When the muscles, tissues, or nerves around the bladder and urethra are not functioning optimally, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms that negatively impact quality of life. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help restore function and eliminate symptoms associated with difficulty urinating, experiencing a strong urge to urinate, and many other issues.
What is Healthy Bladder Function?
When a bladder has normal function, it’s common for the below to occur:
- Urinating six to eight times over the course of a 24-hour period
- Urinating for more than 8 seconds
- Beginning urination is easy
- The need to urinate goes away after using the restroom
- Individuals under 60 might need to urinate once per night, while individuals over 60 or those who are pregnant might need to urinate twice per night
Symptoms of Bladder Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence
There are a few key signs and symptoms that can indicate some potential issues with your bladder:
- Experiencing pain around the bladder or urethra in general or with urination
- Leaking urine when coughing, laughing, exercising, or sneezing
- Leaking urine on the way to use the restroom
- Feeling a strong urge to urinate without a full bladder
- Urinating often without a full bladder
- Experiencing a slow urine stream
- A strong urge to urinate after exercising
- Having a strong urge to urinate during or after sexual activity (and leaking urine with orgasm)
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you might have bladder and/or urinary issues and should consider scheduling an appointment with a medical professional.
What Causes Bladder Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence?
There are many things that can cause bladder dysfunction and urinary incontinence. These can include:
- Recurring urinary tract infections
- Recurring yeast infections
- Childbirth and breastfeeding
- Medications, including hormonal suppressive medications
- Surgery and various traumas to the body
- Biomechanical issues, such as hip dysfunction
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
- Pelvic organ prolapse
What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Bladder and Urinary Incontinence?
Pelvic floor physical therapy for bladder and urinary incontinence helps to train pelvic floor muscles to work optimally to enhance function. Both external and internal manual therapy is utilized to help mobilize the muscles around your bladder and provide symptom relief.
You’ll also be provided with specific at-home exercises for you to perform regularly in order to teach your body new movement patterns and to help further mobilize the pelvic muscles and tissues.
Ready to ease your pain?
Benefits of Working with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
- Ease pain and discomfort
- Reduce tension from tight muscles, including the muscles around the bladder
- Improve overall function and mobility through hands-on work and at-home exercises
- Restore the length-tension relationship of your pelvic floor muscles
- Improve blood circulation, which promotes healing
- Restore optimal whole-body performance
What To Expect
During Your Initial Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Appointment
During your first appointment, our team at Beyond Basics will begin by asking questions in order to learn more about you and provide us with the context we need to understand any symptoms you are experiencing. We’ll also conduct a physical exam, which is a hands-on evaluation based on your symptoms. This might involve evaluating external and internal muscles, with the purpose being to trace your issue to its source(s) in order to alleviate pain and discomfort.
These internal manual techniques are applied to the structures of the pelvis. This includes the pelvic floor muscles, nerves, and bones. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during the session – you have the right to refuse any treatment at any time without explanation.Your PT will also provide you with exercises to begin at home to address your urinary symptoms and ease your pain. These at-home exercises are customized specifically based on your needs.
During Your Additional Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Appointments
Each pelvic floor physical therapy appointment is one hour long. Your physical therapist may spend that time performing manual therapy, discussing your progress, answering questions, and providing at-home exercises when necessary. Most individuals notice an improvement in symptoms within 8 weeks (or sooner).
Beyond Basics Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: We Can Help
At Beyond Basics, we are committed to treating pelvic floor issues with sensitivity to each individual’s needs, regardless of sex, race, identity, age, or orientation – we treat the whole person with a comprehensive, caring biopsychosocial approach.
Since 2003, Beyond Basics has been a place of hope and healing for our patients. We believe skilled and compassionate healing can restore your body’s harmony and balance. Founder, Amy Stein, and co-founder, Corey Hazama are renowned experts and leaders in pelvic floor PT.
The skilled physical therapists at Beyond Basics receive extensive training to qualify them to be the world’s leaders in pelvic floor rehabilitation. All of our therapists have been carefully selected to work in our practice because they possess the right expertise, kindness, and empathy. Our therapists have completed hundreds of additional hours outside of their doctorates both internally and externally through institutes such as Herman and Wallace and the American Physical Therapy Association, to help hone their practice and provide exceptional treatment efficiently and compassionately. In addition to being the world’s first and foremost experts in pelvic floor dysfunction, our individual therapists have cultivated additional skills unique to their own personal interests. Read more about each one of our therapists here
Get help now from a pelvic floor therapist.
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