Alternative Therapies: Pelvic Floor PT
A jump, a sneeze, a laugh…ah, the perils of pregnancy (and childbearing) that cause little surprises in the underpants. During pregnancy, baby’s positions cause pressure on the pelvic floor. This, along with utilizing the same muscles to bring baby into the world, can cause weakness and strain. How can one prepare their body to minimize these effects? Pelvic floor physical therapy! Read on for the benefits, risks, and what makes Optimal Physical Therapy Las Vegas a great resource, written by Dr. Julie Haake, DPT.
WHAT IS PELVIC FLOOR PHYSICAL THERAPY?
As pelvic floor physical therapy becomes more “mainstream” (thank you TikTok and Instagram!!!), I find that many people are not quite sure what it entails. Pelvic health, or pelvic floor, physical therapy is a specialty of physical therapy for both women and men that focuses on the pelvis and pelvic floor, hips, low back, and abdominals. The pelvic floor is the layer of muscles that covers the bottom of the pelvic cavity (think of the area that touches the seat when you ride a bike) that supports the organs within the pelvis, aids in functions related to urinating and defecating, and assists in sexual function. If you’re having issues or concerns with anything related to poop, pee, sex, pregnancy, or postpartum life, pelvic floor physical therapy may just be exactly what you need!
BENEFITS TO THIS FORM OF THERAPY
Some benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy in pregnancy include safely exercising during pregnancy, managing pain that may arise due to pregnancy, learning labor positions and pushing strategies, how to coordinate the pelvic muscles for both strengthening and delivering, reducing the risk of tearing, and learning how to kick start your recovery/build a relationship with your physical therapist for postpartum rehabilitation. During pregnancy and after you give birth, advocate for yourself. Ask for a referral for this therapy.
Pregnancy (on the body) is like wearing a backpack for 9 months that gets heavier and heavier every day, and you want to ensure that your body is prepared for these demands! Giving birth can cause muscle tears when occurring vaginally, or can include a major abdominal surgery if delivering via C-section. You’d get physical therapy if you tore a muscle in your rotator cuff or if you had knee surgery, so why should it be any different for your pelvic floor?
RISKS TO THIS FORM OF THERAPY
Risks are minimal to none with this kind of therapy during pregnancy. Exercise has been proven to be beneficial in uncomplicated pregnancies! Consult your provider on any limitation regarding your pregnancy. As always listen to your body (and baby) for when to keep going and when to call it quits.
THE OPTIMAL PHYSICAL THERAPY LAS VEGAS DIFFERENCE
At Optimal Physical Therapy, we provide high-quality one-on-one care for pelvic floor physical therapy. Our goal is to provide a comfortable environment to discuss these topics that have been looked at as “taboo” and help you feel better. Check out this blog post I wrote HERE on my website, about what to expect in your first visit,. I also provide concierge and/or virtual pregnancy and postpartum wellness services for uncomplicated pregnancies and recoveries. Please feel free to reach out at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Nothing is TMI (too much information), and I love helping people learn more about how incredible and amazing our bodies are!
During pregnancy physical therapy is beneficial in preparation for labor and birth. In the postpartum period, pelvic floor therapy can eliminate bladder control situations as well as aid in abdominal separations. The body is your foundation, and the pelvis is the most worked part of the body during labor. Build a strong floor, and one can prevent complications later. We thank Dr. Julie Haake, DPT for sharing her expertise!