Help for pelvic floor dysfunction
Literally millions of Americans are suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction but for many the disease goes undiagnosed and untreated. Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a wide range of problems where there is weakness or tightness in the muscles of the pelvic floor or impairment of the sacroiliac joints, low back, tailbone/coccyx and/or hip joints. The pelvic floor is made up of 3 layers of muscles that form a sling that goes from the pubic bone to the tailbone. These often “forgotten” muscles assist in supporting the organs of the pelvis and abdomen along with helping to control bowel, bladder and sexual function.
Conditions of pelvic floor dysfunction may be due to any of the following: Infection, pregnancy or childbirth, insidious onset, trauma (bad fall or sexual abuse), poor posture from low back pain or sacroiliac dysfunction, malalignments of the pelvis/tailbone or spine, or a result of surgery.
Meghan Graf is a Physical Therapist at Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services in Medina that specializes in helping women with their pelvic floor dysfunction. Her specialty includes taking an often complex set of factors and symptoms and addressing each individual with a caring, sensitive approach. She can help with any of the following among others:
1) Disorders of the bladder including incontinence, urgency, frequency, inability to fully empty the bladder, pain or pressure in the bladder (Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome)
2) Sexual Dysfunction or painful intercourse
3) Pelvic organ prolapses
4) Pelvic pain
5) Pudendal neuralgia
7) Low back pain or sciatica
FAQ’s or Misconceptions
What can I Expect During a Treatment?
Meghan uses a gentle approach to evaluate the alignment of your spine and pelvis. She will check for tightness or weakness in your pelvic floor muscles without using a speculum and only within your comfort level. She may incorporate a pelvic floor strengthening program that consists of much more than just “doing your kegels” or she may need to work out some of the tightness in your pelvic floor with gentle trigger point releases and muscle massage.
If I am SUFFERING from INCONTINENCE, doing KEGELS is definitely the way to fix that, RIGHT?
This is one of the most common misconceptions women believe as many times they have been taught to just “do their kegels” as a solution to this annoying problem. e fact is that if YOU have tightened or shortened pelvic floor muscles (which occur for a variety of reasons), doing kegels could actually make your problem worse! Meghan can evaluate you to determine the best course of treatment unique to your needs and musculoskeletal condition.
If a person has had surgery or is planning a SURGERY to address pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic floor therapy WILL NOT BE HELPFUL for them?
Incorrect. Physical therapists often work very closely with surgeons to achieve the best results for their patients. Surgery is designed to correct an anatomical problem, but it is important to achieve full muscle control and function after surgery to achieve optimal outcomes. Physical therapy can help achieve that.
Does what I EAT OR DRINK have any IMPACT ON MY SYMPTOMS of urinary dysfunction?
YES! Many women who have problems with incontinence shy away from drinking much water as they think it will make their problem worse. Actually the opposite is true. Not drinking enough water can increase the concentration of your urine which can actually worsen symptoms in many cases. Seems counterproductive to drink more water but it can actually be helpful. Also, there are certain “bladder irritants” such as coffee or tea that when eliminated or decreased in your diet can be extremely helpful in lessening your symptoms.
Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services