Pelvic Floor Therapy

Pelvic Floor Therapy

Get back to being your best you with Axes Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor therapy in St. Louis. Pelvic floor dysfunction doesn’t just cause pain; it can affect your sense of self and happiness. If pelvic floor dysfunction is keeping you from returning to a favorite sport, starting a family, or just getting through a day with the confidence and ease you used to, pelvic floor physical therapy may be what you need to feel like you again. With evidence-backed treatment plans, pelvic floor therapy in St. Louis can help you experience:

  • Improved bladder and bowel control
  • Reduced pain and inflammation
  • Enhanced sexual function and pleasure
  • Increased confidence and quality of life

Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis specializes in creating personalized treatment plans that gets pelvic floor patients back to the activities they love most safely and effectively. If you are interested in learning more about pelvic floor therapy or want to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, please contact us online today or reach out to the Axes location nearest you. We’re here to help you regain control and confidence in your pelvic health.

Understanding the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that form a supportive hammock-like structure at the bottom of the pelvis. It acts like a “floor” or a foundation for the organs in the pelvic region, including the bladder, uterus, urethra, and rectum. The pelvic floor protects organs and your spine from outside pressure while helping control several vital functions.

The pelvic floor has several functions and roles:

  • Helps control your bladder and bowels by give you control over the squeezing and relaxing of muscles
  • Supports organs in the pelvis and keeps them from descending or prolapsing
  • Resists abdominal pressure from lifting, coughing, or other activities
  • Supports healthy sexual function
  • Provides stability and posture to core and back
  • During pregnancy, stretches to accommodate a growing fetus and supports vaginal delivery in childbirth
  • Assists in blood and lymphatic circulation, helping to maintain healthy tissue

Pelvic Floor Anatomy

The pelvic floor muscles stretch from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone at the front. They also connect to the hip bones on each side. These muscles have openings or passages for the urethra (through which urine is passed), the vagina, and the anus (through which stool is passed).

Imagine the pelvic floor as a woven mesh of muscles and tissues that creates a sturdy base, holding the pelvic organs in place and preventing them from sagging or dropping down. It works like a supportive sling to maintain the position and function of pelvic organs.

The main muscles of the pelvic floor are called the levator ani and the coccygeus. The levator ani has three parts: one that wraps around the rectum and helps you to hold in your poo (puborectalis), one that connects the front and back bones of your pelvis and supports the urethra and rectum (pubococcygeus), and one that connects the side and back bones of your pelvis and supports the organs inside your lower belly (iliococcygeus). The coccygeus connects the side and back bones of your pelvis and helps to keep your pelvis stable.

The pelvic floor muscles have important roles. They help control the release of urine and stool by contracting and relaxing at the right times and play a part in sexual function and pleasure by supporting the organs involved in sexual activity. When the pelvic floor is weakened or becomes too tense, it leads to pelvic floor dysfunction.

Pelvic Floor Therapy St. Louis | Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation | Physical Therapy Near Me

Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition where you have difficulty relaxing and coordinating your pelvic floor muscles for optimal function.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Difficulty urinating or having bowel movements
  • Feeling like your bowel movements are not complete
  • Leakage of urine or feces
  • Frequently feeling the need to use the bathroom
  • Feeling like you need to force out urine or feces
  • Pelvic pain or discomfort
  • Pain during sex
  • Erectile dysfunction and trouble ejaculating
  • Organ prolapse

Potential Causes

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Pelvic surgery or trauma
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Menopause
  • Chronic constipation or straining
  • Chronic coughing or sneezing
  • Heavy lifting or high-impact exercise
  • Psychological factors like stress or emotional trauma
  • Nerve damage
  • Surgery

Pelvic floor dysfunction can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or physical ability. While it can have a negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health, it’s important to remember that proven, evidence-backed treatment plans exist with professional physical therapy in St. Louis. At Axes, we offer an entire team dedicated to getting you back to the things you love most in life effectively and safely.

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

If you are suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction, you may feel frustrated, embarrassed, or hopeless. But a diagnosis is far from a life sentence. With practical treatment plans personalized for your by your St. Louis physical therapist, you can regain your control and pain-free life.

Pelvic floor therapy involves exercises that can strengthen, stretch, or coordinate the pelvic muscles, whether the muscles are too tight or too weak. The benefits of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction in St. Louis includes:

  • Improved pelvic floor muscle strength — Strengthening pelvic floor muscles can help improve bladder and bowel control, reduce symptoms of urinary and fecal incontinence, and provide better support for the pelvic organs.
  • Improved pelvic floor muscle coordination — Enhancing coordination supports essential functioning, such as relaxation and contraction of the muscles during urination, bowel movements, and sexual activity.
  • Pain management By addressing weaker or less flexible muscles and dealing with trigger points, physical therapy can help reduce or eliminate the pain you feel as a result of pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Pre- and post-partum care Pelvic floor therapy is often recommended during pregnancy and after childbirth. It can help prepare the pelvic floor for labor and delivery, minimize the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction postpartum, and assist in recovery from childbirth-related changes and trauma to the pelvic floor.
  • Sexual health improvement — By targeting specific muscles and addressing any underlying issues, therapy can enhance sexual arousal, orgasm, and overall sexual satisfaction.
  • Education and self-management — Your personalized pelvic floor therapy plan won’t just include supervised exercises. By educating you and teaching you techniques you can try on your own, your Axes physical therapist makes you an active participant in your own care and helps you maintain a lifestyle that supports pelvic floor health.

