Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
How Physical Therapy Can Reduce Symptoms of IBS
WHAT IS IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the name for a cluster of GI symptoms that often - but not always - occur together. These include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, or constipation.
The primary symptom of IBS is either diarrhea or constipation, and it may include both. Abdominal pain and cramping is also common, along with bloating, gas, the urgent need to go, or pain/straining with a bowel movement.
IBS is a blanket description of symptoms that occur in the absence of another disease or GI damage. There is often an underlying cause of IBS, which can include SIBO, inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic floor dysfunction, or another underlying issue causing GI upset.
A multi-disciplinary approach is crucial to treating IBS. Treatment often includes changes in diet, probiotics, gentle exercise, and physical therapy.
HOW DOES PELVIC PT HELP?
Physical therapy plays a big role in the treatment of IBS and restoring gut health. Trigger points or adhesions on the abdomen can cause or exacerbate pain and cramping. Scar tissue can inhibit the mobility of the abdomen or intestines, and can be an underlying cause of symptoms.
The gut is part of a pressure system that is regulated by the pelvic floor and the diaphragm; pelvic PT makes sure both of these have proper mobility and function. Physical therapy can also relieve related symptoms, including constipation, pelvic pain, low back pain, and urinary symptoms.
In fact, in one study that we conducted here at PelvicSanity, more than 70% of patients with pelvic floor dysfunction had related bowel symptoms. Improving gut health involves the entire abdominal and pelvic region.
THE PELVICSANITY DIFFERENCE
At PelvicSanity, your physical therapist will be a specialist in the field and an expert in treating abdominal pain, GI health, and the pelvic floor. Many of our patients have been to multiple doctors for their symptoms before finding success here at PelvicSanity.
We believe full-length sessions are crucial to success with pelvic PT, so all appointments at PelvicSanity are an hour in length and spent entirely with a pelvic floor specialist. You’ll never be hooked up to electrodes, see an aide instead of a physical therapist, or be told to ‘just do your Kegels.’ We create a positive, calm environment for healing in private treatment rooms.
We also believe the pelvic floor can’t be treated in isolation, so your treatment will address both the pelvic floor and the external muscles that connect and influence the entire pelvis for optimal results.
YOUR INITIAL EVALUATION
Your initial evaluation will be an hour in length, and have three major components:
Consultation: Most of our patients have been to multiple doctors, but have never really felt listened to in their appointments. In your initial evaluation you’ll have a chance to go through your medical history with your physical therapist. We’ll listen to you and ask about your personal goals for physical therapy.
Assessment: Next your physical therapist will do a complete assessment. They will look at your posture, hip and pelvic alignment, fascia, scar tissue, and anything else influencing your pelvis. Then they will do an internal evaluation, looking for trigger points and dysfunction within the pelvic floor muscles.
Treatment: We also want to know how your body responds to treatment, so your initial evaluation also includes targeted treatment. You’ll also leave with ‘homework’ that you can be doing in between your visits to build on the improvements with physical therapy.
The Gut Health Guide e-Book
"I came to PelvicSanity for issues related to gut health after having gone through the antibiotic treatments and seeing another physical therapist. The first visit totally changed my perspective and understanding, and I'm already starting to feel the difference in my daily life!"
Of women with abdominal pain were found to have abdominal and/or pelvic floor trigger points contributing to their pain
"I'm so thankful to have found this place. I appreciate the comprehensive knowledge of my condition and the encouragement to keep working toward my goals."
The PelvicSanity Team
Our team at PelvicSanity specializes in all aspects of pelvic and core health, including treating IBS and other gut health issues. We've published The Gut Health Guide, a free book to help educate patients on what is normal and how a multi-disciplinary approach can help!