Pelvic Health Dysfunction

The pelvic floor is the group of muscles, fascia, and connective tissues supporting your bladder, rectum, prostate/uterus, that help with urination and bowel movements and are important during sexual activities and even exercise. 

Patients predisposed to experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction include pregnant and post-partum women; athletes, including cyclists, football, rugby, and soccer players; patients with connective tissue disorders, such as EDS, or patients with abdominal and other GI disorders; patients who have experienced chronic lower back pain, male patients following prostatectomy surgery, and anyone who has experienced pelvic trauma. While many associate pelvic floor physical therapy exclusively for women, our clinic provides pelvic health treatments for both males and females.

Dysfunctions can happen when a patient cannot usually contract or relax the pelvic muscles. This can make common activities like using the restroom, prolonged sitting, exercise, and intercourse difficult and painful. Patients experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction can often have pain in the genitals, rectum, perineum, hips, abdomen, and lower back. 

However, assessing the pelvic floor muscles is only part of the picture when addressing pelvic pain. Many patients who are experiencing pelvic pain may also have corresponding impairments in their hips, abdomen, and lower back. Our clinic specializes in treating the entire patient when assessing pelvic floor dysfunction. Many of our patients have been treated successfully with minimal direct treatment to the pelvic floor. For instance, we have found many cyclists are experiencing referred pain from their hamstrings and adductors when demonstrating symptoms of pelvic pain. However, there are other patients who may require direct treatment and manual therapy of their pelvic floor using both internal (intra-rectal and intra-vaginal) and external treatments of the pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, the physical therapists at Bethesda Physiocare are trained in trigger point dry needling of the pelvic floor muscles.

Luckily, most pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated without requiring costly surgery. Physical therapists at Bethesda Physiocare® specialize in providing high-quality pelvic therapy. Through our personalized plans, we help patients figure out the drivers of pelvic pain and strategies for continued management.

Learn more about our physical therapy clinic in Bethesda by calling (301) 656-5613 so we can help improve your pelvic floor.

How Do I Know I Have Pelvic Health Dysfunction?

Diagnosing pelvic floor dysfunction will often start with a few observations. If you have any of the following symptoms, it may be caused by pelvic floor dysfunction:

  • Pain during intercourse
  • Difficulty initiating or controlling urination
  • Chronic sacroiliac joint (SI) pain
  • Muscle spasms in the perineum or rectum
  • Lower abdominal and/or groin pain
  • Deep aching or burning with prolonged sitting
  • Frequent symptoms of urinary infections unresponsive to antibiotics

The best way to know that you have pelvic floor dysfunction is to have one of our professional physical therapists conduct a full examination to officially diagnose it. We use a number of methods to determine the extent and the problems at play with pelvic floor dysfunction. This involves not only examining the muscles and structures of the pelvic floor but also the surrounding structures that may influence pelvic floor symptoms, such as the lower back and hips.

Hands of professional man chiropractor manual therapist fixing man patients pelvic bones

Our Pelvic Therapy Techniques

Each initial examination at Bethesda Physiocare® utilizes several methods of testing pelvic muscle control and perception. Every pelvic floor examination will require a full orthopedic assessment of the lower back and hips. We may also test patients’ perceptions of their pelvic floor, including the strength of the muscles. Depending on the specific condition, your therapist may guide you through exercises to either help strengthen or relax your pelvic floor. Our physical therapists may also consult doctors, urologists, gynecologists, and other medical experts in forming an accurate diagnosis.

Other Methods Of Addressing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

In addition to the detailed assessment of your pelvic floor issues, your therapist may implement one or more of the following techniques to help address underlying issues of pelvic pain and dysfunction.

  • Dry needling of the hips, lower back, abdomen, and/or pelvic floor
  • Manual therapy
  • Neural mobilization of the pudendal nerve and other associated pelvic nerves
  • Real-time ultrasound feedback for strengthening and motor control

Let Bethesda Physiocare® Treat Your Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction doesn’t have to be a source of pain and discomfort in your life. With our effective pelvic therapy treatments, our physical therapists get your condition under control. 

Give our physical therapy clinic in Bethesda a call at (301) 656-5613 to begin your journey to better health!