At Axes Physical Therapy, we have a team of expert St. Louis pelvic floor therapists who can help you improve your pelvic health and function. While some cases of pelvic floor dysfunction may require surgery to correct, most St. Louis patients will be able to find lasting, meaningful improvement with minimally invasive physical therapy techniques.

What St. Louis Pelvic Floor Therapy Involves

Your first pelvic floor therapy session in St. Louis will consist of an assessment of your current pelvic floor health. The remaining sessions will consist of your personalized treatment plan.

Assessment and Evaluation

The pelvic floor therapy journey begins with an initial assessment and evaluation. This is where your St. Louis physical therapist will get to know you and your symptoms. They will ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, and goals. They will also perform a physical exam and musculoskeletal assessment of your trunk and pelvis to assess your current state. With your permission, a pre-pelvic floor therapy assessment in St. Louis may also include an internal exam to further determine level of strength. Biofeedback sensors can also be used in place of of an internal exam.

The assessment and evaluation will help your physical therapist identify the possible causes of your pelvic floor dysfunction and determine how they can best develop a treatment plan to get you back to the things you love.

Pelvic Floor Therapy Treatments and Exercises

Based on the results of your assessment and evaluation, your St. Louis pelvic floor therapist will create an individualized treatment plan for you. This plan will include specific goals, exercises, techniques, and expected outcomes of your therapy.

Exercises for Pelvic Floor Therapy

Improving strength and coordination is vital for any pelvic floor therapy plan. Exercises that may be included in your physical therapy treatment plan in St. Louis include:

  • Kegel exercises to relax and contract the pelvic floor muscles
  • Diaphragmatic breathing to coordinate your breath with your pelvic floor movement
  • Stretching exercises to loosen tight muscles
  • Strengthening exercises to build up weak muscles
  • Functional training to incorporate new muscle movements into everyday activities

The exercises your St. Louis physical therapist prescribes for your pelvic floor dysfunction will depend on your specific needs, but will all be aimed at retraining your body and muscles for optimal health. Depending on your current health and level of pelvic floor dysfunction, exercises may begin with you laying flat on your back and progress to sitting and standing positions.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy, such as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, is a hands-on technique that involves your physical therapist applying pressure or massaging specific areas of your pelvis. It may include trigger point therapy (releasing tight knots in your muscles), nerve release (freeing up compressed nerves), joint mobilization (improving the mobility of your joints), deep tissue massage (relaxing tense muscles), or skin rolling (lifting and rolling the skin to reduce adhesions).

Biofeedback Training

Biofeedback training uses a device to measure and display the activity of your pelvic floor muscles on a screen. It helps you learn how to control and coordinate your pelvic floor muscles by giving you real-time feedback on how they contract and relax. This feedback helps you better understand how to contract and relax the muscles properly, optimizing your muscle coordination and control.

Behavioral and Lifestyle Modifications

Physical therapy isn’t just a list of exercises to cross off – it also gives you access to professional, science-backed insights that improve your daily life. Your physical therapist may advise you with:

  • Changes to your diet
  • Fluid management
  • Proper posture and lifting techniques
  • Strategies for dealing with constipation
  • Any other advice for a healthier day-to-day life and lifestyle

Complementing the exercises and techniques used in pelvic floor therapy with these adjustments promotes better pelvic floor function and overall well-being.

Other pelvic floor therapy techniques may include therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, vaginal dilators, weighted cones, medications, and more.

Axes Physical Therapy’s Approach to Pelvic Floor Therapy in St. Louis

At Axes Physical Therapy, we believe in providing personalized and compassionate care to our patients. Owned and operated by a St. Louis physical therapist, we are are client-centered and driven to achieve positive patient outcomes. We understand that pelvic floor dysfunction can be a sensitive and challenging issue to deal with. That’s why we treat each patient with respect, dignity, empathy, and personalized care.

We also believe in providing evidence-based and holistic care to our patients. We use the latest research and technology to guide our treatment plans and techniques. We also offer other physical therapy services that can complement your pelvic floor therapy, such as:

If you are interested in trying pelvic floor therapy in St. Louis at Axes Physical Therapy, we are here to help you. We have several convenient physical therapy locations in St. Louis and surrounding areas, all dedicated to achieving your optimal pelvic health.

Call Axes Physical Therapy for Your St. Louis Pelvic Floor Therapy Today

Don’t let pelvic floor dysfunction hold you back from living your best life. At Axes, our St. Louis physical and occupational therapists have one missions: getting you back to the things you love most. Whether pelvic floor dysfunction is preventing you from playing your favorite sport or just makes it impossible to get through a day with ease, we’ll tailor our physical therapy treatment plan specifically to you and your goals. Request an appointment online or call the location nearest you to get started with Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis today.


Begin Your Recovery Today

Injuries and pain shouldn’t keep you from moving and doing the things you love.