What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Why Seek Treatment?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to impairments in the ability of these structures to properly support pelvic organs, maintain continence, and allow normal urination, defecation, and sexual function.
Common pelvic floor disorders include urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain syndromes. These conditions affect up to 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives. Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur due to childbirth, menopause, aging, obesity, chronic straining, and other factors that weaken or damage the pelvic floor. Symptoms often worsen over time if left untreated. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment approach that can help strengthen and retrain pelvic floor muscles, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life.
Assessing Pelvic Floor Disorders and Creating a Treatment Plan
The first appointment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist begins with a thorough review of the patient’s medical history, including onset of symptoms, bowel and bladder function, obstetric history, and any past pelvic surgeries. This helps identify potential causes of dysfunction. Next, an examination is performed to evaluate pelvic floor muscle strength, tone, and coordination. Muscle strength is graded on a 0-5 scale. Internal vaginal and rectal exams may be done to better assess muscle function, coordination, and the presence of pelvic organ prolapse. Based on examination findings, the physiotherapist explains their assessment and outlines a customized treatment plan. This may include pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback training, electrical stimulation, manual therapy, lifestyle education, and more. Follow-up visits monitor progress through reexamination and adjustment of treatments as needed.
Pelvic Floor Exercises and Techniques for Rehabilitation
Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic utilizes a variety of exercises and techniques to help relax, strengthen, and retrain the pelvic floor muscles:
- Kegel Exercises – Contract and lift pelvic floor muscles to strengthen and tone. Performed regularly at home to reinforce muscle training.
- Down-Training – Fully relax the pelvic floor using breathing and visualization techniques. Reduces muscle tension and spasms.
- Manual Therapy – Hands-on techniques like massage, trigger point release, and soft tissue mobilization are applied internally and externally to relax muscles and fascia.
- Biofeedback – Provides visual feedback of pelvic floor muscle contractions on a computer screen to improve control.
- Electrical Stimulation – Electrodes trigger pelvic floor muscle contractions to reeducate and strengthen.
- Home Exercise Program – Patients practice prescribed exercises consistently at home to build muscle memory and conditioning.
- Lifestyle Modifications – Dietary adjustments, posture correction, and activity precautions taken to remove strain on the pelvic floor.
Pelvic Floor Therapy Relieves Incontinence, Prolapse, Dysfunction and Pain
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is highly effective for treating various pelvic floor disorders including:
- Urinary incontinence – Exercises strengthen urethral sphincters and support bladder control.
- Fecal incontinence – Strengthening pelvic floor and sphincter muscles improves bowel control.
- Pelvic organ prolapse – Techniques reduce prolapse and relieve related symptoms like pressure.
- Sexual dysfunction – Improved muscle strength and control alleviates dyspareunia and vaginismus.
- Pelvic pain disorders – Manual therapy, relaxation techniques, and trigger point release ease pain.
By retraining muscle coordination, improving strength, reducing spasms, supporting organs, and teaching control strategies, pelvic floor therapy can greatly improve continence, reduce prolapse, and minimize pain.
Pelvic Rehab and Physiotherapy for Pregnancy and Postpartum Recovery
Seeing a pelvic physiotherapist during pregnancy helps prepare the pelvic floor for delivery and prevents future problems. Exercises strengthen muscles and increase flexibility to accommodate the growing baby. Postpartum care helps new mothers recover pelvic floor function and core strength. Manual therapy and specialized exercises help treat common issues like urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, painful intercourse, low back pain, diastasis recti, and pelvic girdle pain. Mothers can more quickly regain muscle strength and coordination, bladder and bowel control, proper posture and body mechanics, and fitness levels under the guidance of a skilled pelvic health physiotherapist. Ongoing rehabilitation further helps prevent future pelvic floor disorders.
Maintaining Long-Term Pelvic Floor Health
The key to lifelong pelvic floor health is consistency with exercises, lifestyle modifications, and follow-up physiotherapy visits as needed. Patients should regularly practice pelvic floor strengthening and relaxation techniques learned during therapy. Maintaining a healthy weight, proper toilet habits, core strength, and ideal movement patterns minimize strain on the pelvic floor. Annual check-ins with a physiotherapist can assess muscle function and address any new dysfunction before it worsens. Seeking prompt treatment for new or recurring symptoms helps prevent permanent pelvic floor damage. With diligent self-care and physiotherapy guidance when needed, optimal pelvic floor strength and function can be preserved long-term.
Find Pelvic Floor Relief at Brentwood Physiotherapy in Calgary
At Brentwood Physiotherapy in Calgary, Alberta, we specialize in treating all types of pelvic floor dysfunction for both women and men. Our skilled pelvic health physiotherapist, Parmeet Kaur, has advanced post-graduate training to provide customized, comprehensive pelvic rehab programs.
We offer evidence-based treatment techniques including:
- Internal pelvic floor assessment
- Pelvic floor muscle training
- Manual therapy and soft tissue mobilization
- Biofeedback and electrical stimulation
- Exercise instruction and progression
- Lifestyle education and modifications
- Treatment for pregnancy and postpartum issues
- Management of pelvic pain, incontinence, and prolapse
We directly bill insurance providers for physiotherapy costs and provide affordable solutions for achieving pelvic wellness. Our comfortable, professional clinic offers private treatment rooms to discuss your symptoms in confidence. We collaborate with your doctors and specialists for integrated care.
Don’t suffer in silence with pelvic floor dysfunction – take control of your health today. Call or book online for a pelvic floor assessment at our Brentwood Physiotherapy clinic. Our skilled therapists are compassionate and experienced in helping patients of all ages improve pelvic floor strength and function. Start feeling relief and regain your quality of life.