Pelvic Floor Therapy

If pelvic floor dysfunction is keeping you from the activities you love, it’s time to get help. Henry Ford Health System offers pelvic floor therapy for men and women from licensed physical therapists throughout southeast and south central Michigan.

Pelvic floor dysfunction treatment: Why choose Henry Ford?

Highlights of our pelvic floor therapy program include:

  • Expert team: Our licensed physical therapists have undergone extensive training in pelvic floor therapy. Many providers also have additional certifications in specialty areas, such as postpartum pelvic therapy, pelvic organ prolapse and manual therapy.
  • Integrated care: Henry Ford offers a Pelvic Pain Clinic. Physical therapists, gynecologists, urologists and pain management specialists work together to evaluate your pelvic floor issues and create a customized treatment plan.
  • Nonsurgical treatment: Pelvic floor therapy may help prevent the need for prolapse surgery or incontinence surgery. This conservative treatment builds the strength and control you need to live life to the fullest.

What is pelvic floor dysfunction?

The pelvic floor muscles control the bladder, bowels and uterus. Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when these muscles (either too tense or too relaxed) are no longer able to control normal functions such as urination or bowel movements. The condition can affect men and women.

Possible causes of pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • Childbirth or diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation)
  • Surgery, such as hysterectomy or prostatectomy
  • Traumatic pelvic injuries

Common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • Constipation
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (incontinence)
  • Low back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain during sex
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Urinary urgency

Pelvic floor therapy can also help people dealing with endometriosis, painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pelvic organ prolapse.

What to expect from pelvic floor physical therapy

Our pelvic floor therapists begin by carefully reviewing your medical history and symptoms. We do a complete physical exam (this may include a vaginal or rectal exam) to evaluate:

  • Muscle strength and function
  • Back and hip joint health
  • Severity of pelvic pain
  • Pelvic prolapse, or a pelvic organ that’s slipped down into the vagina

We also discuss how your pelvic dysfunction is affecting your life at home and at work. We work with you to outline clear goals for rehabilitation. Whether you want to lift your baby without pain or take walks without urinary urgency, we’ll make a care plan tailored to your unique needs. Pelvic rehabilitation typically takes two to four months.

Treatments we offer

Many people think pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegel exercises, are the only way to improve pelvic floor function. However, your pelvic floor therapist will introduce you to a range of techniques to address your unique needs.

Your rehabilitation plan may include:

  • Behavior modification and self-care strategies
  • Biofeedback to monitor muscle strength and spasms
  • Diet modifications to increase fiber and fluid intake
  • Dilators to stretch and relax vaginal muscles
  • Electrotherapy to improve muscle tone and decrease pain
  • Manual therapy, or massage, for pelvic floor muscles
  • Pelvic floor exercises, including a home exercise program
  • Rectal balloon training for bowel dysfunction
  • Stretches for the legs, hips and lower back

Find a location

Henry Ford offers pelvic floor therapy at multiple locations throughout southeast and south central Michigan. Contact a location near you to learn more.

Explore our blogs

Read blog articles and patient stories to learn more about pelvic floor therapy:

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