Pelvic Floor Muscle Evaluation and TreatmentThe pelvic floor consists of several layers of muscles that cover the bottom of the pelvic cavity. The muscles are located between the pubic bone and the tailbone. The pelvic floor muscles function to support the spine, pelvis and internal organs, control the bladder and bowel muscles, and enhance sexual appreciation.Pelvic floor muscle exercises are known as Kegel exercises. Medical research indicates that after brief verbal or written instruction only 49% of women can correctly contract these muscles. An evaluation will assess your strength, muscle tone, control, and contraction ability, and includes instructions for proper exercise technique.Evaluation consists of the following elements:Subjective dialogue in which your medical history, pelvic floor function/dysfunction, current issues and possible precipitating factors are all reviewed. During this time I will listen carefully to everything you are willing to share. I’ve found that my patients are intuitive and often lead me to the problem which makes it easier to pinpoint and treat.Physical therapy evaluation can also include analysis of pelvic joint alignment and movement activities that could cause your symptoms.Evaluation Methods will consist of some or all of the following:Biofeedback evaluation and training uses sensitive computerized equipment that enables you to see or hear how your muscles are responding to your instructions. The therapist and you can see and evaluate resting muscle activity as well as evaluate your muscle endurance and response to commands.
External observation and palpation of pelvic floor muscles
Internal vaginal or rectal examination is different than a pelvic or prostate exam from a physician. It is performed to look at the musculoskeletal components of the pelvic region. The exam
After the evaluation a Treatment plan is discussedThe evaluation helps design a specific treatment plan for your needs. By combining biofeedback with musculoskeletal examination findings and physical therapy techniques you can learn to relax tense muscles, strengthen weak muscles and coordinate muscle activity.
Treatment will consist of one or more of the following elements depending on what was found on evaluation:
Bump R, Hurt G, et al. (1991). "Assessment of Kegel pelvic muscle exercise performance after brief verbal instruction." Am J Obstet Gynecol 165: 322-329.