This is a question we hear all too often. I am “too far gone” for PT to help, those symptoms are just “normal” as you age, it’s just too late to invest in my health.
It is true as we age there are lots of “changes” in our bodies. From fluctuations in our hormones, muscles changing, coordination and balance may not be what it used to be. Your pelvic floor also responds to these changes as you age as well. The great news is, if you seek out pelvic floor therapy you may not have to deal with those nagging symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor physical therapy may reduce or even eliminate those nagging symptoms allowing you to get back to things you love.
What does really happen to our pelvic floor as we age? One of the biggest changes women notice is a fluctuation in hormones, these shifts may lead to weaker or “stiffer” muscles. Our connective tissues also take a toll with this shift becoming more rigid and reducing overall support. Bad habits such as holding our urine for too long or straining with bowel movements start to catch up with us and these bad habits can also contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction.
Now that we know it is common for these changes to occur, what may be some of the signs of pelvic floor dysfunction?
Here are a few symptoms to keep an eye out for:
Stress Incontinence (involuntary loss of urine): This is one of the most common symptoms for both men and women and is described as the inability to control your bladder with laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercise, or any situation where a stress/strain is placed on the bladder.
Bowel/Urinary Urgency: The feeling of a sudden urge to urinate or defecate without warning. Urgency is difficult to delay going to the bathroom and sometimes may lead to leakage on the way to the bathroom.
Painful Intercourse: Many notice changes in their libido, or pain with intercourse which can be challenging for the person experiencing those symptoms and their partner. Hormones again can partly be to blame with changes in lubrication and our tissues themselves both of which can lead to pain. The good news is pelvic PT can be a great resource to help reduce to eliminate these symptoms.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Common symptoms can range from a pressure/heaviness in the pelvic floor, a bulging sensation at rest or made worse with a bowel movement. Prolapse occurs with a combination of weakness in the pelvic floor and usually presents with a shift in the position of one or more organs within the pelvis.
So, whether this is your first time experiencing these symptoms or you have been experiencing these symptoms for years it is never too late to give pelvic floor therapy a try!
Our team of board-certified pelvic health therapists are here to help get you back to those everyday activities you love allowing you more control of your pelvic floor, give us a call today!