Pelvic floor dysfunction is a group of clinical conditions that includes urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, sensory and emptying abnormalities of the lower urinary tract, defecation dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and several chronic pain syndromes, including vulvodynia. The three most common conditions are urinary incontinence, anal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. Both men and women can experience many of the same difficulties with pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can have a variety of causes, including:
- Chronic faulty posture with weak core musculature
- Trauma (a fall on tailbone, old tailbone fracture, auto accident)
- Inflammation or infection
- Pelvic organ disease (endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis)
- Repetitive motion injuries from sports, hobbies or other activities
- Abdominal muscle wall weakness or hernias
- Chronic constipation
- Pregnancy or complicated vaginal delivery
- Abdominal or pelvic surgery
Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can include:
- Vaginal pain, including pain during intercourse
- Pain with urination
- Urinary urgency and frequency, and/or incontinence
- Rectal pain or loss of rectal continence
- Pain with sitting, standing, walking or rising from a seated or lying down position
- Hip pain, often with loss of range of motion in hips
- Deep pain in lower back radiating to legs, thighs, groin, hips
- Abdominal and lower abdominal/intestinal pain
- Pelvic pressure or a feeling like something is “falling out”
A specially trained therapist will be able to recognize the key signs and symptoms of pelvic floor impairment and how it impacts function. Interventions for treatment may include therapeutic exercise, biofeedback, external manual therapy, electro-therapeutic modalities, and patient education/behavioral instructions.
Physician referral is required and most insurance plans are accepted. More information is available by calling Parkwest Therapy Center in Knoxville at (865) 531-5710.