Sexuality and its link to our emotional wellness is critical in fulfilling our need for human connection. Sexual intercourse is natural and healthy, but when sex isn’t pleasurable due to functional impairments, what was created as a source of human connection and emotional intimacy can quickly become a source of isolation and even depression. While many people are able to adapt and adjust to certain physical impairments, for others it can put a strain on their relationships and lead to resentment and guilt. Physical Therapy is proven to be helpful in bridging the gap between functional impairment and emotional wellness. As functionality improves, emotional wellness increases. Here are three ways that physical therapy can improve your sex life along with your emotional wellness.
Sexual intercourse does not have to be painful. Physical pain decreases libido (sex drive) and pain-relieving medications have been proven to inhibit sexual function. Just like any other muscle in the body, the pelvic floor can develop “trigger points” or sensitive areas of tension that can cause significant pain with (or without) penetration. This can lead to localized pain or radiating pain to adjacent areas like the hip, back or groin. A physical therapist can identify the source of your pain and develop a treatment plan that will remove pain as a barrier to your sexual intimacy.
Various positions require a certain level of flexibility and joint mobility. Deficits in active range of motion in your hips, knees, and/or back can cause pain and put you at an increased risk of injury during sex. Physical therapy can address any physical limitations to improve muscle extensibility and joint motion to restore your prior level of function.
In some post-pregnancy women, muscles can become weakened or damaged. They often require retraining to be able to function properly. Physical therapists are trained to restore muscle function and some specialize in addressing women’s issues including those related to pregnancy and childbirth, such as overly separated abdominals or pelvic floor dysfunction. In the postpartum time frame, ligaments are often at different tension than what the body is used to– this can lead to instability in the hips and back. Intercourse often magnifies the forces to these areas and can put women at a heightened risk for injury. A treatment plan that incorporates the proper strengthening and stabilization exercises can prevent injury and increase sexual performance. For more information on Women’s Health services, click here.
Don’t let your pain, decreased mobility or postpartum concerns cause you to abstain from your partner. Physical therapy will unmask your pain and improve your function. Let’s face it, we all want the fastest way to feel better, especially when it comes to sexual intimacy. The best way to start is with physical therapy at Athletico. Schedule a Free Assessment in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat where our team can assess your pain and functional impairments to provide recommended treatment options.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.