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Cal heeter ('88)
Did you know that a large of seemingly diverse female ailments can be traced to one common problem — pelvic floor spasm? Maladies such as pelvic pain or genital pain, pain with sex, bladder control problems, and bowel dysfunction are often related to over-tense pelvic floor muscles, and the sufferer is unaware of this being the root cause of her problems.
The good news is this problem can be treated without side-effect producing medications or surgery. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that attach to the front, back, and sides of the pelvic bone and sacrum. Like a hammock, these muscles support organs of the pelvis, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles also wrap around the urethra, vagina, and rectum. Contracting and relaxing pelvic floor muscles helps to control bowel and bladder function, and these muscles must relax during sexual intercourse.
Abnormal tension or spasm of the pelvic floor can cause a multitude of problems. Pelvic floor spasm is involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles, and this may occur continuously or intermittently. Pelvic floor spasm may be triggered initially by a bladder or vaginal infection, vaginal injury such as childbirthpelvic surgery, endometriosis or other inflammatory condition.
The problem can also be related to a history of trauma or abuse. To better understand the nature of this problem, consider the following illustration. Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes pain in the pelvis when uterine lining tissue abnormally exists as implants in the pelvic cavity outside of the uterus on squirts or inner pelvic walls, for example. Because of the close proximity of the pelvic floor muscles to the internal pelvic cavity where the pain originatesnerve pain als can also be transmitted to the pelvic floor muscles, causing them to contract or spasm.
In turn, this spasm may give rise to additional abnormal nerve als, leading to diverse problems such as those listed above. Removal of the uterus and ovaries considered curative woman for endometriosis takes away the primary insult that causes pain in this example, but the pelvic floor may still be in spasm because of persistent abnormal nerve als, thus perpetuating pain and dysfunction. Only when the pelvic floor spasm is addressed can the problems finally be conquered. A second illustration shows how even hood or early adult condition or event that lead to later problems with pelvic floor spasm.
If, for example, the primary insult is a Missouri vaginal injury or painful sexual experience, the pelvic floor muscles will contract as a protective mechanism. Later, contraction of the pelvic floor may happen without the trigger, due to a phenomenon called nerve sensitization, which occurs when the central nervous system sends abnormal als to the pelvic muscles to contract. The pain can extend beyond the vagina and involve any of the organs and muscles in the pelvic area, even extending to the low back, hips, and legs.
It is Hunnewell unusual for someone with hood history of elimination problems bowel or bladder to have a lifetime of dysfunction or pain arising from pelvic floor spasm. The trigger may not even be remembered by the adult, but may have set up chronic pelvic floor spasm resulting in pelvic problems later in life.
Brandon bollig ('87)
Pharmaceuticals can dampen pain or muscle spasm, but they bring a host of side effects, including addiction. No one wants to be dependent on these medications for a lifetime. Fortunately there is an effective therapy to re-train the pelvic floor nerves and muscles, so they will again work together normally.
Several common conditions are often associated with pelvic floor spasm. Scrolling down, you may find specific symptoms you recognize. These are problems that may point to pelvic floor spasm as a cause or perpetuating factor. Pain with intercourse can often be treated as simply as using a good quality lubricant during intercourse. However, if painful sex is related to pelvic floor spasm, it is more complicated.
To have a pleasurable sexual experience, a woman must be able to relax the pelvic floor muscles. This is impossible if one has pelvic floor muscle spasm or pain. Two very different pain conditions can be related to pelvic floor spasm. Vaginismus is involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles, preventing vaginal penetration or causing pain during intercourse. Vulvodynia is characterized by burning pain of the external genital skin. In this condition, squirt Hunnewell pain receptors causes even soft touch to feel painful.
Pain might be constant, or only present when the area receives pressure or rubbing. It can be debilitating. Overactive Bladder is characterized by unexpected contractions of the bladder muscle that can lead that leaking, called urge incontinence.
There is often a strong need to go to the bathroom but an inability to get there in time. Sufferers often lose urine when they hear running water or put their key in the door. Whether leaking is present or not, overactive bladder often causes urinary frequency throughout the day and during the night.
