Rectal pain is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle dysfunction, inflammation, and injury. If you experience rectal pain, it can be helpful to consult with a pelvic floor physical therapist to address the underlying issues causing your discomfort.
Pelvic floor physical therapists are specially trained to evaluate and treat conditions that affect the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs. These muscles are responsible for controlling bowel movements and urine flow, as well as sexual function.
When should you see a physical therapist for rectal pain?
There are several signs that may indicate that you should see a pelvic floor physical therapist for rectal pain. These include:
Chronic pain: If you experience rectal pain that persists for more than a few weeks, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms.
Difficulty with bowel movements: If you have difficulty with bowel movements, including constipation, diarrhea, or incomplete emptying, it may be a sign of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. A physical therapist can help you learn how to properly use your pelvic floor muscles to improve your bowel movements.
Pain during sex: Pain during intercourse can be caused by pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, which can also cause rectal pain. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you learn techniques to relax your pelvic floor muscles during sex to reduce pain and improve sexual function.
Urinary problems: If you experience urinary problems such as urgency, frequency, or leakage, it may be a sign of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. A physical therapist can help you learn techniques to improve your bladder function and reduce urinary symptoms.
Previous pelvic surgery: If you have had pelvic surgery in the past, it can cause scar tissue or muscle dysfunction that can lead to rectal pain. A physical therapist can help you address these issues and reduce your pain.
What does it look like to work with a pelvic floor physical therapist on rectal pain problems?
If you decide to see a pelvic floor physical therapist for your rectal pain, your first appointment will typically include a comprehensive evaluation of your pelvic floor muscle function. Your physical therapist will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam to assess your muscle strength, tone, and coordination.
Based on your evaluation, your physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and goals. This may include a combination of techniques, as well as education on how to properly use your pelvic floor muscles in daily activities.
What techniques are the most effective for rectal pain?
Pelvic floor physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their pelvic floor muscle function. These may include:
Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a technique that uses sensors to monitor muscle activity and provide visual feedback to help patients learn how to properly use their pelvic floor muscles.
Manual therapy: Manual therapy techniques, such as massage and stretching, can help relieve muscle tension and improve pelvic floor muscle function.
Relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and mindfulness, can help reduce muscle tension and improve pelvic floor muscle function.
Exercises: Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve muscle function.
Behavioral modifications: Behavioral modifications, such as changing your diet or bowel habits, can help reduce symptoms and improve pelvic floor muscle function.
The gist? If you experience rectal pain, it is important to address the underlying issues causing your discomfort. Pelvic floor physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for many patients, and can help reduce pain, improve bowel and bladder function, and enhance sexual function.
Want to get rid of rectal pain? Let’s chat!
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms shared in this post, contact a pelvic floor physical therapist (like me!) to schedule an evaluation and learn more about how pelvic floor physical therapy can help you manage your symptoms.
Want to work together? Book a virtual or in-person session (Minnesota) with me to receive a specialized, unique-to-you treatment plan to get the healing you need.
Looking for additional resources on pelvic health? My YouTube channel holds dozens of videos where I offer free pelvic floor training, yoga exercises, and more. My instagram page takes a little bit more of a light hearted approach while still providing educational content. And of course, if you have a specific pelvic floor subject you’re looking for more information on, a quick search of my blogs may give you the answers you need.
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