Pelvic floor therapy in St. Louis, MO. Pelvic floor dysfunction doesn’t just cause pain; it can affect your sense of self and independence. If pelvic floor dysfunction is preventing you from getting back to a beloved sport, starting a family, or just getting through a day with the same confidence and comfort as before, pelvic floor physical therapy could be what you require to feel like your best you again. With research-supported treatment plans, pelvic floor therapy in St. Louis, MO can help you with:
- Improved bladder and bowel control
- Reduced discomfort and inflammation
- Enhanced sexual performance and satisfaction
- Increased confidence and well-being
Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO specializes in designing customized treatment plans that gets pelvic floor patients back to the pastimes they enjoy most safely and successfully. If you are curious in gaining more information about pelvic floor therapy or desire to arrange an appointment with one of our experts, please contact us online today or get in touch to the Axes location nearest you. We’re here to help you regain control and confidence in your pelvic health.
How the Pelvic Floor Works
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that create a supportive hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. It acts like a “floor” or a base for the organs in your pelvis, including the bladder, uterus, urethra, and rectum. The pelvic floor shields organs and your spine from outside pressure while helping control several important functions.
The pelvic floor provides a number of vital functions for the body:
- Helps control your bladder and bowels by providing you authority over the contraction and relaxing of muscles
- Supports organs in the pelvis and stops them from descending
- Resists belly pressure from lifting, coughing, or other activities
- Supports healthy sexual function
- Provides stability and posture to the core and back
- During pregnancy, expands to accommodate a growing fetus and assists in childbirth
- Assists in blood and lymph circulation, contributing to sustain healthy tissue
Pelvic Floor Anatomy
The pelvic floor muscles span from the tailbone at the back to the pubic bone at the front, while also linking 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).
Think of the pelvic floor as a woven web of muscles and tissues that constructs a strong foundation, holding the pelvic organs in place and preventing them from dropping down. It works like a supportive sling to maintain the position and function of pelvic organs.
The chief 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 assists 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 sustains the organs inside your lower belly (iliococcygeus). The coccygeus connects the side and back bones of your pelvis and works to maintain your pelvis stable.
The pelvic floor muscles have essential roles. They aid in regulating the release of urine and stool by contracting and relaxing at the appropriate 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 results in pelvic floor dysfunction.
Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition where you experience difficulty relaxing and coordinating your pelvic floor muscles for optimal function.
Signs and Symptoms
- Challenges urinating or having bowel movements
- Feeling like your bowel movements are not fully finished
- Leakage of urine or feces
- Frequently feeling the need to use the bathroom
- Sensation of needing to push out waste
- Pelvic aches
- Pain during sex
- Erectile dysfunction and trouble ejaculating
- Organ prolapse
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Pelvic surgery or trauma
- Chronic constipation or straining
- Chronic coughing or sneezing
- Heavy lifting or high-impact exercise
- Psychological factors like stress or emotional trauma
- Nerve damage
Pelvic floor dysfunction doesn’t just affect people of a single certain age, gender or physical ability. While it can have a negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health, there is hope with professional physical therapy in St. Louis, MO. At Axes, we offer an entire team committed to helping you recover the pleasure of participating in the activities you hold dear most in life.
How Physical Therapy Can Help With Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
If you are suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction, you may feel disappointed, ashamed, or hopeless. But a diagnosis is far from a permanent condition. With pragmatic treatment plans tailored for you by your St. Louis, MO physical therapist, you can regain control over your life and enjoy a comfortable existence.
Pelvic floor therapy involves exercises that can strengthen, improve flexibility of, or coordinate the pelvic muscles. The positive outcomes of physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction in St. Louis, MO include:
- Improved pelvic floor muscle strength — Strengthening pelvic floor muscles can help improving bladder and bowel control, alleviate symptoms of urinary and fecal incontinence, and provide better support for the pelvic organs.
- Improved pelvic floor muscle coordination — Enhancing coordination supports vitals functioning, such as relaxing and contracting muscles during urination, bowel movements, and sexual activity.
- Pain management — By targeting weaker or less flexible muscles and addressing painful spots, physical therapy can support in diminishing or eliminating the pain you feel due to pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Pre- and postpartum care — Pelvic floor therapy is frequently advised for expecting mothers and those who have just given birth. It can aid in preparing the pelvic floor for labor, decreasing the risk of postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction, and promoting healing from changes and trauma to the pelvic floor related to childbirth.
- Sexual health improvement — By concentrating on particular muscles and tackling any hidden issues, therapy can boost sexual arousal, climax, and general sexual gratification.
- Education and self-management — Your customized pelvic floor therapy plan won’t just include monitored exercises. By offering information and guiding you in tips you can try independently, your Axes physical therapist helps you actively participate in your own care and enables you to maintain a lifestyle that fosters pelvic floor wellness.
