The pelvic floor consists of the muscles that form a sling from the pubic bone to the coccyx (tail bone). These muscles, like all other muscles in our body, may begin to “sag” and weaken as we age. Since these muscles provide support and bladder control, organs in the abdominal cavity may begin to “sag” as well. As the muscles weaken, you may begin to notice some of the symptoms associated with the conditions listed in this brochure. Kegel exercises can help, but many time individuals do them incorrectly, and they are not prescribed with the muscles’ current abilities in mind.
Urgency, frequency, and urge incontinence are conditions in which the detrusor muscle (the involuntary muscle of the bladder) becomes overactive. Low frequency and low intensity stimulation, along with muscle strengthening will calm these annoying muscle contractions and symptoms of overactive bladder.
Stress and fecal incontinence usually involve muscle deficit or weakness. The pelvic floor muscles surround the urethra and rectum. When they become weak, they become unable to provide the support needed to keep the urethra closed tightly to compensate for increases in abdominal pressures that can cause leakage with cough and sneeze. These are also the muscles that control gas and bowel contents. By measuring these muscles frequently to prescribe the exact exercise needed you can soon gain control.
Recent studies have shown that Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation can actually help those individuals suffering from chronic pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis and rectal pain. While the entire mechanism of action is not yet understood, Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation is offering new hope to individuals plagued by these elusive and often debilitating disorders.
Based on the information obtained from your health history and the pelvic floor muscle measurements, a plan of care is developed specifically for you. This may include the following:
1. Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: Sophisticated instrumentation is used to determine that the correct muscle begins to fatigue. Using this information, a prescribed exercise plan is developed with specific muscle strengthening instruction much like a personal trainer in a gym.
2. Pelvic Floor Stimulation: This is also done with a vaginal sensor. A mild stimulus is used to stimulate pelvic muscles and causes a comfortable, timed contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. Stimulation aids in muscle strengthening and decreases muscle spasm associated with pelvic pain for women and overactive bladder.
3. Bladder Retraining: Once strength is improved, the bladder can be “retrained” to hold a larger volume of urine so bathroom stops are not so frequent.
4. Dietary Changes: Occasionally some people can help alleviate their symptoms with simple dietary modifications.
After your initial visit you will be asked to return to the office for intermittent evaluation, Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation and stimulation visits. These visits will last approximately 30 minutes. Most people require 6-8 treatments before they are discharged with a successful outcome. A positive change in your symptoms should be noticed in 3-4 visits, if this therapy is going to be successful for you. This does not mean you will be cured in 3-4 visits, but you should be noticing improvements by this point.
We encourage our patients to continue any vacations or travels you may have planned. Instructions can be given to maintain your level of rehabilitation until you can return.
If you need to reschedule your appointment we ask for 24 hours notice, when possible. This way we can accommodate other patients who are waiting for an appointment time.
In order to determine if Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation therapy will help you, ask your health care provider for more information or a referral to the office.
This therapy combines an office evaluation and a personalized home program. A comprehensive plan of care is developed to meet the needs of your specific problem. The office evaluation consists of measurements of the pelvic floor muscles to establish a plan of care for strengthening and electrostimulation of the pelvic floor nerve and muscle tissues. The measurement and stimulation are done by using a tampon shaped device, which is inserted into the vagina. Patients will find Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation therapy favorable because:
To receive the maximum benefit, you must be comfortable with the treatment and be willing to comply with the therapy plan prescribed for you.