Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: It’s a Thing and It’s Awesome

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If you’re here and reading this, then I’m guessing you’re maybe in a few different places about pelvic floor physical therapy:

  • Curious
  • Intrigued
  • You’re all about it and just can’t wait to read more
  • None of the above

Any way that you are about it works, and I’m excited to tell you more! 

I first heard about pelvic floor physical therapy from a girlfriend who had chronic issues with UTI’s and inflammation. She had mentioned that it was one of the things that she was trying to find some relief. It was one of the few things that had made a difference for her.

Fast forward to after having my children and after becoming a childbirth educator and doula. I started hearing more about it and became intrigued and curious myself. I started to learn more and hear more about what we women deal with after having babies. This includes diastasis recti, peezing aka sneezing and peeing at the same time (or peeing while laughing, exercising, etc), painful intercourse, painful periods and more.

What I also discovered was just how many women just “deal with it” when it comes to the above challenges. Viewing them as just kind of coming with the territory of having kids.

In fact, on average, women wait 6.5 years from the first time they experience symptoms until they obtain a diagnosis for their bladder control problem(s).

But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

My Challenges Led Me to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy 

My challenges were with significant back and hip pain that I’ve always struggled with, but that got way worse postpartum. I’ve been in regular chiropractic care, and that has made a huge difference in my pain levels. However, I started to notice pain in a different way, like twangs in my abs, lower core, hips, etc. It started to present more when I began working out. I noticed that my mobility was just completely different. I could never get into a proper squat without pain and/or feeling like my form was off. And it felt like it was due to tightness and discomfort in my pelvis. 

In addition, I would find myself going from 0-60 in a hot second when needing to pee. Like, ok, I’m just walking around and all is well and then all of a sudden omg I need to pee and it has to happen like NOW. No “leakage” per se, just total fear though that I was going to pee my pants. Yeah. 

So, with that, and being curious about how pelvic floor physical therapy might help me, I dove in and started seeing a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. And…..life will never be the same.

How This Magic Helped Me

Oh, let me count the ways. I have been surprised, delighted, and become even more curious. I share about it all the time in hopes that if another woman hears something that resonates. That she gives herself permission to check it out (hence sharing here!)

Ok, here are some of the ways it’s helped me:

  1. It has helped me increase my mobility in my hips and back and feel better in daily life as well as become more body-aware during workouts 
  2. It has helped to reduce the pain and frequency of my plantar fasciitis, which was a fabulous benefit I didn’t go in looking for. Plantar fasciitis is brutal! It’s an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. The tell-tale signs of having it are when you wake up in the morning and take your first steps for the day and are hobbling or limping on the foot that has it. NOT FUN.  
  3. It has helped me become way more aware of my core, my posture, and how to stand in a way that supports my back and reduces pain. I never truly knew how much my core and its health was attached to so many other things in my body and now I am much more aware.  
  4. My 0-60 need to pee has calmed way down and I don’t have that immediate urgency I used to (can I get an amen!?)  
  5. It’s part of my self-care now. I go in every couple weeks for ongoing support and balance. Being on the table and witnessing just how much release and relief is possible each time has been incredible. Our bodies store so much tension, stress, and trauma, and this has been a beautiful way to release a lot of that for me.

I can’t say enough great things about my experience with it and how grateful I am that I just went for it and gave it a try. I feel like I should also share, that I had it in the back of my mind and put it off for a while too, just “dealing with it.” I also didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t sure if internal adjustments (vaginal) would be needed. And, I personally have had only one of those and it was….wonderful. Truly. The release I felt in my hips and back was out of this world.

5 Common Challenges for Women 

So as you can see from my experience, it has made a world of difference for me! Here are some of the other ways that it can help support our bodies and our amazingness!

Diastasis Recti and other Postpartum Challenges

Many women experience pelvic floor pain, incontinence during certain activities, and a separation of the muscles called diastasis recti, that cause abdominal weakness. In addition, sometimes scar tissue from either a c-section or vaginal birth can create pain.  Though common, these are things that Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists can work with you on to help bring your body into optimal health and functioning for a better quality of life.

Urine Loss When Sneezing, Laughing, Exercising, etc.

As I mentioned above, women who experience this often view it as just part of aging or what comes with the territory after having babies. Stress on the pelvic floor and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles make it more difficult for women to be able to hold urine. Yes, but it’s not something that you should just “have to deal with” and can indeed be supported or corrected with therapy.

Pain During Pregnancy

Many women experience back pain, sciatica, hip, and round ligament pain during pregnancy. Physical therapy done alone and/or with other modalities such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage can vastly reduce that pain. It can also create a more in balance and supported body for you to grow your sweet babe in.

Painful Intercourse

Sex should never be something that is painful for you, not before, during or after. If you’re experiencing any kind of pelvic pain associated with sex, it can be treated. Pain can be caused for a number of reasons including vaginal birth, trauma, infections, emotional issues, and other unknown reasons. Therapists can help to work with women to release trigger points within the muscles and ligaments. This helps create a more relaxed pelvic floor and leading to pain-free and more pleasurable sex.

Woman with stomach pain sitting on bedPainful Periods

Many women also suffer from painful periods and PMS. Physical therapy in addition to other herbal remedies and acupuncture can help treat these symptoms. It can also bring balance back to the pelvis and ligaments, helping to reduce pain and discomfort.

So, as you can see, pelvic floor physical therapy is a thing, and it’s pretty awesome. If you are experiencing any of the above challenges or are just simply curious about how it could help you, I highly recommend that you check it out. You can find providers in your area by clicking here.  

 

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Dawn Herring
Dawn moved to Florida solo 7 years ago from Colorado after hearing a small voice inside that kept telling her she was “supposed to go live by the water.” A mountain girl at heart, having grown up in Vermont and then declaring Colorado her second home, she thought that was crazy. When she finally said YES, an opportunity in the Tampa Bay area showed up and she moved within a few short months. It was there that she met her husband Greg, and not long after, she became Mama to Savannah, now 5 1/2 and Benjamin, now 4 1/2. She is so grateful for all that they’ve taught her, and the part they’ve played in answering the call to serve women and families as a Childbirth Educator and Doula. She loves to ride her bike with the kids in tow, exploring in nature with them, a good cup of coffee, baking, cupcakes, live music and anything that makes her laugh.