At Axes Physical Therapy, we have a team of experienced pelvic floor therapists in St. Louis, MO who can support you in improving your pelvic well-being and function. While some instances of pelvic floor dysfunction may require surgical correction, the majority of individuals in St. Louis, MO will find sustained and substantial improvement through less invasive physical therapy techniques.
What St. Louis, MO Pelvic Floor Therapy Involves
Your initial pelvic floor therapy session in St. Louis, MO will involve an assessment of your current pelvic floor health. The remaining sessions will focus on implementing your tailored treatment program.
Assessment and Evaluation
The journey of pelvic floor therapy begins with an initial assessment. During this phase, your St. Louis, MO physical therapist will dedicate time to familiarize themselves with you and your symptoms. They will inquire about your medical history, lifestyle, and goals. Additionally, they will conduct a physical examination and musculoskeletal assessment of your trunk and pelvis to assess your current condition. With your consent, a pre-pelvic floor therapy assessment in St. Louis, MO may additionally involve an internal examination to more evaluate the strength level. Alternatively, biofeedback sensors can be employed instead of an internal examination.
The assessment and evaluation carried out by your physical therapist will assist in recognizing the potential causes of your pelvic floor dysfunction and enable the formulation of an suitable treatment plan to assist you in getting back to the activities you enjoy.
Pelvic Floor Therapy Treatments and Exercises
Upon reviewing the findings from your assessment and evaluation, your pelvic floor therapist in St. Louis, MO will develop a personalized treatment plan customized to your needs. This plan will incorporate defined goals, techniques, and anticipated results to guide your therapy.
Exercises for Pelvic Floor Therapy
Improving physical 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, MO include:
- Kegel exercises to loosen and tighten the pelvic floor muscles
- Diaphragmatic breathing to coordinate your breath with your pelvic floor motion
- Stretching exercises to release tight muscles
- Resistance exercises to build up weak muscles
- Functional training to integrate new muscle actions into routine activities
The exercises your St. Louis, MO physical therapist prescribes for your pelvic floor dysfunction will change based on your particular 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 initially start with you lying flat on your back and progress to seated and standing positions.
Manual therapy, such as instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, is a hands-on technique that involves your physical therapist applying pressure or manipulating specific areas of your pelvis. It may include trigger point therapy (releasing tight knots in your muscles), nerve mobilization (freeing up compressed nerves), joint mobilizing techniques (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 makes use of a device to measure and display the activity of your pelvic floor muscles on a screen. It help you learn how to regulate and align your pelvic floor muscles by giving you real-time feedback on how they contract and relax. This feedback helps you better understand understand how to activate and relax the muscles appropriately, optimizing your muscle coordination and mastery.
Behavioral and Lifestyle Modifications
Physical therapy isn’t just a list of exercises to cross off – it also provides you with entrée to expert, science-backed insights that improve your daily life. Your physical therapist may suggest you with:
- Alterations to your eating habits
- Liquid control
- Appropriate posture and lifting techniques
- Tactics for dealing with constipation
- Additional recommendations for a healthier everyday life and way of living
Enhancing the exercises and techniques used in pelvic floor therapy with these modifications encourages enhanced pelvic floor function and overall well-being.
Other methods in pelvic floor therapy may involve therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, vaginal dilators, weighted cones, medications, and other alternatives.
Axes Physical Therapy’s Approach to Pelvic Floor Therapy in St. Louis, MO
At Axes Physical Therapy, we strongly believe in providing individualized and caring treatment to our patients. Owned and operated by a committed physical therapist in St. Louis, MO, our practice is focused on the client and getting favorable patient results. We realize that pelvic floor dysfunction can manifest as a delicate and difficult condition. That’s why we approach every patient with the highest respect, empathy, and tailored attention.
We also subscribe to the belief in providing evidence-based and holistic care to our patients. We make use of up-to-date research and cutting-edge technology to inform our treatment plans and methodologies. In addition, we offer a range of other physical therapy services that can complement your pelvic floor therapy, including:
- Orthopedic rehab
- Sports physical therapy
- Neurological physical therapy
- Geriatric physical therapy
- Pre- or post-surgery rehab
If you are interested in trying pelvic floor therapy in St. Louis, MO, trust in Axes. We have several convenient physical therapy locations in the St. Louis, MO area, all devoted to attaining your optimal pelvic health.
Call Axes Physical Therapy for Your St. Louis, MO Pelvic Floor Therapy Today
Don’t let pelvic floor dysfunction to hinder you from being the best version of yourself. At Axes, our devoted physio and occupational therapists in St. Louis, MO have a singular mission: getting you back to the things you love the most. Whether pelvic floor dysfunction is preventing your playing in your favorite sport or making it difficult to navigate your day, we will customize our physical therapy treatment plan specifically to you and your goals. Request an appointment online or contact the nearest location to you to commence your path with Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO today.