What You Need to Know About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy NYC



Kegels & Pelvic Floor Therapy

Read along with this article to understand a bit more about when and why you should perform kegels.

Kegels are a term many of us have heard of more in the past 15+ years as pelvic floor health has become a more widely discussed issue. In more recent years, our knowledge of kegels has expanded beyond an uncomfortable or taboo topic, as the act of engaging our pelvic floor (performing a kegel), has become extremely important for both men and women living with various forms of incontinence. Read along with this article to understand a bit more about when and why you should perform kegels. 

Some level of Pelvic Floor Weakness is common following pregnancy regardless of method of delivery, but much more common postpartum with vaginal delivery as the pelvic floor expands and can suffer damage during birth. Many times symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction (heaviness, stress incontinence) dissipate on their own over time following pregnancy, but for others, these symptoms continue to persist for a longer time without resolution. Women post-partum are not the only people who suffer from pelvic floor weakness however, as this is something that affects millions of people of varying ages, physical fitness, and sex. 

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Women

  • Pelvic Pain

  • Pelvic Pressure

  • Urinary Incontinence

  • Sexual Discomfort

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Men

  • Pelvic Pain

  • Urinary Incontinence

  • Erectile Dysfunction

If you feel you have any of these symptoms or any other symptoms that have been affecting your quality of life, it may be in your best interest to continue reading and/or seek out the assistance of a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy, urologist, or gynecologist for a formal evaluation. 

In a large majority of cases, pelvic floor dysfunction can be resolved with pelvic floor exercises, or kegels. Simply explained, for someone who has never performed a kegel, there are muscles which sit within our pelvis that support some of our organs (bladder & bowels, sex organs) and the kegel engages the muscles which keep these organs in place. Performing a kegel can be thought of as trying to hold back gas or urine. For people who have some level of pelvic floor dysfunction, this action may be difficult to perform in different positions, so it is best to first attempt in positions that are easiest (often lying down on your back or sitting down are easiest). 

Often we see online to perform 5-10 second holds to build endurance of these muscles and quick holds of 1-2 seconds to build strength and performing them many times spread throughout the day (at least 30x). Doing exactly that will benefit some people, but for most, this knowledge is not enough as there is much more that goes into progressively strengthening muscles in a manner that will most benefit us for everyday life.

For those that still have difficulty after following the instructions above, it is in your best interest to seek out the assistance of a physical therapist for an evaluation and for a tailored exercise prescription to give you the most benefit and help you return to enjoying your life worry-free and free of pelvic floor dysfunction. Give us a call at 646-875-8348 to make an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist.

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