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Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Assessment and Treatment for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

The female pelvic floor consists of several layers of muscles that cover the bottom of the pelvic cavity. These muscles have several distinct roles, including support of the pelvic floor organs, stopping and starting the flow of urine or the passage of gas or stool, and providing tone for the vaginal and rectal canals for sexual function.

As with other muscles in the body, these muscles can become imbalanced, causing significant problems, such as urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, painful urination, low back pain, leg, groin and tail bone pain.

Mckenzie Karelus

Meet Southern Hills Physical Therapist, McKenzie Karelus

Did you know that 13 million people in the United States (men and women, young and old) experience urinary incontinence? The prevalence of involuntary urination in women over the age of 65 is one in ten. Though these statistics may be grim, there is something you can do.

My name is McKenzie Karelus, Physical Therapist at Southern Hills Hospital. I have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and I am here to help you get back in control of your bladder and pelvic floor muscles.

My office is located in the Southern Hills Hospital Physical Therapy Department, on the first floor of the hospital. map link The outpatient physical therapy clinic at Southern Hills Hospital is now able to provide treatment options aimed at restoring normal function of your pelvic floor muscles. I can provide you with one-on-one therapy sessions to help you overcome incontinence.

Diagnosing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Physical therapists use visual and manual techniques to examine the lumbopelvic region and pelvic floor muscles. Manual muscle testing is used to determine strength or muscle tone deficits in the pelvic floor muscles, lumbopelvic region and hips. Biofeedback may also be used to evaluate problems with tone and endurance in the pelvic floor muscles.

Treatment Options

A physical therapy evaluation will help decide the best approach to alleviating and managing pain or incontinence issues. There are many treatments available which are aimed at restoring normal function to the muscles and reducing tension. After your initial evaluation and treatment, you will be more aware of your pelvic tone.

Joint and soft tissue mobilization, myofacial release, neuromuscular re-education and modalities such as bio feedback are all therapy methods used for pelvic floor treatment. Therapeutic exercise is an important component in your therapy program, as well as a home exercise program.

Examples of Condition Treated

Following is a list of conditions that can be treated through the Southern Hills Women's Health Program:

  • Pelvic floor tension/pain
    Tension or pain in the sling of muscles that support the bladder and uterus can be caused by muscle, nerve or joint
  • Interstitial Cystitis (aggravated by diet; vaginal lubricants)
  • Urinary incontinence
    Pelvic floor weakness can result in a loss of muscular support for the bladder and rectum. Incontinence of urine may be termed stress, urge or mixed.
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pelvic organs prolapsing
    The organs in the pelvis may drop from their normal positions and may cause discomfort. This most commonly occurs with the uterus and vagina, secondary to a weak pelvic floor and thinning vaginal wall.
  • Pelvic floor weakness (i.e. inability to stop stream)
  • Sexual dysfunction (i.e. painful penetration)
    Pain with intercourse, lack of arousal and inability to orgasm are all types of sexual dysfunction that can all be treated with manual therapy.
  • Post partum dysfunction
    Orthopedic problems may persist or begin following pregnancy. Imbalances in the muscles and joints of the pelvis, painful episiotomy scars, painful intercourse, prolapses and sensitive scar tissue can all be the result of childbirth delivered vaginally or by C-section.