Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

What is pelvic floor dysfunction?

Pelvic floor conditions (often referred to as pelvic floor dysfunction) involve muscular imbalances within the musculature of the pelvic floor. These muscular problems can affect men as well as women although women are more prone to pelvic floor issues due to changes during pregnancy as well as during the menopausal years.

Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction

A common pelvic floor symptom is pain in areas such as:

  • Pelvis, hip, buttock, abdomen, thigh or lower back, and/or pain in the tailbone
  • External genitalia, vaginal opening, vaginal canal, rectum, penis, and/or testicles

Other pelvic floor symptoms and diagnoses include:

  • Low back, pubic symphysis, hip and sacroiliac dysfunction
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction, including constipation, incontinence (fecal or urinary), overactive bladder, and pelvic organ prolapse
  • Vaginismus (an involuntary tightening of vaginal muscles that can cause pain when using tampons, having intercourse, or undergoing gynecological exams)
  • Sexual dysfunction such as erectile dysfunction or dyspareunia

Pelvic floor physical therapists also treat interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, and conditions such as diastasis rectus abdominus (abdominal wall separation), which sometimes occurs as a result of pregnancy, as well as postsurgical pain or weakness, such as patients might experience after a hysterectomy or prostatectomy.

Testing and diagnosis for pelvic floor dysfunction

If you are experiencing pelvic floor symptoms or have a concern about pelvic floor conditions, be sure to talk to your primary care doctor, an OB/GYN, urologist or gastroenterologist. One of these doctors may then refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist.


Diagnosis of pelvic floor dysfunction begins with a thorough physical examination. This may include an internal exam, either vaginally or rectally. Once the pelvic floor therapist has determined the cause of your symptoms, the therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that may include a combination of therapies, such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy, electrical stimulation therapy to recondition the pelvic floor muscles, biofeedback to assist with engagement or relaxation of pelvic floor muscles, and education in lifestyle adjustments to manage urinary frequency and urgency.Find out more about pelvic floor rehab at Main Line Health.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

With three locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, we’re sure to offer pelvic floor rehabilitation near you. Our pelvic floor PTs treat pelvic floor conditions in men and women and we’re able to offer comprehensive treatments for these sometimes complex conditions.

Bladder Retraining

If you suffer from bladder problems, including incontinence or leakage, bladder retraining at Main Line Health can help you regain control.

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