Not sure if you need physical therapy for your pelvic floor but have the feeling it might be the answer to your fear of sneezing or jumping on a trampoline??? Or…Not sure what your pelvic floor even is?? Don’t worry, we’ve got quick and simple answers for you to figure out if you are one of the millions of men and/or women in need of pelvic floor physical therapy. Even better, we’ve got the physical therapists who can help you get back into tip top shape if you do find yourself in need!
Your pelvic floor is comprised of several different muscle fibers and connective tissues which span the area under the pelvis and separate the perineal region from the pelvic cavity. What does this mean, though?
The pelvic floor is the support system for several of your internal organs, like your bladder, intestines, and (for women) the uterus. For both men and women weakness in the pelvic floor can result in issues with incontinence and for women this is often associated with child birth. However, there is also evidence to support pelvic floor trauma occurring after a hysterectomy, pelvic surgeries, or with trauma associated with different sports (think horse back riding, cycling, etc.)
Think that you might have a weak pelvic floor but you’re not sure if you need the help of a physical therapy professional? Take a look at the following questions and it will become clearer if this is an area you should seek help in.
- Are you currently pregnant?
- Have you recently (or ever) had a baby?
- Are you going through or have you been through menopause?
- Have you had a hysterectomy?
- Are you now, or have you ever been, an elite athlete?
- Do you have a history of back pain?
- Have you suffered an injury in your pelvic region due to a fall or other trauma?
- Do you suffer from constipation or regularly strain on the toilet?
- Do you have a chronic cough or sneeze? (asthma, smoking, hay fever)
- Are you overweight?
- Leak urine when you exercise, play sports, laugh, cough, or sneeze?
- Need to get to the toilet in a hurry- or not make it there in time?
- Constantly need to use the restroom?
- Find it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel?
- Have a prolapse (a bulge, or feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling or dropping in the vagina or a bulge in the rectum)?
- Suffer from pelvic pain during or after intercourse?
- Frequently lift heavy weights at work or at the gym?
These are great questions borrowed from Pelvic Floor First and if you find yourself nodding in agreement or thinking, somberly, “yes, that’s me,” to any (or several )of these questions then it is a good idea to book an appointment with an understanding and talented physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehab. Nervous about what your first appointment would be like? You can find more information on that here.