Postnatal Pelvic Floor Pain
A quick overview of the anatomy of the pelvic floor may help you understand the body region we are referring to. The pelvic organs are housed within the pelvic cavity within the lower portion of your pelvis. Both the walls and floor of this funnel shaped structure are composed of striated muscles including primarily of the piriformis, obteratur internus, levator ani and coccygeus as well as fascial connections. There are 2 gaps in these muscles which are crucial to provide room for the urethra and vagina anteriorly to pass and for the anal canal through the rectal hiatus posteriorly. The overall function of the pelvic floor is threefold; structural support for organs through active and tonic contraction, resistance to intraabdominal pressure (when coughing, sneezing, bearing down) and control of urine and feces expulsion.
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 Therapy 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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