Biofeedback

Why is it necessary to rehabilitate the pelvic floor?

Pelvic floor rehabilitation is part of the urological conditions treatments such as stress, urge, mixed urinary incontinence, uncoordinated urination, among others. Most Biofeedback programs are designed for improving pelvic muscle tone in order to strengthen the pelvic floor. It can be used also to lower the tone in patients who need to relax the pelvis muscles.

What is biofeedback?

It aims to make the patient aware of pelvic muscles’ action, to gain consciousness of their activity and also learn to make correct contraction or release movements. In other words, the goal is to make an otherwise uncontrolled, unconscious process into a controlled and aware one. This allows exerting control over the urination reflex in many urological conditions. The patients go through a continence or control learning curve, through the visualization of the action of contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor.

In order to obtain translate the muscle’s activity into an image, sound or both, specific equipment is needed: a vaginal or rectal sensor-electrode, depending on the pathology to treat and gender, and a special software designed to translate muscle activity into a signal that can be seen, heard or both in a computer screen.

The idea is to carry out an exercise program in several sessions (4-15) to start and consolidate the reinforcement learning process. Patient motivation is achieved because they obtain immediate feedback on the screen, thus enabling fine-tuning to achieve correct muscular action. The learning process to achieve improved pelvic floor muscle control, can be mastered with time and guidance from your doctor.

What weakens the pelvic floor?

Increased abdominal pressure, both intermittently or during long periods of time, is associated with loss of pelvic floor tone. Some causes are: pregnancy, childbirth, lack of estrogens, perineal and pelvic surgical interventions, constipation, chronic cough (smoking, lung disease), some sports (running professionally), professions like singing or musicians who play wind instruments for example, and obesity.

What strengthens pelvic floor?

Regular exercise focused on a particular muscular group, always strengthens it. Through biofeedback, we increase pelvic muscle mass by adding motor units and consciously controlling the frequency of stimulation of this group of muscles.

What is achieved with biofeedback?

By gaining awareness of our pelvic floor, we can monitor its activity, and achieve urination reflex power control. We can also reduce the frequency of episodes of urinary leakage, the sense of urgency and improve abnormal frequency of urination.

Who should do biofeedback?

The pelvic floor rehabilitation with biofeedback can be used in patients with stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed incontinence and other voiding problems. It can even be used in the post-partum periods,  with or without urine leakage, to strengthen the muscles