Pelvic Floor Disorders Treatment at
Magee-Womens, UPMC Hamot
As part of our physical therapy program, Magee-Womens, UPMC Hamot offers outpatient treatment options specifically for women suffering from pelvic floor disorders.
About Pelvic Floor Disorders
The pelvic floor consists of numerous muscles, connective tissue, nerves, tendons, and ligaments that:
- Provides support to our organs (bladder, uterus, and colon)
- Aids in sexual function
- Assists with maintaining continence
Pelvic floor disorders can result from pregnancy, childbirth, heavy lifting, chronic straining or coughing, and exercise just to name a few.
Types of pelvic floor disorders
Disorders or dysfunction of the pelvic floor may include:
- Urinary/fecal incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic muscle spasms/pain
- Postsurgical or incisional pain (abdominal or pelvic surgery)
- Sacroiliac or pubic symphysis joint pain
- Diastasis recti
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Options
Magee-Womens, UPMC Hamot, in conjunction with UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, offers a pelvic physical therapy program that provides individualized treatment to help women manage their pelvic floor symptoms throughout their lifetime.
Physical therapy for pelvic floor disorders may include:
Flexibility and/or strengthening exercises based on each patient’s individual needs. The goal is to always restore normal, pain-free activity.
The gentle manipulation of tissue (muscles, connective tissue, scar tissue, nerves, etc.) that helps release restrictions and soften tense tissues.
Allows patients to “see” their pelvic muscle activity at rest and tension produced during various strengthening or relaxation exercises. This helps increase awareness that they are using their muscles correctly, which is essential for correcting dysfunctional or uncoordinated muscle activity.
Addresses positioning, posture, and body mechanics, and includes:
- Bladder and/or bowel retraining.
- Functional pelvic bracing for incontinence and/or prolapse conditions.
- Device recommendations.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) consists of gentle and soothing pulses, applied via external electrodes, surrounding an area of pain. The stimulation prevents pain signals from reaching the brain and increases endorphin (the “feel-good” chemical) production. TENS decreases overall pain perception to assist with mobility and function.
- Electrical stimulation can strengthen pelvic muscles, inhibit overactive bladder conditions, and assist with correcting urinary retention.
- Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate heat within a body part, increasing circulation and decreasing inflammation within the region. It's often used in preparation for manual therapy.