The other day I was speaking with a friend who has chronic constipation. When she asked me for advice I suggested pelvic floor therapy.
Pelvic Floor Therapy Equals Kegels?
She said that she was already doing it, so I asked, “where do you go?” and she replied, “I do it at home. I found out about it on the internet and now I do kegels.”
Pelvic Floor Therapy?
While this is a fantastic start to getting in touch with some of the pelvic floor muscles, what I was referring to is generally considered a medical treatment from a physical therapist.
This can often involve learning to relax and release overly tight muscles in the pelvic floor, though like any therapy, it is customized to the individual.
What is Pelvic Floor Therapy
In essence, pelvic floor therapy is a treatment provided by a licensed physical therapist trained to treat pelvic floor dysfunction.
Pelvic Floor PT
This therapy may include stretching and or strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles as well as those of the hip, low back, thighs, and more.
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Pelvic Floor Massage
Typically this is a hands-on, or manual therapy. It may involve working vaginally or rectally.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Home Treatment
While it is fantastic to be able to see a pelvic floor therapist for treatment, not everyone has insurance that covers pelvic floor injury.
When I am not able to make the time to get to a pelvic floor therapist and am suffering from discomfort I use a pelvic wand that can reach up and into the pelvic floor muscle area.
What is a Pelvic Wand?
Wondering what is a pelvic wand? It’s a tool for relaxing and releasing the pelvic floor muscle team.
These muscles are located deep in the pelvis and the pelvic wand is designed so that you can reach them more easily to do soft tissue massage and trigger point release on yourself.
The brand of wand I use is called Therawand and it is made of a medical-grade polymer blend of ABS and Polycarbonate.
How to Use Pelvic Floor Wand
Above is a video with instructions for how to use a pelvic floor wand at home.
My Pelvic Floor Injury
I have a severe scar from an episiotomy that has caused me pain over the years.
My boys were born in the late 1990s and over the past decades, I had been suffering from discomfort due to the episiotomy.
Strangely, a midwife gave me this during an otherwise natural, totally un-medicated childbirth.
I still don’t understand why and would have preferred not to have it. It took a long time to heal and caused me severe post-partum pain for months.
I never spoke about it with anyone, thinking it was normal that it hurt to sit down for a year after my son was born. It especially hurt when I was sitting and nursing.
Is Pelvic Floor Therapy for Men?
Because pelvic floor injuries also occur in men, thankfully, pelvic floor therapy is also available for men.
I cannot speak from personal experience, obviously, but the practice I go to in Boulder says that 35% of their patients are male.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is often a component of the following medical issues:
- Pelvic Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Hip Dysfunction
- Bowel Issues
- Bladder Dysfunction
- Functional Incontinence
- Uterine Prolapse
- Painful Intercourse
- Episiotomy Damage
- C-Section Scarring
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
I have gone to a practice in Boulder called Pelvic Therapy Specialists.
They take most forms of insurance which I think is amazing. The experience is lovely from the moment you call them on the phone.
Pelvic floor therapy takes place in such a vulnerable part of the body that I would only recommend going to a place where all of the employees are incredibly pleasant, personable, and thoughtful.
Finding the Right Pelvic Floor Specialist
Several years ago, I went to a pelvic floor therapy practice where the receptionist was not a happy person.
I felt crushed every time I called and set up an appointment over the phone.
I also brought a friend with me to each appointment just to have someone to keep me company and to act as a buffer in dealing with the animosity that emanated from behind the front desk.
This was not a good long term arrangement and required way too much effort on my part so I stopped going there even though the pelvic floor therapist was great.
Bedside Manner That Works
Although we have little power in this odd healthcare system, I do my best to avoid practices with negative gatekeepers.
When I encounter an efficient, pleasant person who answers the phone at one of my physician’s offices, I am sure to let the doctor know how grateful I am for that person.
When we’re sick or in pain there’s no need for nasty bureaucrats to pile it on and further distress us.
Do You Have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
If you have any of the issues listed above it may be worth consulting with a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor treatment.
Do you have pelvic floor issues? Leave a comment and let me know.
This post is an oldie but goodie from the archives. I first shared Pelvic Floor Therapy in 2019.