Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders refer to diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract. This includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and accessory digestive organs such as the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. GI disorders can cause abdominal and pelvic pain, delayed transit time, slowed digestion, painful or incomplete elimination, hemorrhoids, bloating, gas, poor absorption of nutrients, joint pain, and fatigue. Common GI disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), constipation, inflammatory bowel disease (colitis and Crohn’s disease), and leaky gut. GI disorders can affect people of all age groups including children. Children and infants can also suffer from constipation, failure to thrive, and reflux. GI disorders usually have concurrent symptoms of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, abdominal muscle myofascial trigger points, sacroiliac joint pain, low back pain, hip and groin pain, coccyx (tailbone) pain, pubic pain, anorectal pain, anismus, and sexual pain. There can even be symptoms of what is called “organ cross-talk” whereby surrounding organs such as the bladder can become symptomatic due to the nerve innervations or proximity in the pelvic region. The GI disorders and the concurrent musculoskeletal problems can be treated by physical therapy.
How can Pamela Morrison Physical Therapy, P.C. help with Gastrointestinal Disorders?
At Pamela Morrison Physical Therapy, our expert team provides superior care for adults, children, and infants with GI disorders. We provide a comprehensive evaluation of the gastrointestinal organs by assessing mobility and motility and performing a full musculoskeletal exam of the spine, pelvis, hips, and rib cage. We assess for myofascial trigger points, muscle spasms, scar adhesions, neural tension, joint alignment and mobility, motor control and muscle behavior, toilet habits/posture, diet, breathing patterns, pelvic floor muscle function, and bowel and bladder diaries. We evaluate and retrain pelvic floor muscle behavior through surface EMG biofeedback. Once the areas that need to be addressed are determined, we provide advanced manual therapies including visceral manipulation, abdominal massage, myofascial release, trigger point release, integrative manual therapy, joint mobilization, neuromuscular re-education, and craniosacral therapy. Pain is controlled via modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), cold laser, and electrical stimulation. We address bowel and bladder retraining, dietary changes, and behavioral modification. Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation and prescriptive exercises are integral components of the treatment program.