Physiotherapy for pelvic floor weakness
While weakness in the pelvic floor is commonly associated with women after childbirth, it can affect men and women in all groups. The root causes of a weak pelvic floor can include injury, heavy lifting with poor technique and ongoing straining on the toilet. Aging also leads to a general weakness in the pelvic floor.
How do I know if I have pelvic floor weakness?
Pelvic floor weakness can result in a range of symptoms for patients from constipation to incontinence, as well as a lack of sexual pleasure. Some users also have feelings of not feeling that they can fully void when they do go to the toilet. Many sufferers get a resulting lack of confidence from concern that they may lose control of bowels or bladders, as well as a concern over inability to enjoy sexual relations.
What can I do if I think I have pelvic floor weakness?
If you feel that you have a weak pelvic floor there are some simple pelvic floor muscles including Kegels where patients contract their pelvic floor and release repeatedly, as if stopping the flow of urination. Over time you can increase both the duration you hold the pelvic floor muscles taut for, as well as the number of repetitions you do in each set.
If there is no improvement over a few weeks of doing these exercises, then it can be time to seek out professional help.
What professional help can assist me to get stronger pelvic floor muscles?
A physiotherapist is the best medical professional to help you with pelvic floor weakness in the short term. They can perform an assessment of your current pelvic floor condition, and help to devise a treatment plan to help you resolve the issue. In the short term this involves massage to relieve tension and aid in digestion, and helping to make sure that you are performing the Kegel exercises correctly. They can help to advise you on the best ways to sit on the toilet to achieve maximum evacuation, including squatting and leaning forward. A physio can also help you perform strengthen and gripping exercises with various assistive devices including biofeedback devices to assist in strengthening the muscles.
There is no need to be embarrassed when suffering from pelvic floor weakness. A physiotherapist can help you to regain strength and function in your pelvic floor muscles, and help you to regain confidence when going about your life.