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What is the purpose of pelvic floor physical therapy?

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Quick Answer

Pelvic floor physical therapy intends to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to treat pelvic floor dysfunction, particularly for patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, or IC. This form of rehabilitative care aims to improve commonly associated IC symptoms, notes the Interstitial Cystitis Association.

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Full Answer

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that surrounds the pelvis, tailbone and sacrum. This group of fibrous tissues provides vital support for the uterus in women or prostrate gland in men, bladder, rectum, urethra and female genitalia. An impairment in these muscles results in the disruption of bowel, bladder and sexual functions, which is characteristic of IC.

Cleveland Clinic provides individualized pelvic floor rehabilitation plans that cater to the specific needs of its clients. Each course of treatment is designed to restore or normalize the function of the pelvic floor muscles that have weakened, tightened or become spastic due to disuse, injury or invasive procedures. Pelvic floor physical therapy involves a careful evaluation by a licensed physical therapist prior to implementing a plan of care.

In men, pelvic floor rehabilitation soothes persistent genital and groin discomfort and relieves frequent urination, which is sometimes accompanied by a burning sensation, states Cleveland Clinic. In women, this form of therapy minimizes vaginal discomfort from tampon use, sexual intercourse or regular check-ups, loosens tension in the pelvic region that can contribute to pain and improves control of urinary and bowel functions.

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