Balancing Strength and Comfort: Pelvic Health Physical Therapy in St. Paul, MN

Physical therapy plays a pivotal role in enhancing pelvic health by providing targeted care and guidance. It focuses on addressing various issues related to the pelvic region, such as pelvic pain, incontinence, and postpartum recovery. Through specialized exercises, manual therapy, and patient education, physical therapists help individuals strengthen and rehabilitate the muscles in the pelvic area, promoting better control, comfort, and overall well-being.

Pelvic floor physical therapy retrains your muscles, relieves pain, and improves function. Physical therapy St Paul MN uses hands-on treatment, pelvic muscle training, biofeedback, and home exercises.

External techniques include functional dry needling (insertion of thin needles into trigger points) and myofascial release or deep tissue massage. Internal treatments may include visceral mobilization, kneading or massage of your muscles and connective tissues, and electrical stimulation.


Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause pain in and around the lower body. This can lead to difficulty with daily activities like walking, playing, and even sex. In these cases, physical therapy can be beneficial.

When you schedule a health physical therapy session at Saunders Therapy Centers, Inc, your therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the source of your pain and create an individualized plan for treatment. Your evaluation may include hands-on techniques to restore pelvic and lumbar symmetry, improve mobility, and address scar tissue, muscle tension, and joint restriction. Your therapist can also perform an internal examination of your pelvic muscles either vaginally or rectally to assess muscle strength, excessive tightness, trigger points (small muscle "knots"), and coordination.

Your physical therapist will develop a plan of care to relieve your pain, strengthen your pelvic and abdominal muscles, and improve your bladder and bowel function. This may include manual therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, exercise, biofeedback, and relaxation training, as well as lifestyle and postural changes.


For many people, constipation is a serious problem that can be debilitating. A major cause of this is tightness in the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a muscular bowl that encompasses the rectum, bladder, and (for women) uterus. When you have a bowel movement, these muscles must work together to generate pressure, relax the anal sphincters, and lengthen the abdominal muscles to push the stool out. This is known as synergistic defecation. If the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor cannot coordinate properly, it can be difficult to have a regular bowel movement.

Physical therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of constipation, such as pain when having a bowel movement, and difficulty passing hard, dry, or lumpy stool. The goal of treatment is to retrain the muscles of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to function properly, which will improve stool frequency, consistency, and form. In addition to pelvic floor exercises, your physical therapist may suggest other treatment techniques like biofeedback or bowel training, dietary recommendations for increasing fiber and water intake, positioning techniques (like sitting on a Squatty Potty), or abdominal massage to stimulate peristalsis movement of the colon.

During evaluation, your physical therapist will assess the movement, strength, and muscle tone of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles as well as your posture and alignment. They will also perform an internal examination of your colon and the muscle surrounding it (called visceral mobilization) either vaginally or rectally, depending on your comfort level. This is done with the use of a gloved, lubricated finger and helps your therapist to feel each of the muscles that make up the pelvic floor and determine which muscles are tight, spastic, or weak.

Your therapist will then create an individualized treatment plan to manage your symptoms, which can include manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, pelvic stability and balance exercises, abdominal massage, biofeedback, relaxation training, behavior modification, and bladder/bowel/pelvic floor education. In some cases, they may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further testing and to work with them on your treatment plan. For many people, a combination of treatments is effective for managing the symptoms of constipation and improving stool quality and frequency.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the support mechanism for an organ like your bladder, urethra, uterus, or rectum starts to fail and fall downward. It is very common after childbirth when your pelvic muscles and fascia can become weak or overstretched. It can also happen from chronic straining with constipation or after pelvic surgery. All of the pelvic organs are supported by a complex hammock of muscle, ligament, and fibers that attach to the bony anatomy of your pelvis. The bladder, urethra, and rectum are the organs most commonly affected by prolapse. Symptoms vary depending on the type of prolapse and its severity.

