Women in the pelvic muscle training group reported significantly less pelvic organ prolapse symptoms at 12 months than those that just received education. They reported improvement in: activities of daily life, sexual activity, bladder function, and bowel function.
It takes time to strengthen pelvic muscles, but our therapists often see muscle training instrumental in avoiding corrective surgery and in other cases, helpful in preparing for surgery. If you've been diagnosed with prolapse, speak to your doctor about physical therapy for pelvic muscle training. If you've had therapy in the past, we're here for you too for "refresher" sessions or ways to improve your current program.
Bowel movements can be painful and accompanied by bloating and straining. Constipation can occur when the colon absorbs too much water or the colon’s muscle contractions become sluggish, causing the stool to become hard and move too slowly.
More than 4 million Americans have frequent constipation. Many are women and adults age 65 and older. Common reasons for constipation include:
Signs like blood in stools, recent changes in bowel habits, or weight loss are important signals to see your doctor. Many people may not need extensive testing and can be treated with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Increasing water intake to six to eight cups per day, and fiber intake to 20 to 35 grams per day can work wonders for the colon!
Physical Therapists at Connect PT specialize in treating constipation related to a pelvic floor disorder. Muscles in the pelvis that surround the anus and rectum may be tight and restrict emptying. Our therapists look at breathing, abdominal tension, and posture for other factors that may feed into pelvic tension. We use biofeedback, manual (hands-on) work, and pelvic stretches to release tight muscles. We even review your bowel elimination technique - we recommend placing a small step under your feet during evacuation to open up the pelvis and allow for a clearer pooping pathway! We are committed to helping you achieve normal bowel movements, feel energized, and get back to life.
Patient: 66-year- old female with mesh repair of rectal and bladder prolapse 10 years ago.
Chief Complaint: “Knife-like” pelvic pain 10/10 with physical activity the following year, pelvic pain with urinary urgency, 6 voids at night.
Past Medical History: Diagnosis of interstitial cystitis 2 years ago, lumbar arthritis, thyroid condition.
Physical Therapy Treatment: Education on lifestyle modification for prolapse; breathing exercises; bladder retraining; manual release to pelvic floor and restricted internal scars; stretches for pelvis, hips, and low back; gentle core strengthening exercises.
Results: Pelvic pain 1/10 with physical activity, 0 discomfort with 2-hour drive, and 3 voids at night in 17 visits!
Physical Therapy Treatment: proper voiding techniques, general healthy eating habits, nerve glides, bowel massage, pelvic floor biofeedback, manual therapy for pelvic floor, leg stretches, core abdominal strengthening.
Results: 14 visits - 0 loss of stool between bowel movements, 0 urine leakage with activity or urgency, 0 pads. Patient is able to walk 15 minutes per day for exercise.
The Gentle Yoga class with meditation is taught by Marzena Bard, PTA the first Thursday of each month.
Michelle Dela Rosa, PT and Aisling Linehan, PT for receiving their Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC). The PRPC is a certification of practical and didactic expertise related to pelvic floor dysfunction and identifies them as specialists in the women’s and men’s pelvic health fields.
Karen Bruno, PT for receiving her Certificate as an Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner after completing a 2 year Professional Track program. Energy work addresses many health concerns, including:
WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS: Effectiveness of Early Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Treatment for Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence
A prospective study by Filocamo and colleagues in 2005 investigated the effectiveness of early pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP). After catheter removal, 300 men were randomized equally into either a structured PFMT group or a control group that did not receive exercise. Incontinence was assessed by the 1-hour and 24-hour pad test, as well as the ICS-Male questionnaire.
By 6 months, almost 95% of the PFMT group achieved continence as compared to 65% of the control group. The authors concluded that an early supportive rehabilitation program like PFMT significantly decreases continence recovery time.
Filocamo M, Marzi VL, Del Popolo G, Cecconi F, Marzocco M, Tosto A, Nicita G. Effectiveness of Early Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Treatment for Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence. European Urology. 2005 Jun:48(5)734-8.
Pelvic Health Blog
Read about insights and research updates in orthopedic and pelvic floor physical therapy. Use the categories below to view articles based on your interests.