Pelvic floor physical therapists are uniquely trained to assist patients with all types of colorectal dysfunctions. Commonly the pelvic floor muscles are involved. Fecal incontinence and diarrhea can be exacerbated by weak pelvic floor muscles, not allowing a good sphincteric closure around the anus. Education on dietary management and individualized home programs, as well as manual therapy for neuromuscular reeducation of the pelvic floor muscles is often helpful. On the other end of the spectrum, it is quite common for women and men to have problems relaxing tight, tense and sometimes spasming pelvic floor muscles. When the pelvic floor muscles become this dysfunctional, it can lead to or exacerbate constipation, anismus, irritable bowel syndrome, levator ani syndrome, and proctalgia fugax.
AT ITR Physical Therapy, each patient will receive a detailed evaluation and assessment of their entire body with an emphasis on the pelvis and surrounding areas. Posture, joint alignment, muscle and fascial tightness/restrictions and muscle imbalance will all be assessed. Your pelvic floor physical therapist will determine if there are musculoskeletal factors affecting your symptoms such as muscular or fascial restrictions, spasms or trigger points, muscle imbalance or alignment issues as well as possible connective tissue restrictions in the tissues surrounding the viscera (organs). Each patient will receive the manual therapy needed to realign joints, improve muscle function and coordination as well as release fascial restrictions that could be affecting pain. When appropriate, patients will receive education on body mechanics and healthy posture (for easier elimination), dietary management (fluid and fiber intake), individualized stretches, strengthening and stabilization exercises. A tailored home program will be designed for each patient. It is critical that patient and physical therapist work together as partners through this healing process. The more time and effort a patient puts in to their own healing and home program, the better s/he will feel. For those living with chronic pelvic pain, it is absolutely essential to find time every single day to help calm down their upregulated Autonomic Nervous System. Your ITR Physical Therapist will assist patients in determining the best methods to help in this critical process.