Pelvic pain and discomfort due to muscular imbalances
Pelvic floor dysfunction involves muscular imbalances within the musculature of the pelvic floor. These muscular problems can affect men as well as women although women are more prone to pelvic floor issues due to changes during pregnancy as well as during the menopausal years.
What are symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction may present itself in a variety of ways, causing pain or discomfort. Some common symptoms include:
- Pain in the abdomen (belly) due to bloating, constipation, scar tissue, postsurgical recovery, or diastasis recti
- Pain with sexual intercourse, tampon insertion, gynecological exams
- Pain at the tail bone, lower back, and/or genitalia after sitting for long periods of time; sacroiliac pain, public symphysis pain, sciatica
- Pain with urination
- Pain, weakness or incontinence during or after pregnancy
The condition may also cause urinary or fecal incontinence and related issues such as:
- Increased urinary or bowel frequency or urgency
- Feelings of incomplete bladder or bowel emptying
- Hard or small stool (bowel movement) and decreased frequency of bowel movements or constipation
- Difficulty starting urination or an interrupted or weak flow
Testing for pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic floor dysfunction treatment
If you are experiencing any symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction or have a concern about a possible pelvic floor disorder, be sure to talk to your primary care doctor, an OB/GYN, urologist or gastroenterologist. One of these doctors may then refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist.
Diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction begins with a thorough physical examination. This may include an internal exam, either vaginally or rectally. Once the pelvic floor therapist has determined the cause of your symptoms, the therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that may include a combination of therapies, such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy, electrical stimulation therapy to recondition the pelvic floor muscles, biofeedback to assist with engagement or relaxation of pelvic floor muscles, and education in lifestyle adjustments to manage urinary frequency and urgency. Find out more about pelvic floor rehab at Main Line Health.