Pelvic floor dysfunction can feel like a mysterious disorder. Life is often lived with hesitation when you suffer from pelvic dysfunction because you’re never sure when symptoms will appear. When your pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms include bowel and bladder issues, you might feel like you simply want to stay in your house. The good news is that treatments are available to reduce symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Getting on the path to reclaiming your life starts with understanding more about this common disorder. Here at Denver Chiropractic, we prioritize patient education because we believe that understanding how your health condition ties into your “whole body” is essential for healing. Take a look at seven things you need to know about pelvic floor dysfunction.

Fact #1: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Encompasses Several Disorders

Pelvic floor dysfunction doesn’t refer to a specific disease. The term actually encompasses a range of disorders caused by weakened, stretched, torn, or damaged pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. There’s also a large range in severity of pelvic floor dysfunction. In severe cases of pelvic floor dysfunction, organs can protrude outside the body.

Fact #2: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Impacts Several Different Organs

Pelvic floor dysfunction affects the entire pelvic region. This is precisely why pinning down a pelvic floor dysfunction diagnosis can be so difficult. Pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms can mirror symptoms of digestive disorders, reproductive disorders, bladder disorders, pain disorders, and more. In addition to impacting the pelvic floor muscles, pelvic floor disorders can affect the bladder, rectum, and lumbar muscles. In men, the prostate is also affected. The uterus and vagina can be impacted in women.

Fact #3: Pregnancy Is the Most Common Cause of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

While there are several risk factors associated with pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy is considered the top risk factor. Pressure placed on the pelvic floor during pregnancy can cause floor muscles and tissues to become strained. In addition, labor can strain the pelvic floor muscles. Long, difficult labors increase risks for pelvic floor dysfunction.

Fact #4: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Can Affect Both Men and Women

It’s estimated that up to 95% of cases of pelvic floor dysfunction occur in women. However, men certainly can develop pelvic floor dysfunction. Pain, incontinence, and sexual dysfunction are the telltale signs of pelvic floor dysfunction in men. In fact, many men aren’t aware of the connection between pelvic floor dysfunction and erectile dysfunction. Researchers believe that weak pelvic floor muscles may be the cause of erectile dysfunction for some men. It may be possible to treat erectile dysfunction without mediation in cases where the pelvic floor muscles are to blame. According to one study, pelvic floor muscle exercises and biofeedback are effective treatments for men with erectile dysfunction.

Fact #5: Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Can Produce a Wide Range of Symptoms

Not everyone will have all of the symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction. While some people will only experience pain and discomfort, other people will experience what can feel like debilitating symptoms tied to bladder and bowel functions.

Possible symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Spraying urine while peeing.
  • Dribbling/leakage after peeing.
  • A persistent urge to pee.
  • Constipation.
  • Straining during bowel movements.
  • Incomplete bowel movements.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Pain in the genitals, rectum, and lower back.
  • Pain that is triggered by bowel movements.

Some people will only experience pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms when bowel movements trigger tension, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Bowel movements can also lead to loss of control of muscle function. However, it’s also possible to have symptoms that are constant, frequent, intermittent, or rare.

Fact #6: Pregnancy Is Far From the Only Cause of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

While pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that is closely linked with pregnancy and childbirth, it’s important to know that you can’t rule out this condition if you don’t fall into that category. Plenty of people who have never been pregnant experience pelvic floor dysfunction. Researchers don’t yet know everything behind why some people are more vulnerable to this condition than others. However, a list of risk factors has been identified.

Take a look:

  • Falls, sports injuries, and car accidents that have caused traumatic injuries to the pelvic area.
  • Overusing the pelvic muscles by pushing too hard when using the bathroom.
  • Pelvic surgery.
  • Advanced age.
  • Being overweight.

You may still be at risk for pelvic floor dysfunction even if none of these risk factors apply to you. That’s because researchers actually believe that there’s a genetic component to pelvic floor disorders. While the exact genetic cause of pelvic floor dysfunction isn’t known, researchers do know that pelvic disorders can run in families.

Fact #7: You May Be Able to Treat Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Without Surgery

In many cases of pelvic floor dysfunction, strain and pressure have weakened pelvic floor muscles. This trauma causes pelvic floor muscles to lose coordination. It’s estimated that pelvic floor muscles can be retrained to function properly again in about 75% of cases. Biofeedback is a common treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction that helps to retrain the muscles using exercises focused on alternating between relaxing and clenching. Manual adjustments combined with stretching techniques can also be useful for improving muscle coordination. In addition, chiropractors also focus on relaxation techniques, posture, and other things you can work into your daily life to remove strain and pressure from the pelvic floor muscles.

Get Help for Pelvic Floor Disorders in Denver, Colorado

Denver Chiropractic specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders. We’re sensitive to the needs of patients dealing with this very discouraging and personal health condition. Our team is excited to offer cutting-edge exercises and therapies that can help to reestablish strength and coordination in your pelvic muscles. You don’t have to live with the feeling that your pelvic pain is dictating your life. Book a consultation for pelvic floor treatments in Denver today!