What is pelvic floor physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a kind of physical therapy that helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a bowl-shaped group of muscles that support the bladder, bowel (colon), rectum, and other organs (the prostate in men and the uterus in women).
How does pelvic floor physiotherapy work?
A pelvic floor physiotherapist will help patients rehabilitate their pelvic floor using several different therapies:
- Education: In some cases, an educational component may be part of the therapy. Not everyone has been taught the best hygienic habits that can affect their symptoms, let alone been taught about the organs and muscles in the pelvic region. An educational component also helps patients learn which muscles to contract during their physiotherapy sessions.
- Exercises: Physiotherapists teach patients how to contract and relax their pelvic floor muscles. Patients also learn timing and breathing techniques for a more effective therapy session. This may also involve Kegel exercises, which are not just for women! These exercises work to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and loosen any that are too tight.
- Massages: Also referred to as manual therapy, massages can help improve blood circulation.
The therapies will differ from person to person, as no one patient will respond exactly the same way as another.
What conditions can pelvic floor physiotherapy treat?
The pelvic floor can be weakened by a number of factors, such as:
- Heavy lifting
- Heavy smoking
- Chronic bronchitis
- Change in hormone levels
- Lack of fitness and core muscle strength
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
Depending on the cause of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, pelvic floor physiotherapy may be a treatment option.
Symptoms of chronic pelvic pain syndrome in men may include the following:
- Penile pain
- Scrotal pain
- Perineal pain
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pain following ejaculation
- Painful bowel movements
- Hip pain
Male incontinence and frequent urination
Incontinence occurs more commonly as people age, but that doesn’t make it feel any less embarrassing to experience. For men, it’s more likely to experience pelvic floor weakness that leads to incontinence and frequent urination. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help treat the following incontinence-related health issues:
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Straining to start or stop urinating
- Needing to urinate more than every 3–4 hours
- Getting up to urinate more than once a night
Prostatitis, or the inflammation of the prostate, can be caused by bacteria. Bacterial prostatitis is easily treated with antibiotics. However, not every case of prostatitis can be caused by bacteria. The causes of nonbacterial prostatitis are unknown despite being a fairly common issue. While medications can provide some relief of nonbacterial prostatitis, pelvic floor physiotherapy has been shown to be a good treatment option.
Prostate cancer survivors who had their prostate removed often benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy. Incontinence and erectile dysfunction are two common issues that follow a prostatectomy, and pelvic floor physiotherapy can improve both of those issues.
Painful and premature ejaculation
Having pain during sex is not a normal experience. However, it does happen, and when it does, it is something that should result in a visit to your doctor. If ejaculating is the source of pain or if you’re experiencing premature ejaculation too often, pelvic floor physiotherapy might be right for you.
Why should I consider doing pelvic floor physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can improve many areas of your life. If you’re suffering from incontinence and/or frequent urination, pelvic floor physiotherapy can help you make it through the day with no accidents and fewer bathroom breaks. It can help you regain control of your life and schedule.
Experiencing pain during sex can negatively affect you and your partner’s relationship. Sex is not something that you should dread doing. It’s something that can make you and your partner feel good about each other and bring you closer together. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can even improve your pelvic floor’s blood flow, which can lead to better sex, better erections, and better orgasms.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can also help you learn more about your body and yourself, which in turn helps you take better care of yourself.
Where can I do pelvic floor physiotherapy?
Oakwood Health Network, located in Oakville, Toronto, and Port Credit, offers pelvic floor physiotherapy treatments. Give us a call today to learn more about pelvic floor physiotherapy or to schedule a consultation!