Physical therapists provide treatment to restore function, improve mobility and relieve pain, prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease and promote wellness. As sexual health is an integral component to overall wellness and sexual activity, physical therapists have an important role in promoting sexual health and treating dysfunction.
Within physical therapy is a specialty known as urogynecological rehabilitation. Physical therapists involved in this specialty are trained in the treatment of disorders related to the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor disorders include urinary dysfunction such as incontinence (unwanted loss of urine) urgency, and frequency, as well as organ prolapse, which refers to a situation where the bladder, uterus, and/or rectum “fall” downwards into the vaginal canal. Pelvic floor disorders due to muscle weakness contribute to these conditions and sexual dysfunction has been found to be closely associated with them.
Physical therapists are important members of our team at The Center for Female and Male Sexual Dysfunction. Pelvic floor hypertonus (high muscle tone) dysfunction is a component of sexual pain, and an important part of physical therapy is teaching the patient how to normalize muscle tone. The physical therapy intervention generally consists of evaluation and treatment with education and cognitive behavioral therapy, exercises, manual therapy techniques, and modalities including pelvic floor biofeedback and electrical stimulation.
The physical therapy approach to the treatment of women with complaints of inability to have intercourse, or painful intercourse, includes taking a detailed history, performing a physical exam, and providing a treatment plan together with the patient. Physical therapists provide education, anatomical and physiological information, and give specific exercises with the goals of decreasing pain with intercourse and allowing vaginal penetration mobility. Physical therapists provide exercises to decrease the sensitivity of the painful tissues. Manual techniques, including massage, stretching, soft tissue and bony mobilizations, are important components of treatment.
At the Center for Female and Male Sexual Dysfunction we take a whole body approach to healing. Our highly experienced team of therapists will guide you along the healing process and provide the necessary support to have a successful outcome. Confirm your confidential consultation today.