The most common symptoms include a “bulge” or feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen or vulva. Leakage of urine with physical activity or coughing. Symptoms can also include pain and pressure in the lower back and pelvic region, especially after prolonged standing or sitting. Symptoms can get worse as the day progresses.

If your doctor suspects you may have a pelvic organ prolapse, she will perform an exam and may order imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. These might include a voiding cystourethrogram (which involves taking X-rays of your bladder before and after you pee) or an ultrasound. An MRI scan can give you a view of the muscles and organs to see if more than one organ is protruding.

Physical therapy for pelvic organ prolapse can help strengthen your pelvic floor and deep core muscles to better support the organs and reduce your symptoms. You might also learn new ways to manage your daily activities so that you are not creating additional stress on the organs. You might be given a pelvic pessary to help prevent your prolapse from getting larger and causing more symptoms.

Therapists will also teach you how to do Kegel exercises and how often and how many to do them. They might suggest other stabilization exercises that are more appropriate for your level of prolapse. Often, these exercises will be more helpful than just doing Kegels alone. These exercises will help you to learn how to coordinate the abdominal muscles and the deeper core muscles with movement and posture. This will improve the strength and function of these muscles and fascia, which will help prevent future prolapses.

Bladder Dysfunction

Having weak pelvic floor muscles can cause bladder dysfunction such as urinary incontinence, leaking, and/or overactive bladder. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help improve the function of the muscles that control your urine.

Physical therapists perform an evaluation that includes a one-on-one, private session in which your symptoms are discussed and a full body exam is performed. Your therapist will assess movement, muscle tone, and strength in your hips, spine, bony pelvis, and pelvic floor muscles. Your therapist may also perform manual palpation (a hands-on examination) of your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to evaluate for excessive tightness, trigger points (tiny muscle "knots"), and muscle coordination.

A common treatment option for bladder dysfunction is the use of Kegel exercises. These are repeated tightening and releasing of the muscles that control your bladder. Your physical therapist will teach you how to perform these exercises, including breathing and timing techniques that can make them more effective.

In addition to strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, your therapist may use soft tissue mobilization techniques to reduce muscle tightness, scar tissue, and/or joint restrictions. In some cases, your therapist can also provide bladder retraining to train the bladder to hold less urine. This can reduce the frequency of urinary incontinence and extend the time between voiding for people who have urge incontinence.

Many women experience pain in the pelvic area with activities such as using a tampon, sexual intercourse or gynecological exams. These are often caused by tight muscles that can be addressed with pelvic floor physical therapy. Your therapist can recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles around your hips and pelvis as well as improve your posture and postural alignment.

In some cases, your physical therapist will also recommend electrical stimulation devices that deliver a mild and safe electrical pulse to the muscles. This can decrease pain, spasms, and swelling by causing your muscles to contract and then release. These devices are available for you to use at home, and are an excellent addition to your treatment plan. They are especially useful if you have chronic muscle weakness or painful spasms.

In conclusion, the significance of St Paul physical therapy in maintaining optimal pelvic health cannot be overstated. As an integral part of holistic healthcare, it provides individuals with effective tools to prevent, address, and manage a range of pelvic issues. Through consistent physical therapy sessions, individuals can proactively strengthen pelvic muscles, improve posture, and cultivate awareness of their body's signals. This proactive approach not only prevents potential problems but also promotes a higher quality of life by fostering comfort and confidence.

It encompasses mental and emotional well-being as well, contributing to a positive body image, reduced stress, and enhanced overall self-esteem. By fostering open communication and personalized treatment plans, physical therapists create a supportive space where patients can overcome challenges and embrace their journey toward better pelvic health. In the grand tapestry of wellness, physical therapy is a powerful thread that weaves together strength, empowerment, and lasting pelvic vitality.

Physical therapy plays a pivotal role in enhancing pelvic health by providing targeted care and guidance. It focuses on addressing various issues related to the pelvic region, such as pelvic pain, incontinence, and postpartum recovery. Through specialized exercises, manual therapy, and patient education, physical therapists help individuals strengthen and rehabilitate the muscles in the pelvic…