Pelvic floor dysfunction is more than incontinence and is a collection of symptoms that you may not even relate to the pelvic floor. When it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction the fastest treatment is not necessarily the quickest way to get rid of the symptoms but the best way to be symptom and sign-free for the longest time.
Common Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
In my blog on the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, I have written about the commonly understood symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction which are:
- “Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence or Bowel incontinence
- Prolapse of uterus
- Bladder prolapse
- Bladder pain syndrome or Interstitial Cystitis
- Feeling pain in the pelvic area with or without going to the bathroom”
Not So Common Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
There are so many signs and symptoms related to pelvic floor dysfunction that most people don’t associate with it and frankly medical professionals look at them as unrelated conditions. Be aware that if you have any of the following, you should be checked for the potential of the beginning of pelvic floor dysfunction. Again, I suggest you take the time to read my blog on pelvic floor dysfunction.
- “Lower back pain
- Pain in the back joints of the pelvis (SI Joints)
- Pain in the front pubic area
- Arched lower back
- Slouched lower back
- Slouched mid-back or hunchback
- Military posture with the chest pushed out
- A V-stance where the torso is positioned behind the hip joints on the side view
- Chronic forward neck
- Inability to bend down below the knees
- Habitually standing on one leg with the other leg bent
- Chronic one-sided pain in the lower extremity
- Hip pain on one or both sides”
Is Internal Manual Pelvic Floor Necessary?
No. You are not required to receive an internal pelvic exam for treatment of your pelvic floor dysfunction. In fact, in my opinion, you don’t think about the ‘floor’ when the ‘house’ is unstable and there is a while before the ‘house’ is stable enough for the ‘floor’ to be considered.
Can Pelvic Floor Therapy Be External?
Absolutely yes. In my clinic, the examination is only external because I don’t even consider any internal work done if the ‘house’ that the pelvic floor is the ‘floor’ of is unstable. Imagine a house with a nice strong floor that is hit by a strong earthquake! Does it matter how strong the floor is if the house is not earthquake proofed?
Most often, it is the posture, lifestyle, and how we move around that is the leading cause of an unstable pelvis so there is no sense in working on the floor internally when all the stabilization is done externally.
How Long Does It Take to Treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Great question and not one with a short answer. It depends, and the influencing factors include:
- The extent of the instability of the pelvis
- How dysfunctional your movement is
- How balanced you are with movement
- What portions of your brain with regards to balance and coordination are weak
- Are the muscles in your lower back, hips, and pelvis moving in coordination or skipping function
- How strong your cortical connection (the connection of the brain to the body part when it comes to following a command) is
- How motivated you are in performing the exercises you are given
- How compatible your work environment is
- How weak the muscles of your lower back, hips, and pelvis (internal and external) are
- If you have any comorbidity such as EDS, other hypermobility, nerve, or tissue association with your pelvic floor dysfunction
- If you have had any surgeries or scar tissue
At my clinic, I speak to the potential patient, before even scheduling an exam and subsequent visits to make sure I can help them with their issue. I suggest you contact me if you are not sure what to do about your pelvic floor dysfunction.
What Is The Fastest Treatment for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
While some medication will be the fastest yet temporary way to get rid of pain, the fastest and most effective method of treatment is one that will provide the best and long-lasting stability to the pelvis and that to me is dynamic neuromuscular stabilization or DNS. You can learn more about DNS and the exercises that follow its principles.
How Do I Know If My Pelvic Floor Therapist Is Good?
Go with the reviews of the therapist or ask around for the right therapist; then visit their website to see if you feel it is a right fit. Contact their office and speak to the person who answers the phone. Maybe ask to speak to the pelvic floor therapist, which btw does not need to be a physical therapist, to see if you ‘connect’ with them. Ask questions and see if the answers make sense. If they are in a hurry and their visits are less than 60 min, chances are they are swamped and are not attending fully to their patients.
At my clinic, I offer a short in-person visit with the potential patient just to answer any questions they have and give them the opportunity to meet me and my team and feel comfortable about their choice. All of these matter and when it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction, the issue is more private and sensitive so you want to feel comfortable with your choice.
In my blog on if pelvic floor therapy is covered by insurance, I explore why you should not bound yourself to what your insurance pays and does not pay only because there is a steep price to pay which may not be to your advantage.
Make sure to visit my website to find the answer to many of your questions related to pelvic floor dysfunction and sign up to be on my email list to receive pertinent information related to this condition. Contact me if you need help with your pelvic floor dysfunction.