(O’Fallon, IL) – According to the National Institute of Health, 20 percent of all Americans will suffer from some type of pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence or pelvic pain during their lifetime. Specialized physical therapists at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Pelvic Health Specialty Clinic can help.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support your reproductive and urinary tract, including your bladder, uterus or prostate, and rectum. These muscles attach to your pelvis, tailbone and sacrum. In addition to providing support, they also help with bowel and bladder control as well as function.
“When the pelvic floor muscles are not working correctly, such as being too weak or unable to relax fully, they often cause pain as well as other symptoms such as urinary/fecal incontinence, or difficulty with emptying the bladder or bowel completely. These issues significantly impact daily life,” said Stacie Dichsen PT, DPT, Pelvic and Women’s Health Physical Therapist at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
Common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction can include: infections, pregnancy or childbirth, prostate disorders, chronic stress/anxiety, poor posture, back issues, trauma or surgery.
Conditions/Symptoms that pelvic therapy can help include:
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Urinary urgency/frequency/retention
- Fecal urgency/frequency
- Constipation/incomplete emptying
- Post-Prostatectomy Dysfunctions
- Pelvic pain
- Painful tailbone/coccydynia
- Interstitial Cystitis/Painful bladder
- Painful intercourse
Individuals who are overweight or obese, men who have had prostate surgery and women who have given birth have a higher risk of developing a pelvic floor dysfunction. The risk of occurrence also increases with age.
“If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more symptoms of pelvic dysfunction, it is important to talk to your doctor about your concerns,” notes Dichsen. “Pelvic dysfunction can affect anyone regardless of their gender or age, including children. Left untreated, many of these conditions can lead to low self-esteem, withdrawal from physical activity and withdrawal from social situations and personal relationships.”
St. Elizabeth’s Pelvic Health Specialty Clinic has physical therapists with advanced training and specialization in identifying and treating the multiple contributing factors of pelvic floor dysfunction. Our staff includes a Board Certified Women’s Health Therapist, Certified Pelvic Floor Therapist, and Therapeutic Pain Specialist.
Once a patient has been evaluated, a treatment plan will be personalized and may include computerized biofeedback, manometry training, and/or balloon training.
For additional information or for questions, call (618) 607-5103. A signed physician prescription is required to schedule an appointment.