Pelvic pain? Frequent urge to urinate, but not the volume to justify it? Pain in and around the bladder? Your body is signaling to you that there’s a problem, and that problem could be interstitial cystitis. Luckily, physical therapy can be an effective and accessible way to treat interstitial cystitis.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition of the bladder causing pain ranging from mild to severe. Like many conditions, interstitial cystitis symptoms can respond to certain triggers, causing painful flares. Because the symptoms vary from person to person, if experiencing pain around the bladder and increased urge to urinate, it is important to be evaluated by a medical doctor. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can present similar symptoms and are easily treated with antibiotics; interstitial cystitis will not respond to antibiotics and requires specific treatment.
While there is no cure for interstitial cystitis, it can be managed using medications and physical therapy. The National Kidney Foundation offers more information on this condition; www.kidney.org/atoz/content/interstitial
Pelvic floor physical therapy to treat Interstitial Cystitis
For many people, the words “physical therapy” bring to mind images of exercise bikes and small weights, with physical therapists stretching limbs and mobilizing your spine. How does this help calm a painful bladder?
The answer is more specific – pelvic floor physical therapy. While it isn’t known exactly what causes interstitial cystitis, releasing trigger points and reducing tension in the pelvic region has been shown to lessen inflammation in the area and in turn, reduce pain.
The pelvic floor refers to all the muscles, ligaments, and tissue that stretch across the bottom of the pelvis. It supports the lower abdominal organs, helps regulate continence, stabilizes the lower back and pelvis, and affects sexual function.
While interstitial cystitis is often thought of as a condition strictly affecting the bladder, the pelvic floor is often involved and treatment addressing both the bladder and pelvic floor is most effective.
How does physical therapy treat interstitial cystitis?
The goal of pelvic floor physical therapy is releasing tension and decreasing inflammation. By releasing trigger points and allowing tense muscles to relax, the pelvic floor achieves normal blood flow and can resume more normal movement which will in turn decrease discomfort and increase function.
Physical therapy is one of the most studied and most successful treatments for interstitial cystitis. The American Urological Association suggests pelvic floor physical therapy as a first-line treatment for those diagnosed with interstitial cystitis. In addition, several independent clinical trials have shown pelvic floor physical therapy to be the only treatment for interstitial cystitis that consistently provides significant improvement for patients.
Body Restoration Physical Therapy specializes in pelvic floor physical therapy in Long Island
Body Restoration Physical Therapy is located in Nassau County, in Long Island, New York, and specializes in treating conditions of the pelvic floor. If you’ve been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, physical therapy can be an effective treatment for improving both your level of discomfort and overall quality of life. Get started today by contacting Body Restoration Physical Therapy.