What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and How is it Treated?

August 25, 2023


Pelvic floor dysfunction is a medical condition that hampers your ability to control your pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles at the base of your pelvis, spanning from the pubic bone to the tailbone. It resembles a hammock and supports your pelvic organs—the bladder, rectum, prostate, or uterus. 

Contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor helps you control urination, bowel movements, and sexual intercourse (women). Pelvic floor dysfunction may weaken or tighten your pelvic floor muscles, triggering imbalances that may affect your physical and emotional well-being.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 

Common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction include obesity, pregnancy, menopause, age, and genetics. Pelvic surgery, traumatic injury to the pelvis, and overusing the pelvic muscles are also possible causes. 

Women born with weak fascia and connecting tissues are genetically predisposed to this condition. Pregnancy and pregnancy-related changes in the body may cause women who give birth to develop postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction. 

What Can Be Affected by Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction may affect various aspects of your health and well-being. Some of the areas that may be affected include: 

  • Urinary system: It may lead to urinary problems such as incontinence, frequent urination, difficulties starting or stopping urination, urgency to urinate, and incomplete bladder emptying. 
  • Bowel function: The condition may lead to fecal incontinence, strenuous bowel movements, constipation, and a frequent urge to empty your bowels.
  • Sexual function: The disorder may lead to painful intercourse (dyspareunia), lowered sexual desire, difficulties achieving orgasm, or erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles may cause the pelvic organs—bladder, uterus, or rectum—to fall into the vaginal canal. That may leave you feeling fullness in the pelvis while causing pain or discomfort.

Common Pelvic Floor Diagnoses

Pelvic floor dysfunction manifests through several symptoms. Seek professional medical help if you have any of these symptoms:  

  • A frequent need to use the bathroom
  • Painful or strenuous bowel movement 
  • Painful urination 
  • Urine or stool incontinence 
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse (women)
  • Constant pain in the pelvic region, rectum, or genital

What Therapies Can Help

Fortunately, you can successfully treat this condition without resorting to surgery. Popular nonsurgical therapy modalities include:

  • Biofeedback: It’s a painless procedure that uses special sensors to help you retrain your muscles. Therapists use feedback from the machines to help you improve muscle coordination. 
  • Physical therapy: Pelvic floor physical therapy often happens alongside biofeedback therapy. Your therapist identifies the tight muscles in your pelvis, pelvic floor, and lower back and teaches you how to exercise and stretch them to improve coordination.   
  • Relaxation techniques: Your care provider may recommend relaxation techniques such as yoga, exercises, warm baths, or meditation. 
  • Medication: Since keeping your bowel movement soft and regular is integral to the treatment process, your care doctor may recommend daily medication to soften your stool. 

Fill Out the Form Below and Safeguard Your Health 

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a complex condition that may significantly lower your quality of life. Seeking professional help can help you maintain the function and stability of various bodily functions. 

Integrative Spine & Sports offers various therapeutic modalities to help you treat pelvic floor dysfunction. If you suspect you might be experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, fill out the form below. Our specialists will guide you toward improved pelvic health and overall well-being. 

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