You may not think about your pelvic muscles, but they help keep everything moving in the bathroom.
When your pelvic floor muscles aren’t working correctly, it can be painful and get in the way of day-to-day life. The medical term for this is pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), and it affects both men and women.
New Outpatient Therapy Clinic Open in Tempe
1761 E Warner Road, Suite B1 Tempe, AZ 85284
- Orthopedic therapy
- Medical oncology
- Lymphedema therapy
Common symptoms include:
- Problems having a bowel movement and constipation
- Urinary incontinence or pain urinating
- Urinary urgency and/or frequency
- Pelvic pain, abdominal pain, and/or lower-back pain
- Painful intercourse (especially in women)
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
It is usually caused by weakness from aging or trauma to the muscles in the pelvic area, including childbirth or an accident. Poor diet and lifestyle habits, and irritable bowel syndrome can also contribute to it.
How is pelvic floor dysfunction treated?
The good news is that PFD can be treated with physical therapy, which focuses on reducing pain and building strength in your pelvic muscles.
“My job is to help people help themselves, and get back to living the way they used to,” said Katie Balgeman, DPT, a physical therapist who specializes in PFD at HonorHealth.
With education and practice, most patients see improvement after six to eight visits with a physical therapist. From there, patients who continue to practice the exercises may see long-term benefits and improved quality of life.
What can you expect at your first appointment?
At your first visit, the physical therapist will likely perform an internal assessment to examine the pelvic floor muscles, either vaginally or rectally, to determine what’s happening and whether the muscles are the problem.
The therapist will also check the tailbone for mobility and orientation as well as hip alignment. If necessary, therapists can perform deep tissue massage in the abdominal and pelvic areas, including scar tissue management for those who’ve had surgery.
Visit a PFD physical therapist
HonorHealth offers PFD physical therapy in locations throughout the Valley. Dr. Balgeman practices at the HonorHealth Outpatient Therapy South Tempe location.
In addition to PFD, Dr. Balgeman and the team of therapists in the South Tempe location, specialize in lymphedema, orthopedic and sports injuries, dizziness and balance issues, vestibular problems, hand injuries, and general deconditioning.