Visceral Mobilization as an additional treatment approach in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Recently, Kara Neil, Kate Dolan, and Christian Appel attended two separate Visceral Mobilization courses through the Herman & Wallace Institute. These courses discussed the benefits of treating the visceral and fascial systems in the overall treatment of pelvic floor dysfunctions.
The fascial systems within our bodies literally connect us from head to toe. Fascia surrounds all of our muscles, bones, nerves, organs (viscera), lymph, and vascular structures. It is an extensive network of mostly collagen fibers that form layers throughout the body, aiding in support and structure. The fascial system provides support, but also needs to maintain a certain amount of mobility so that your body can move fluidly without being restricted by internal barriers. For example, with every deep breath you take, your kidneys drop almost 4 cm along the back of your abdominal cavity. Without this mobility, the surrounding structures within the abdominal cavity suffer, by either having to compensate by moving too much, or by further being restricted in their movement. This abnormal mobility can lead to isolated symptoms (often diffuse pain), or contribute to more complex dysfunctions (pain, incontinence, prolapse, constipation).
Treatment of the fascial system is performed directly (putting input into the restricted motion), or indirectly (putting input into the available motion). It is a very gentle technique that can be performed during a physical therapy session, in conjunction with additional therapeutic exercises or activities to restore function. We are finding it is a useful tool that has just added to our toolbox of therapy options when treating patients with pelvic floor dysfunction.
If you are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, give us a call at (406) 586-4678 or schedule an appointment online.