Despite research studies which have shown that pelvic floor myofascial release can dramatically improve IC symptoms more effectively than EVERY oral medication tested, many if not most patients simply do not believe that their pelvic floor muscles can be causing their bladder symptoms.
One non-believer was IC patient Janet R, who fiercely doubted that there was any connection. But when her symptoms failed to respond to other therapies, she finally gave it a try. Here’s what she said:
“I did not believe that my bladder symptoms had anything to do with pelvic floor dysfunction. None of my physicians had ever examined my pelvic floor. I’m a believer now. When I finally started physical therapy, I experienced a substantial improvement. I no longer have daily spasms and urgency.
I suffered for ten years not knowing that I had pelvic floor dysfunction. I wasted thousands of dollars on bladder treatments and Elmiron. Bladder instillations made me worse. It’s astounding how much better I feel when my pelvic floor muscles are released. Thank you ICN for opening my eyes!” – Janet R.
It’s time to have a pelvic floor assessment if:
- Your pain is worse after urination, rather than before.
- You don’t feel a sensation of relief after you empty your bladder.
- You haven’t responded to bladder therapies.
- Your symptoms continue to worsen despite treatment.
- You have flares during or after intimacy
- You can’t tolerate any vaginal or rectal penetration
- Sitting for long periods of time or driving in a car causes you discomfort.
- You have a sensation of something falling out of you, or something is being pushed up inside of your pelvis.
- You feel like you’re carrying a bowling ball around in your pelvis
And, if your doctor has suggested that you have pelvic floor therapy, but you just didn’t believe them… we’re telling you now to believe them. Pelvic floor dysfunction plays significant role in pelvic pain and IC.
When you can’t afford physical therapy or it’s not covered by insurance.
If money is tight and/or you can’t afford regular physical therapy, we encourage you to visit a PT once for a pelvic floor assessment, even if you must pay out of pocket. Why? Because they can determine which muscles which are dysfunctional. The pelvic floor musculature is much like a woven basket. There are muscles which go from side to side, front to back and from low in the pelvis up into the abdomen. Then you’ll have an idea of which muscles you should be working with.
They should also give you a series of exercises that you can do at home to help relax then strengthen those muscles. Then, rather than meeting weekly, you could ask for an appointment three months away provided, of course, you’re willing to do the daily exercises at home.
Learn more about Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
You can learn more about it, watch videos and see our list of recommended books in the ICN Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Information Center!