believe in hands-on, manual physical therapy. You won't be simply hooked to a biofeedback machine and told to just practice your Kegels - we have a whole-body, integrative approach to the pelvic floor.

Physical therapy is a team effort. We are here to listen and help you meet your goals. From day one, we empower our patients with the tools and understanding to resolve symptoms and prevent them from returning.

What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor refers to the muscles that support your reproductive and urinary tract, including your bladder, uterus (or prostate), and rectum, also wrapping around the urethra, vagina (in females), and rectum. These muscles attach to your pelvis and to your tailbone and sacrum. In addition to providing support, they also help you control bladder and bowel function.

When these muscles aren’t working as they should, they can cause pain and other symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Physical therapy can help ease pain and associated symptoms, getting you back to normal functioning.

What is pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a treatment to help address pain, weakness, and  dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles . The type of therapy prescribed will depend upon the symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, some symptoms will require relaxing and lengthening of the muscles, while others may require strengthening the muscles.

Pelvic floor physical therapy can be used to treat pelvic floor dysfunction and the symptoms so often associated with it. Some symptoms that can be improved with pelvic floor physical therapy are:

  •   Urinary problems, such as:
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Urinary frequency
    • Urinary urgency
    • Painful urination
    • Difficulty stopping or starting urinating
    • Difficulty fully emptying the bladder
  •  Bowel
    • Fecal incontinence
    • Straining or experiencing pain during bowel movements
  • Unexplained pain
    • Pelvic pain
    • Pain in the genital area
    • Rectal pain
  • Pain during intercourse

If you have any of these symptoms or have a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis (IC), pelvic floor therapy might be right for you.

What to expect:

When you start working with a physical therapist to address pelvic floor functioning, there are some things you can expect. At your first appointment, your therapist will likely do an assessment before deciding which types of therapy will be most effective. That assessment may include an evaluation of both external and internal muscles. You may be asked to stand, walk, and sit so the therapist can see whether you may have posture or joint issues that could be affecting the pelvic floor muscles.

Most physical therapy to treat pelvic floor dysfunction and pain is hands on, which includes both internal and external therapy. Because internal physical therapy may be difficult for some people, therapists are sensitive to the needs of every individual and will not begin with internal physical therapy until you are ready.

Internal techniques may include using a specialized instrument or a finger inside the vagina or rectum to do trigger point therapy.

Depending on your condition, your therapist may also suggest Kegel exercises to strengthen your muscles. He or she will help train you on the proper way to do Kegels.

The evaluation of the pelvic floor itself usually requires an internal exam. To do this, we will use manual palpation either vaginally or rectally, whichever is appropriate. Manual palpation means that we will use one finger to do the assessment. This is different from a female gynecological exam, which uses instruments, such as a speculum. The purpose of the exam is to assess for muscle strength, excessive tightness, trigger points (small muscle “knots”), painful areas, and muscle coordination. Usually, the internal exam is not painful. If you are coming here because of a pain condition, it’s important during the exam to identify the specific muscles that are causing pain. This will help to create a proper plan of care.

The initial evaluation will first determine whether therapy is appropriate, and if it is, it will determine the appropriate plan of care. Treatment  may  include:

  • Strengthening or stretching exercises of the trunk, legs, or pelvic muscles
  • Relaxation exercises for shortened pelvic muscles
  • Coordination exercises
  • Education in self-management and prevention
  • Biofeedback for either strengthening or relaxation of the pelvic muscles
  • Modalities like heat, ice, or electrical stimulation.

    Treatment will vary depending on the specific problems identified.

    Pelvic floor therapy is recommended as a first-line treatment for many disorders of the pelvic region.