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Interstitial Cystitis: Understanding Physical Therapy and Exercise for Relief

Mar 30, 2023

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic condition that causes pain and discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region. This condition can have a significant impact on the quality of life for those who suffer from it. To treat Interstitial Cystitis, physical therapy and exercises has been shown to be an effective method of managing the symptoms. Keep reading this article to learn about Interstitial Cystitis, and physical therapy exercises and treatment to improve overall well-being.

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis is a condition that causes chronic pain, pressure, or discomfort in the bladder and pelvic region. The exact cause of IC is not known, but is believed to be related to abnormalities in the bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles. Interstitial Cystitis can be related to other medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and endometriosis.

The symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis can be severe to the point of it interfering with daily activities, social life, sexual activity, and overall well-being. Common symptoms may include urinary frequency, urgency, and pain when urinating. Other symptoms of IC may include pain during intercourse, bladder pressure, and discomfort in the pelvic region.

Physical Therapy for Interstitial Cystitis

Physical therapy is a crucial component in treating Interstitial Cystitis. Physical therapists can work with men and women to relieve pain and improve function using several techniques, which may include: 

  1. Manual therapy
  2. Exercise
  3. Behavioral modifications


Manual Therapy

Manual therapy involves techniques that manipulate the muscles and joints to improve mobility and reduce pain. Common techniques used with manual therapy can include  trigger point release, myofascial release, and soft tissue mobilization.


Exercise is also an essential part of physical therapy for IC. With an exercise regimen, you can help improve strength and flexibility in the pelvic floor muscles, which can reduce pain and improve control of the bladder.

In addition to pelvic floor muscle exercises, physical therapists may also recommend other exercises to improve overall strength and flexibility. These exercises target the back, hips, and legs, as well as exercises to improve posture.

Behavioral Modifications 

Behavioral modifications are an important aspect of physical therapy for Interstitial Cystitis. Physical therapists may recommend changes to certain behaviors, including diet, fluid intake, and bladder habits. These modifications are made to reduce symptoms of IC, while improving overall well-being.


Conclusion: Interstitial Cystitis and PT

Interstitial Cystitis can be a debilitating condition, but physical therapy and exercise can be effective in managing the symptoms. A pelvic floor physical therapist will work with individuals to improve strength and flexibility in the pelvic floor muscles, relieve pain, and make lifestyle modifications to improve overall well-being. If you suffer from IC, it's important to speak to your doctor about physical therapy and exercise options that may be right for you.

To address symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis through pelvic health PT, consult with the professional Las Vegas physical therapists at White Wong PT. Learn more or contact us.


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