The amount of time it takes for the pelvic floor to heal can depend on a myriad of factors. How long it takes to heal may also vary from person to person. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Many of the muscles in the pelvic floor are deep and not directly accessible, so the healing process is slower than that of a superficial muscle.
Factors such as your age, fitness level, and any past or existing health conditions can all have an impact on your recovery time. Simpler issues such as muscle tightness or weakness may take a few weeks to heal, while more severe conditions such as organ prolapse can take weeks or months.
In addition to addressing any structural issues and correcting any underlying muscle imbalances to promote healing, treatment may also involve lifestyle changes such as improved nutrition and increased regular exercise.
Other important aspects of recovery may include the use of physical therapy (PT) techniques, lifestyle changes, and sometimes even medications. Making sure to adhere to all treatment plans prescribed by your doctor, such as PT or lifestyle modifications, will help ensure your pelvic floor can heal as quickly and effectively as possible.
What does a damaged pelvic floor feel like?
A damaged pelvic floor can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on the severity of the damage. Some common symptoms include pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, difficulty urinating, feeling the need to urinate frequently (especially at night), leaking urine involuntarily during activities, feeling pressure or heaviness in the pelvis, constipation or difficulty having a bowel movement, and pain during intercourse.
Additionally, people with a damaged pelvic floor may experience lower back pain, abdominal pain, difficulty achieving orgasm, and even issues with sexual performance. In short, a damaged pelvic floor can lead to a variety of uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms.
How do you treat pelvic floor damage?
When it comes to treating pelvic floor damage, there are many options available depending on the type and extent of the damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, nonsurgical treatments often involve lifestyle changes such as avoiding activities and movements that cause pain, practicing Kegel exercises, using ice and heat therapy, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
In addition, physical therapy may be recommended to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination. This might include techniques such as myofascial release, Graston technique, joint mobilization, or therapeutic exercise.
In cases where surgery is required, there are several procedures that may be used. These include pelvic reconstructive surgery to repair a pelvic floor weakening or prolapse, sling surgery to support the bladder or urethra, hysterectomy surgery to remove the uterus and/or ovaries, and sphincteroplasty surgery to repair or replace damaged muscles or other tissues.
Consult with your doctor to determine the best surgical option for you.
Finally, it is important to make sure that the underlying cause of the damage is identified and managed. This could include reducing risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and increasing physical activity.
Regardless, it is important to take steps to manage and reduce pain, as well as communication with your doctor about any additional treatments that may be needed.
Can pelvic floor go back to normal?
Yes, the pelvic floor can go back to normal. It is possible to identify and address many common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction and to improve muscle strength and control. The pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened with exercises such as kegels and other forms of exercise.
Pelvic floor physical therapists can provide guidance on how to perform these exercises correctly as well as help to address any underlying medical issues that may be contributing to pelvic floor symptoms like pelvic pain, leaking urine, and sexual dysfunction.
Additionally, manual therapeutic interventions such as myofascial release, visceral mobilization, and neuromuscular re-education may be utilized to restore the normal function of the pelvic floor. It is important to note that making lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, avoiding constipation, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding heavy lifting can also help to keep the pelvic floor healthy and strong.