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What Women Need To Know About (PFD) Pelvic-Floor Dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction is more common than you might have imagined. Chronic pelvic pain affects 1 in 7 women in America.
Chronic pelvic pain is pain in the area below your bellybutton and between your hips that persists for several months or longer. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of another disease, or it can be a condition in its own right.
Chronic pelvic pain is pain in the area below your bellybutton and between your hips that persists for several months or longer. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of another disease, or it can be a condition in its own right.
Pelvic floor dysfunction or (PFD) is the inability to control your pelvic floor muscles, which are the group of muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and nerves that support your organs in the pelvic region. For women, disfunction results with complications with bowel movements as the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum do not function properly.
As we age there is a loss of muscle mass brought about by hormonal declines in menopause. PFD results in muscle weakness and diminished bladder control. The source of the pain may be difficult to identify as the pelvic floor connects the upper and lower body. Shooting pain may run up the back or down to the feet and everywhere between.
Misdiagnosis is a common problem for those with PFD. Symptoms of vulva pain or bladder pain may be wrongly associated with constipation or incontinence. Back pain or hips out of balance may also incorrectly identified as the cause of the pain. 
If you can’t diagnose the cause, you can’t treat it. Many women have been misdiagnosed. Suffering in silence or not being able to get the treatment needed is unacceptable. Make an appointment with your gynecologist, urologist or doctor for a pelvic-floor examination to identify what is causing your bladder and pelvic pain. 
A major misconception is that PFD is the result of pregnancy or childbirth. Not so, neither has to occur for a woman to be at risk for developing PFD. Causes of PFD include traumatic injury, or even poor posture. Athletes often report symptoms associated with PFD, such as urinary incontinence.
While there are helpful drugs and even surgical solutions to treat pelvic-floor problems, physical therapy has been proven to treat PFD effectively. Your physical therapist will develop a specialized stretching and relaxation exercises that target tense pelvic-floor muscles as well as hip flexors and glutes.
Prepare for your appointment with a specialist. No one knows your body better than you do. Be ready to answer these questions so that you can get an accurate assessment of your condition:
  • When did you first begin experiencing pelvic pain?
  • Has your pain changed or spread over time?
  • How often do you have pelvic pain?
  • How severe is your pain, and how long does it last?
  • Where is your pain located? Does it always occur in one place?
  • How would you describe your pain?
  • Does your pain come in waves or is it constant?
  • Do you feel pain during urination or a bowel movement?
  • Does your menstrual cycle affect your pain?
  • Does anything make your pain better or worse?
  • Does your pain limit your ability to function?
  • Have you recently felt down, depressed or hopeless?
  • Have you ever had pelvic surgery?
  • Have you ever been pregnant?
  • Have you ever been treated for a urinary tract or vaginal infection?
  • Have you ever been touched against your will?
  • What treatments have you tried so far for this condition? How have they worked?
  • Are you currently being treated or have you recently been treated for any other medical conditions?
Identifying the underlying cause of the chronic pelvic pain can be difficult. Take charge of your condition and get the treatment you need. Don’t live with the pain. Physical therapy treatments can provide welcome relief and if managed properly, can offset any problems in the future.
To learn more about how physical therapy can help treat chronic pelvic pain, set up a free exploratory examination with one of our doctors today.
Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, visit our website at or contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.

Schedule a FREE 15-minute Exploration Visit

Come visit one of our physical therapy clinics in New York or North Carolina and one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy will do a 15-minute consultation to see if physical therapy is right for you. In the consultation, we’ll help determine the source of pain and movement restrictions to see if you would benefit from physical therapy or might need the assistance of another healthcare professional. If so, we’ll make a referral and help speed up achieving your health goal.

You have nothing to lose; the screening is free! And if physical therapy could help you, we can perform the examination right then–even without a prescription–with Direct Access (covered by insurance).

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