Postnatal Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is a broad term describing many different conditions around the pelvic region. Anatomically, the pelvic floor is the internal structures within the bony pelvic rim, which contain muscles, ligaments, fascia as well as neurovascular bundles
There are generally 2 broad categories that most symptoms fall under and many times it is common to have an overlap between the two. Firstly, there can be weakness, or LOW TONE within the pelvic floor, which will create symptoms of either urinary or fecal incontinence. Conversely, a HIGH TONE, or spastic pelvic floor can create pain driven symptoms. It is important to note that these 2 categories are at each end of a spectrum and most times, the patient presents with a mix of both the high and low tone.
Pelvic floor dysfunction in its many forms is extremely common for women. Some studies suggest that the incidence of pelvic floor dysfunction is close to 80%. You are not alone!
The doctors at Hemmett Health have been extensively trained to evaluate and treat the musculoskeletal portion of the pelvic floor. Dr. Vicki Hemmett has developed a unique and innovative treatment protocol, Hemmett Pelvic Floor Release Therapy, or HPFRT designed specifically to individualize each treatment for women suffering with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. The manual techniques used in HPFRT incorporate stretching, strengthening (or both) as indicated.
The vast majority of patients will have a referral from their OBGYN before they book an appointment. Typically, care can begin as soon as 6 weeks postnatally.
Pelvic floor dysfunctions including organ prolapse and urinary incontinence either with or without pelvic pain are the most common diseases in women postnatally. However, women of all ages including young athletes can develop symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.
The pelvic floor is a dynamic structure, similar to a muscular hammock. It serves to support your pelvic organs. The pelvic floor amazingly stretches, contracts and works naturally to birth a baby! However, just like other muscular structures, these tissues can become damaged, strained and weak. Often, without proper rehabilitation, the muscles cannot fully recover, resulting in ineffective use of this essential structure.
Pelvic Floor dysfunction can result in urinary incontinence, chronic pelvic pain, vulvodynia and various other conditions. The exciting news is that all muscle and tensile tissue like that which resides in the pelvic floor responds beautifully to therapeutic rehabilitation, including specific soft tissue lengthening techniques (Hemmett Pelvic Release Thearpy developed by Dr. Vicki and exclusively used in our clinics) and strengthening exercises.
Our doctors will also evaluate the relationship of your pelvic and hip joints and core/abdominal stability to the pelvic floor in an effort to help you achieve a strong responsive pelvic floor that works dynamically with a stable core and properly functioning pelvic and hip joints. Studies have shown the direct neurological control of lumbar and sacral nerves over the function of the pelvic floor musculature. Specific chiropractic joint manipulations will stimulate the motion sensors within the joint and reflexively stimulate the nerves that control the muscles in the pelvic floor.
Normalizing the function of the pelvic and hip joints and muscles of the pelvic floor will help you to achieve a better quality of life and prevent symptom progression in the future.
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