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Pelvic Floor Disorders Treatment at Magee-Womens, UPMC Hamot

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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:

Therapeutic exercise

Flexibility and/or strengthening exercises based on each patient’s individual needs. The goal is to always restore normal, pain-free activity.

Manual therapy

The gentle manipulation of tissue (muscles, connective tissue, scar tissue, nerves, etc.) that helps release restrictions and soften tense tissues.

Biofeedback

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.

Functional activities

Addresses positioning, posture, and body mechanics, and includes:

  • Bladder and/or bowel retraining.
  • Functional pelvic bracing for incontinence and/or prolapse conditions.
  • Device recommendations.

Modalities

  • 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
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