When many people think about physical therapy, they usually think about how it can help with the muscles in their arms, legs, and backs. Many people do not realize that physical therapists can also provide assistance for men and women who want to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that help maintain bladder control, bowel control, and more. People with poor pelvic floor strength may experience incontinence, constipation, pelvic pain, and even painful sexual intercourse.
What Are the Pelvic Muscles?
The pelvic floor muscles include all the muscles that rest between the pubic bone and the tailbone. The muscles tend to become weak over time if they are not strengthened. Pregnancy, childbirth, constipation, obesity, heavy lifting, and chronic coughing can all contribute to pelvic floor issues. Age and disuse can also contribute to the issues that come with weak pelvic muscles, like difficulty controlling bowel movements and urination. These issues can be embarrassing and influence your lifestyle greatly.
How Do Physical Therapists Help Patients?
When it comes to strengthening the pelvic floor muscle group, physical therapists can provide assistance in several ways. One way is through education. Patients who better understand their own anatomy can understand how to get their muscle groups to work together.
Physical therapists also help their patients perform pelvic floor exercises. If you go to sessions, you will learn how to contract and relax the muscles. Breathing techniques will also aid you as you complete the exercises, which can also improve your flexibility. Manual therapy may be used to help aid stretches and improve mobility. Tools, like dilators, may also be used to help with the relaxation and tension of muscles in the pelvic region.
What Else Can You Do to Strengthen Your Pelvic Muscles?
In addition to working with a physical therapist, you might consider improving your health in other ways. For example, patients with chronic coughs are advised to seek medical advice. You can also talk to your physical therapist and doctor about good bowel habits and healthy lifestyle changes.
What Should You Do Next?
If you believe that your pelvic floor muscles are not strong enough, it may be time to bring your concerns to a physical therapist. Your physical therapist can help you strengthen those muscles through a variety of steps, ranging from education to exercises. Call today to make an appointment with a professional who can help you with any of your symptoms.