Painful Bladder Syndrome, sometimes called Interstitial Cystitis, is a disorder of the bladder characterized by urinary frequency, frequent nighttime voiding, and bladder pain. Sufferers may feel as if they have a constant urinary tract infection, but urine cultures show no infection. The condition is also often associated with pain during intercourse. Or, there may a problem of inability to Missouri the pelvic floor to allow a bowel movement. These seem like opposite problems, but they can have the same root cause: pelvic floor spasm. Treatment can be life changing for women who suffer these problems.
A Pelvic Health Consultation can help determine if your problem may be caused by pelvic floor spasm. Prior to consultation, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire concerning your pelvic pain issues. During your consultation, you will visit with gynecologist Dr. Laura Grant, who will review your questionnaire and listen as you describe your symptoms and experiences. The consultation visit involves a specialized brief pelvic examination to determine if pelvic floor spasm is present. The pelvic floor muscles themselves can be examined through a vaginal exam, with the doctor applying gentle pressure to detect tight contraction bands, or tenderness of pelvic floor muscles, which are indicators of pelvic floor spasm.
The utmost compassion and care is given — there is no need to fear this examination. Pelvic ultrasound also may be performed to determine if anatomic abnormality is Missouri to the problem. If Hunnewell bladder problems are present, a specialized evaluation may be scheduled to assess bladder function. Once the scope of the problem is understood, a plan of care is recommended.
Depending on your personal and health history, physical condition, anatomical findings, and pelvic squirt muscle evaluation, a plan of care will be developed specifically for you. Your plan may include any of the following; each one offered through our office as part of a multi-disciplinary approach. Pelvic that therapy is the chief strategy that works best to relieve problems associated with pelvic floor spasm.
This typically involves a course of treatment with weekly to biweekly office sessions over a week period. Some women, particularly those who have had longstanding pain problems, will need a longer course of sessions to experience full benefit.
Pelvic Floor Therapy sessions are comprised of the following components:. Often chronic pelvic pain patients benefit from one or more additional therapies listed belowto completely woman their problems and experience optimal relief and healing. In addition to the specific treatments noted above, anyone who has pelvic floor spasm must look carefully to see if any habits or disorders may be exacerbating the problem.
Conditions often associated with pelvic floor spasm:
Given focus and attention with treatment over a few weeks of time, pelvic floor spasm problems can be greatly improved or totally eliminated. However, since pelvic floor spasm problems are often longstanding before treatment, they may have a tendency to flare up periodically after therapy. It is sometimes recommended to schedule maintenance therapy at certain intervals, depending on the individual circumstances. This keeps the problem in check so the pelvis stays in good condition. We do not prescribe narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxant pills, or anti-anxiety pills, all of which can be highly addicting, and act to mask symptoms without treating the root cause.
We aim for a cure. Women often suffer in silence with these problems.
Take the advice of our patients their comments below. those who have regained their confidence and freedom! I delayed getting treatment due to the embarrassment factor. However, I finally had to ask about my options. I did consider surgery, but really felt it would be too invasive.
I must admit, even thought pelvic floor therapy appeared to be the best option, I was very hesitant at first. I should not have been hesitant — my nurse and the rest of the staff made me feel extremely comfortable with the process. The most important thing was it helped.
I no longer have the leakage issues I once had. I have to maintain on my own keep up the exercisesbut this is so much better than the alternative! I am completely satisfied and would recommend this treatment to others. Now I have zero leakage issues and can exercise all I want! Also, it was not as embarrassing as I thought it would be!
What is the pelvic floor?
Dianna pelvic therapy technician was a gem! I never felt embarrassed.
I would recommend this therapy to others. Everyone was amazing and answered all of my questions. I honestly feel like they care about me.
Dianna pelvic therapy technician is awesome. She has been instrumental in making my life much more livable. If you are interested in a consultation to explore whether pelvic floor spasm may be a cause of your pelvic pain or pelvic organ dysfunction, call and ask for a Pelvic Health Consultation. What is Pelvic Floor Spasm? The Perpetual Nature of the Problem To better understand the nature of this problem, consider the following illustration.