Pelvic Floor Therapy At Home
The pelvic floor is critical to quality of life and overall well-being. Unfortunately, many people find it embarrassing to discuss pelvic floor problems like urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. However, pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to long-term damage and infection without prompt treatment.
Fortunately, you can undergo pelvic floor therapy at home. This article explores the benefits of pelvic floor therapy at home, common pelvic floor problems, and exercises to incorporate into your daily routine.
Pelvic Floor Overview
The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles supporting the pelvic organs. These organs include the bladder, rectum, and uterus (in women). The pelvic floor muscles are essential to health and well-being. For example, these muscles help control bladder and bowel functions and improve sexual health.
A dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles can result in pelvic pain, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. It may also cause painful sex and reduce the quality of life. In addition, aging, hormonal changes, pregnancy and childbirth, obesity, and chronic constipation can affect the pelvic floor muscles, leading to dysfunction.
Hence, monitoring and treating pelvic floor dysfunction immediately after you notice symptoms is essential. Women's pelvic therapy in Barrie consists of several physiotherapy techniques that can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, prevent dysfunction, and improve quality of life.
What Are The Common Pelvic Floor Problems?
Pelvic floor problems arise from weak pelvic floor muscles or pelvic floor dysfunction. The most common pelvic floor problems include pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence.
If you experience persistent or recurring pain in your pelvic region, it can result from dysfunction, inflammation, or nerve irritation. Pelvic pain can occur in both men and women, resulting in general discomfort and recurring pain in your lower back, genitals, or lower abdomen.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs descend. Although more common in women, this dysfunction can also occur in women. Pelvic organ prolapse results from weak pelvic floor muscles, and factors like pregnancy and childbirth contribute to it. Other factors that can cause pelvic organ prolapse include repetitive heavy lifting, obesity, and chronic constipation.
If you experience pelvic pressure or heaviness, have difficulty with bowel movements, or feel something is coming out of your vagina, you may have pelvic organ prolapse.
Urinary incontinence is involuntary urine leakage. In addition, if you experience a strong urge to urinate, followed by leakage, you most likely have urinary incontinence. Another symptom of urinary incontinence is involuntary urine leakage when you carry out normal activities, including sneezing, laughing, or coughing.
Pelvic floor muscles control bowel movement. Dysfunction can lead to chronic constipation and difficulty with bowel movements. You may also experience fecal incontinence, where you suddenly need to go to the toilet but cannot reach one in time.
What Are The Benefits Of Pelvic Floor Therapy At Home?
Carrying out pelvic floor therapy at home has advantages, including convenience, privacy, and continuity of care. In addition, you don't have to visit the clinic frequently; instead, incorporate the techniques into your daily activities.
Convenience And Privacy
If you are self-conscious, you may find it more comfortable to carry out pelvic floor therapy in private. Pelvic floor therapy at home is convenient and private. You can fit it into your daily schedule from the comfort of your home. Besides, privacy creates a safe space to relax and speed up healing.
Doing pelvic floor therapy at home costs less than in-clinic sessions. However, it is essential to consult a physiotherapist in Barrie, ON, at the initial stages of your treatment for evaluation and guidance on performing the exercises and techniques. You can then save subsequent costs by carrying out your therapy at home.
Before commencing your pelvic floor therapy at home, your physiotherapist will evaluate your symptoms and recommend a suitable treatment plan that addresses your needs. With a home-based program, you can effectively monitor your symptoms and see the effectiveness of your therapy for a better outcome.
Continuity Of Care
You can use home-based pelvic floor therapy to complement in-clinic sessions. Continuing your treatment at home, even after an appointment with your therapist, can improve your symptoms and accelerate your progress.
How To Identify Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Identifying symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can help you seek immediate treatment. Tracking your symptoms and consulting your physiotherapist at Concept of Movement Physiotherapy is essential.
Tracking your symptoms can triggers can help your physiotherapist accurately assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment. Again, symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include painful sex, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, and bowel problems.
Pelvic Floor Therapy At Home
Before commencing pelvic floor therapy at home, it is essential to establish a consistent routine. You should set specific goals, create a schedule, and integrate them into your daily activities. It is also best to seek professional guidance from your physiotherapist. Your pelvic floor physiotherapist in Barrie, ON, will assess your condition, provide a tailored program and monitor your progress.
You may also need to invest in tools and equipment for your pelvic floor therapy at home. This equipment may include weighted cones, resistance balls, and biofeedback devices. The equipment is excellent for monitoring your progress and optimizing your therapy.
Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises
Pelvic floor therapists in Barrie recommend exercises that can strengthen and rehabilitate your pelvic floor muscles. Common exercises for strengthening your pelvic floor include relaxation, kegel, and core-strengthening exercises.
Deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing exercises relieves tension in the pelvic floor. Carrying out this exercise can improve your symptoms and strengthen your pelvic health.
How to do deep breathing exercises
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Take a slow deep breath through your nose.
- Allow your abdomen and pelvic floor to expand while taking a breath.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Gently contract your pelvic floor muscles as you exhale slowly.
- Fully relax your pelvic floor muscles during the exhale.
- Repeat the exercise for several breaths and relax any tension in your pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, helping people with urinary leakage or bowel control symptoms. You can do kegels anytime when sitting, lying, or resting. However, before starting the exercise, you must identify the right muscles.
You can identify the correct muscles by attempting to stop the flow of urine midstream or by imagining that you are squeezing the muscles that would prevent you from passing gas.
How to do kegel exercises
- Contract the pelvic floor muscles. Imagine pulling the muscles inward and upward towards your belly button. Your thighs, buttock muscles, and abdomen should remain relaxed.
- Hold the contraction for a few seconds and then relax for an equal duration.
- Start with 5 seconds and gradually increase the hold time as your muscles strengthen.
- Repeat the contractions 10-15 times per session.
- Aim for 3-4 sessions per day.
Core strength supports the pelvic organs and helps to control incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction. You can carry out core exercises like bridge poses and squats at home.
How to do a bridge pose
- Lie on your back.
- Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
- Lift your hips off the floor into a bridge position. Engage your pelvic floor muscles as you lift. Keep your back and pelvis aligned.
- Hold the bridge for a few seconds. Maintain the contraction in your pelvic floor muscles.
- Slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Relax your pelvic floor muscles.
- Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times per session.
- Aim for 2-3 sessions per day.
How to do squats
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned outwards slightly.
- Lower your body into a squatting position as if sitting in a chair. Engage your pelvic floor muscles as you lower your body.
- Keep your knees aligned with your toes.
- Hold the position for a few seconds and maintain the contraction in your pelvic floor muscles.
- Rise to a standing position while relaxing your pelvic floor muscles.
- Repeat the exercise 10-15 times per session.
- Aim for 2-3 sessions per day.
What Do You Need To Maintain Pelvic Floor Health?
Although pelvic floor exercises are good, modifying your lifestyle to support pelvic floor function is essential. Lifestyle modifications for good pelvic floor health include regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and staying hydrated. It is also ideal to avoid behaviors that strain the pelvic floor.
Behaviors that strain the pelvic floor include high-impact exercises, heavy lifting, chronic constipation, and straining during bowel movements. You should also maintain a healthy weight and avoid sitting for extended periods, especially in poor posture.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can impact your health and affect your quality of life. Fortunately, you can have home-based pelvic floor therapy. However, before starting pelvic floor therapy at home, it is essential to consult your physiotherapist for professional guidance and a tailored treatment plan.
Furthermore, even though you carry out pelvic floor therapy at home, visiting a physiotherapist at Concept of Movement Physiotherapy occasionally is advisable to evaluate your symptoms and monitor your progress.