Pelvic floor dysfunction treatment can be complex and determining how long it will take to see improvement may vary from case to case and patient to patient. But one thing we know for sure is that posture and functional movement play a huge role in long-term effectiveness. In this blog, I will explore the factors that influence the timeline of progress and the impact they have on the treatment effectiveness.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction involves various issues affecting the pelvic muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues. It is commonly understood as issues related to urinary or fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, or sexual dysfunction. There are several subtle signs, however, that are commonly missed. For the list of these signs and symptoms, please see my blog on the subject.
Pelvic floor therapy is a specialized form of treatment. It is performed by not just physical therapists but also chiropractors, occupational therapists, nurses, and physicians trained in the field. In most treatments, the focus is on training the muscles of the pelvic floor. However, in my practice, I delve more into the balancing of the pelvis, the house that the pelvic floor is the floor of. As well as the quality of movement patterns that lead to instability or stability of the pelvis which directly impacts the pelvic floor. Unfortunately, this component of treatment is not heavily focused on in most clinics treating pelvic floor dysfunction. That is the number one reason why I focus on this missing component of treatment.
What Factors Influence the Timeline of Improvement?
Several factors can affect the timeline of improvement in pelvic floor therapy:
- Severity of Dysfunction: The severity of pelvic floor dysfunction plays a role in determining how long it takes to see improvement. Mild cases may respond more quickly compared to chronic or complex cases.
- Individual Factors: Each person’s body responds differently to therapy. Factors such as overall health, age, previous injuries, and treatment compliance can influence the timeline.
- Application of knowledge across the board: Knowledge means nothing if not applied. And the biggest obstacle I see are dropping the old habits in the long run.
- The Role of Posture in Pelvic Floor Health: Posture plays a critical role in pelvic floor function. Poor posture can contribute to increased pelvic floor tension, decreased muscle coordination, and compromised alignment. Correcting postural imbalances can positively impact the effectiveness of pelvic floor therapy and accelerate progress.
- Functional Movement: Functional movement exercises aim to improve the coordination, strength, and stability of the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles. This is in conjunction with other muscle groups involved in movement. The exercises we do are developmental kinesiology exercises, the baby exercises! Given that we, as humans automatically do them and go from a helpless infant to running toddlers automatically.
What Makes Pelvic Floor Treatment Successful?
The success of treatment comes from both you and your clinician. It is crucial to understand that you, as a patient, need to stay an active participant in your treatment. Communicate your thoughts, questions, frustrations, and celebrations with your provider. Your provider needs to not look at your case with a narrow lens but must include:
- Movement patterns
- Functionality in movement
- Breathing techniques
- Coordination of movement
- The relaxation/strength evaluation of the muscles INSIDE the pelvis
Without a stable and strong pelvis and good posture, all the work is wasted. Just as a beautifully decorated house laid on unstable ground is at the mercy of the ground’s stability!
If you have pelvic floor dysfunction and are not happy with your treatment, have questions about your treatment, or wish to start care do not hesitate to contact me.