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Pelvic Floor Therapy

While pelvic floor disorders are common in women of all ages, they are not a normal or acceptable part of aging. Female urinary incontinence can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life. Pelvic floor disorders may cause embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, social isolation and depression. The good news is there are excellent treatments for urinary incontinence as well as constipation, fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. We have a comprehensive approach to treating many of these concerns.

What is pelvic floor therapy?

pelvicThe pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles, ligaments, tissues and nerves that support and help control the function of the vagina, uterus, bladder and rectum. Dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles can lead to urinary disorders, difficulties with bowel function, vaginal prolapse, muscle spasms, pelvic pain as well as a heavy feeling in the pelvis and other concerns. Pelvic floor therapy techniques can include:

Behavioral modification – education about diet, fluid intake and other lifestyle changes to enhance pelvic organ function

Bladder training – learning to empty the bladder by the clock, rather than by desire

Pelvic Floor Therapy – exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles

Biofeedback – to train the pelvic floor muscles to contract or relax correctly

Functional electrical stimulation – strengthen/relax the pelvic floor muscles and relax an overactive bladder muscle

Pelvic floor therapy usually includes a regimen of four or more visits with a Physician Assistant who has been trained in implementing these techniques. A combination of the above techniques will be used depending on your particular pelvic floor problem.

Pelvic Floor Therapy

The correct muscle:

To find the proper muscle, imagine having to pass gas in a public area. To keep from expelling the gas, you squeeze the muscles around your rectum to hold in the gas. This is the proper muscle that you want to use in pelvic floor muscle exercises.

The exercise process:

When exercising, it is important to squeeze and relax your pelvic floor muscles as prescribed. One work/rest cycle is considered one exercise. If during exercise you no longer feel the contraction, the pelvic floor muscle is tired. Stop and rest for a few minutes and then resume the exercises. These exercises can be done anywhere at any time. If you are performing the exercises properly no one will know what you are doing because your legs, tummy, thighs and buttocks will not move. Initially, pelvic floor exercises may be performed sitting or lying down. After eight weeks they may be performed standing, sitting or lying down.

Prescribed exercise:

Contract the muscles for five seconds and then relax for ten seconds. This is considered one exercise. Do five exercises in a row. Repeat this four times daily. If you perform them with an activity that is routine, such as while driving or at bedtime, you will be more likely to remember to exercise. New mothers can perform while breast-feeding. Increase the contraction time by one second and one repetition every two weeks. Your ultimate goal is to contract for ten seconds, relax for ten seconds.

Common mistakes:

Pelvic floor exercise will not harm you. If you experience pain or discomfort, then you are performing the exercises incorrectly or are trying too hard. Relax and start over.

The muscles in your stomach, legs, and buttock should not be used. Additionally, do not hold your breath. To be sure you are not using your abdominal muscles, place your hand on your tummy while you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. If you are feeling your tummy move, you are using the wrong muscles.

Contact Us

2017 Rickety Lane
Tyler, TX 75703
Phone: 903.533.8811
Fax: 903.593.5511

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