PT can help urinary leakage, pelvic pain, and more!

By Dr. Amy Poynter, PT, DPT

Do you experience urinary leakage, pain with intercourse, or have a nagging back injury?

Unfortunately, in our society leaking urine and pain with intercourse has become “normal.” While it is common, it does not have to be normal. It takes the average woman seven years to seek help for these issues – when ultimately seeking help from a pelvic floor physical therapist can typically help resolve them.

Pelvic floor physical therapy is not just for women either; men have pelvic floors, too! Whether it is pain with an erection, bowel and bladder issues, post-proctectomy or other issues, men also need help with this part of their body.

Pelvic floor physical therapists have taken extra courses to become certified to treat all of these issues and many more not listed. A pelvic health PT can work with you to relieve your symptoms and get you back to activities you enjoy doing, without having to worry about where the next bathroom is. They do this by:

  • Strengthening routines
  • Potential internal examinations
  • Their extensive knowledge & specialized training

Our pelvic floor muscles are a complex group that have 4 significant functions:

  • Sexual function
  • Bowel and bladder function
  • Providing spinal stability
  • Keeping your organs up and inside the pelvic cavity

They work all day long to try and keep you continent (all your waste stays where it belongs) and upright. The only time they are able to “rest” is while using the restroom. That is why it is important to fully relax while urinating or defecating in order to allow your pelvic muscles a chance to really relax. It’s often helpful to fully sit down while using the toilet; it can be even more helpful to use a stool and position your knees higher than your hips. This will allow your pelvic muscles to relax more and for you to have an easier time evacuating, whether it be urine or poop.

If you experience pain with intercourse, it could be that your pelvic floor muscles are actually too tight, due to stress, previous trauma, or other various reasons. This can lead to decreased blood flow to your pelvic muscles. If you catch yourself clenching your jaw muscles or your upper traps (your shoulders feel tight), you may also be clenching your pelvic floor. Just like you can get a knot in your upper trap, you can also have knots all throughout your pelvic floor which create pain and tension. Through diaphragmatic breathing training and internal examinations to reduce your pelvic tension you can normalize your muscles and allow for more enjoyable intercourse with minimal to no pain.

If you suffer from urinary leakage, pain with intercourse, low back pain, hip pain, have fallen on your tail bone, are pregnant or have been pregnant, struggle with constipation, have prostate problems, feel tense or as if you are clenching in your butt – you may benefit from a consultation with a pelvic floor physical therapist. You don’t need to keep suffering; take charge of your health and visit a pelvic health PT so you can start feeling better!

If you have questions about how pelvic health physical therapy might help, please click the link here. Call the Body One Fishers location to schedule an initial evaluation with Dr. Poynter, a pelvic health specialist.