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Do you believe that pelvic floor muscles can cause IC symptoms?

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!

By | 2017-01-31T08:42:00+00:00 February 19th, 2016|Front Page Feed, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pelvic Pain|Comments Off on Do you believe that pelvic floor muscles can cause IC symptoms?

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.