Is It My Pelvic Floor? 3 Things That Could Be Caused by Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (ITR)
May 3, 2023
As common as pelvic floor disorders are—about one in every three or four women will experience some type of pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetime—they aren’t always top of mind when women struggle with pelvic health issues. And women are not the only ones who suffer from pelvic health issues, men and children can suffer too.
There are many reasons for this. So many are taught that their pelvis and pelvic organs are private and not to be talked about. Moreover, for many of us, this area of the body just isn’t as familiar as other parts of our anatomy. Sadly, because of this many people with PFD suffer in silence, when in reality pelvic floor dysfunction is quite common. Plus, many of the common signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction—like bowel and bladder problems or even pain during sex—can feel embarrassing or shameful to talk about. Additionally, many issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction are also caused by other health problems, which may lead to confusion and lack of awareness among the general public (and even some healthcare providers).
No wonder research shows that people with pelvic floor issues often delay seeking treatment!
At ITR Physical Therapy, it’s part of our mission to elevate the conversation about pelvic floor health and help men and women achieve optimal healing and function in this important area of the body. That’s why we’re so passionate about educating people about pelvic floor dysfunction—and how physical therapy can help!
Here are three somewhat surprising but relatively common complaints we hear among patients who come to us with pelvic floor dysfunction, which may include weak, overactive, or uncoordinated pelvic floor muscles:
1. Lower back pain
The pelvic floor is considered part of your “abdominal canister or your inner core muscles,” a group of muscles (along with the diaphragm, transverse abdominis, obliques, and multifidus) that are essential for proper breathing, core stabilization, and management of intra-abdominal pressure. When the pelvic floor muscles aren’t working properly, this can impair stability and force transmission in the spine and lead to things like lower back pain and stiffness.
Consider pelvic health physical therapy if you’re struggling with persistent low back pain, especially if there’s no clear cause.
2. Chronic constipation
Did you know? According to Mayo Clinic, up to 50% of people with chronic constipation also have pelvic floor dysfunction! This makes sense: emptying your bowels—via the rectum and anus, both of which pass through the pelvic floor—is an important bodily function that requires coordinated muscle contraction, relaxation and elongation
If you or a loved one struggles with painful, infrequent, incomplete, or difficult bowel movements, consider speaking with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health.
3. Inability to wear tampons
When a woman has pelvic floor muscles that are overactive or tight, inserting a tampon into the vagina can be difficult or painful. Some women may simply think they aren’t “doing it right” or just “can’t tolerate them,” without ever realizing that pelvic floor dysfunction could be to blame.
Pelvic health physical therapy—including relaxation exercises, manual therapy, and biofeedback techniques—can help restore healthy pelvic floor function, making tampon use possible for women who would like to have that as an option.
Could your health concerns be related to your pelvic floor?
If you’ve been wondering whether a pelvic health PT in Bethesda, MD or McLean, VA could help relieve your health concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our team at ITR Physical Therapy is happy to collaborate with you and if you would like, your health care provider to optimize your recovery and quality of life.
Start healing today! Call us at 301-770-7060 to schedule your pelvic health physical therapy appointment.