January 2015

Who Knew it Isn't Taboo?


Ladies, when “it” is painful, or you’re experiencing uncomfortable pressure or leaking “down there,” don’t ignore it. “It” has a name: the pelvic floor—the muscles that attach your abdomen to the pelvis. The pelvic floor provides support for the bladder, intestines and uterus, and is vital for continence of urine and fecal material as well as a healthy sex life.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a disorder of the muscles and nerves in this area, and just as a bad knee, painful shoulder or a severe headache would cause you to seek medical attention, pelvic floor dysfunction requires the same.

Unfortunately, an alarming number of women struggle silently with pelvic floor dysfunction, largely out of embarrassment. If only these women knew how common it is, and how easy and successful most treatment is for these symptoms, more of them would seek medical help. In many cases, pelvic floor dysfunction may be completely resolved with physical therapy, avoiding medications and surgical procedures altogether.

Therapy may include stretches, strengthening, manual tissue release, massage or biofeedback. Biofeedback is a research-based strengthening treatment that involves a sensor being attached to the body, which allows it to receive information about the ability to use the targeted muscles. It’s a way to “coach” your pelvic floor into working properly and is a highly effective form of treatment for many pelvic floor dysfunctions.

So ladies, don’t wait for your healthcare provider to ask about your pelvic floor, and please don’t be afraid to address any issues you’re experiencing with him or her. The more informed your provider, the faster you will be on the road to recovery! Remember, “it” has a name, and it is NOT taboo! 

Donna Pagano is a licensed physical therapist at Horizon Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine.

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