Pelvic Floor Dysfunction consists of a wide range of symptoms that affect multiple aspects of a person's life. Since acupuncture works on many levels simultaneously, many of the problems involved with this disorder can be addressed in a single session.
Acupuncture can affect Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in three distinct ways, all of which can be part of a single treatment session.
From a symptomatic point of view, problems such as incontinence, IBS, vulvodynia, cystitis, pelvic and genital pain, urinary or bowel burning, frequency or retention, constipation, and diarrhea are routine ailments treated by acupuncturists.
Pelvic Floor problems have an integral relationship with the structure of the musculoskeletal system and can be a major underlying factor of the problem, and occasionaly its origin. Tight or weak muscles and/or structural imbalances lead to postural imbalances which then refer pain to the pelvic floor. Trigger points in the Abdominal, Iliopsoas and External Oblique muscles cause vaginal, labial and groin pain as well as constipation; Quadratus Lumborum, can cause internal pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, pain in the perenium, testicular and genital pain and cause constipation or diarrhea; tight Hamstrings are associated with pain in the Obturator Internus; the Adductors refer pain to the groin; the Piriformis and Gluteal muscles when tight can compress the Pudendal Nerve.
Acupuncture facilitates the deep release of these trigger points that contribute to pelvic pain as well as the muscles that overlie and affect the nerves responsible for referring pain to both the internal and external genitals, to the bladder, the urethra and the anal area.
Acupuncture can be used both for a weak or tight pelvic floor to either promote relaxation of the tissue or faciliate muscle recruitment. There are various points on the body that help calm and dissipate genital, pelvic and nerve pain.
Acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of scar tissue. It helps minimize pain and numbness and breaks up the abnormal muscle pull created by the scar. Over time, it can help reduce the redness and discolouration.
Acupuncture relaxes and calms the sympathetic nervous system, relieving anxiety, depresson, sensitivity to touch, stress and insomnia. It facilitates the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain relieving hormones, creating a sense of well being and uplifted spirit.
In summary, the acupuncture treatment approach is used to calm the nervous system, relieve pain, align and balance the muscles, facilitate "normal" pelvic floor tone, reduce scar tissue, balance the hormoonal, gastrointestinal and urinary systems and facilitate a sense of well-being.
A treatment regime consisting of regular Acupuncture Treatments in combination with Physical Therapy is the ideal approach for chronic Pelvic Floor Problems.
For out of town visitors who come for an intense week of daily physical therapy, 2 - 3 acupuncture treatments during that week in conjunction with the PT is highly recommended. Please contact me directly to schedule any appointments.