Pelvic floor dysfunction is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed conditions perhaps because the symptoms associated with it are many times mistakenly considered as their individual conditions. If pelvic floor dysfunction was the name of a book, it would have many chapters with most of them looked at as if they were separate books by themselves.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a dysfunction that involves the pelvis, the attachments to the pelvis, which are directly the spine, and the hips, and indirectly the knees, feet, and ankles as well as the mid-back. Pelvic floor dysfunction has muscular components that include some muscles that we can access externally and some that are only accessible through internal manual work.
This dysfunction may or may not have a neurological component that is directly coming from the lower spine or a branch off of those nerves which may go to the areas inside the pelvis. Of course, breathing directly impacts all aspects of pelvic floor function and dysfunction. I strongly suggest you read my blog on pelvic floor dysfunction now to learn more about pelvic floor dysfunction.
Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Painful?
Depending on what ‘chapter’ of the book, “Pelvic Floor Dysfunction”, you may or may not experience pain. Pain should not and is not the only gauge of a problem but of course, is the biggest motivation to look into a problem.
The worst thing to do is to take medicine and think that the problem is under control; then it is easy to go down the wrong rabbit hole, meanwhile using valuable time addressing the problem before it gets too big.
To figure out the answer to this question, let’s first figure out what pelvic floor treatment entails.
What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
The symptoms listed below are not in order of importance and you may have more than one of them at the same time although you may be seeing different doctors and receive different treatments for them as if they are not related! The list below comes from my comprehensive blog: “Alternative to manual treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction’.
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
- Painful intercourse
- Erectile dysfunction
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Pain in the testicle
- Pain in the vulva
- Pain around the anus
- Pain in bladder
- Chronic bladder dysfunction
- Interstitial cystitis (aka painful bladder syndrome)
- Chronic UTI or urinary tract infection
- Lower back pain
- Sacroiliac pain
- Tailbone pain
- Lower mid back pain
- Hip(s) pain
- Chronic foot pain
- Chronic ankle instability or lack of proper mobility
- And bad posture
Chances are that you may have experienced some of these symptoms and therefore know that the presence or level of pain associated with them may vary.
What is the Treatment for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
According to the blog: “ How is pelvic floor therapy done’, “The treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction has to always include the external part and at times may include internal manual work. I say, at times, because many times the symptoms such as frequent urination, painful intercourse, Erectile Dysfunction, lower back pain, tailbone pain, hip and lower extremity pain, frequent UTI, and other ‘chapters’ of the ‘book’ pelvic floor dysfunction are gone. Of course, it never hurts to assess the muscles that are only reached internally to see how well they are doing.
I have done a blog on the anatomy of the pelvic floor that I suggest you review to see what muscles are reachable inside the pelvis when doing internal manual work. I also suggest you visit my YouTube channel to learn about the different manifestations of pelvic floor dysfunction to better educate yourself on what they are and what to do about them.
The treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction regardless of the cause must include:
- Behavior modification which is always part of the solution list to all issues (your behavior about life changes how you do everything in life), is not going to correct any dysfunction fully but addresses some of the feeders of the problem.
- Postural Neurology: Movement is like a concert and the body parts are like the musicians; in that the musicians not only need to know their part but to know when to chime in and phase out. That means the pelvis and pelvic floor need to know how to ‘play’ with the rest of the body if they are to sustain their strength and integrity. This is what Postural Neurology is all about.
- Functional Movement: Common sense says that the most authentic way to move is the way babies move. After all, all babies from all over the world go through the same developmental stages of movement (Developmental Kinesiology) which means that we are hard-wired to move that way. So if the issue is movement-related or supported, then we should see how we compare to the way we moved as babies. All discrepancies are then highlighted and can be corrected through Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) exercises which are baby movements.
- Kegels? There are machines like the Emsella Chair that do 400 Kegels per minute involving all of the muscles of your pelvic floor and not the ones that you hope to be engaging. Note that Kegel exercises are not for all types of incontinence and pelvic floor muscle issues.
- Breathing is what babies do automatically and that is what we need to do in order to sustain the bottom of the breathing apparatus, the pelvic floor!
- Internal manual work which ideally should be done to assess the muscles inside the pelvis BUT does not have to be done in all cases.”
To address any health issue, we need to know what is going on, what it is we are doing that is feeding the problem, what we need to do now to start fixing the problem, what foods we need to eat to allow tissue repair, and to do the step-by-step process to resolve that problem. Looking at our ‘pain’ as the source of the problem is not the right way to resolution as not only is the source of the pain and problem somewhere else but as shown in the picture below, there are feeders of the source that we need to get rid of.
If you need help identifying your pelvic floor dysfunction and are curious about the step-by-step process to fix that, contact me.