I started getting bladder infections while I was still in high school. By the time I sought help, I was getting 6-7 per year. When my physician asked me to try physical therapy I was skeptical and I have to admit I thought it was really weird. I had never heard of such a thing.
I was happy to find an all women’s clinic with Physical Therapists that specialize in the pelvic floor. When I walked into Athena Physical Therapy I was impressed. It didn’t look like your typical PT clinic, but instead more like a place you would go to get a fancy massage.
Right off the bat, my PT put me at ease. She was kind and a good listener. She told me she helped people like me everyday. We had a long talk about my medical history and current problems. I don’t think anyone has ever asked me so many questions about my bladder habits (in a good way!!!) . It was so comprehensive.
With my permission she performed a very detailed evaluation of my pelvic floor. I was not in stirrups and was in a very comfortable position on a heated mat table. When she gently touched my pelvic floor it was very painful and tight. She explained to me that tight/painful pelvic floor muscles can cause frequent UTI’s. This is because the pelvic floor needs to relax to completely empty the bladder. When you cannot completely empty the urine sits in your bladder all day and can get infected. We needed to work on relaxing these muscles.
In addition she looked at the rest of my body and found out I had trigger points in my legs, stomach and glutes. I also had a hip that was higher than the other. She explained to me that this would also have to be addressed in order to decrease my urinary symptoms.
With this information she was able to give me helpful suggestions such as drinking the right amount of water and avoiding squatting over the toilet. I was also surprised to hear that all of those Kegel exercises I was doing was actually making my problem worse.
As we worked to reduce all my tight muscles, she also taught me how to modify my behavior. For example she told me that straining to use the bathroom was making the situation worse. I needed to learn to relax those muscles and slow down.
I went from having six to seven bladder infections a year to becoming completely infection free for the last 2 years. I am so thrilled with my results.