Why do poop, pee & sex matter to a non-specialist PT/OT?
I get this question a lot! Of course it makes sense...you wouldn't ask a butcher about the local organic kale! So why would a non-specialist care about issues with poop, pee & sex? But it DOES matter! Issues with poop, pee & sex are indicative of a pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor dysfunction impacts many things, that you care about, a few of which are below.
Poop, Pee & Sex Issues = Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
When a person has pelvic floor dysfunction, it impacts their ability to generate power! Why? There is a "leak" in the system of the canister or core. The pelvic floor muscles play a tremendous role in responding to increases in intraabdominal pressure, which create a downward force on the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs. When that leak is sufficient, the person has issues with generating power for squats, lifts, and bends.
Pelvic floor dysfunction arises from the same issues as other muscles: muscles that are shortened or lengthened and/or muscles that are not properly trained when to turn on and off. An overactive or underactive pelvic floor muscle can impact pain and a person's response to PT and OT by pulling on the pelvis and surrounding structures, creating a cycle of pain. If you're not getting the outcomes you expect or typically get with a patient, a pelvic floor muscle issue is most likely involved.
The pelvic floor muscles transfer load from surrounding hip and trunk muscles. They have direct connections via fascia and nerve. An imbalance of the pelvic floor muscles and surrounding muscles impairs the system to work efficiently. The hips, core, trunk, movement patterns, even breathing can be impacted by pelvic floor dysfunction, which ultimately affects athletic performance.
If you patient is limited by power, athletic performance, or pain...they will NOT be getting the PRs they want!
Also, if your patient is worried about urinary or fecal incontinence (leakage) or prolapse (organs falling down) then they can't possible lift, run, bike, or swim at the peak level. Their fear will hold them back. And if you don't have the conversation, you might not ever know why.