Relieving Rectocele Pain: The Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

By Dr. Zarina Vitebsky, DPT, MSPT, PRPC, TPS, LPF, DN on 2/14/2024

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Advising a Patient on Relieving Rectocele Pain


Rectocele pain is a common issue that affects many individuals, particularly women. It occurs when the rectum bulges into the back wall of the vagina, causing discomfort and pain. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, such as childbirth, chronic constipation, and aging.

Addressing rectocele pain is crucial as it can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. It can lead to discomfort and difficulty with daily activities, such as sitting for extended periods. It can also lead to other issues, such as urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Therefore, seeking treatment for rectocele pain is essential to improve overall well-being.

Overview of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on rehabilitating and strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. It involves a variety of exercises and techniques that target the pelvic floor muscles, including Kegel exercises, biofeedback, and manual therapy.

This form of therapy can be an effective treatment option for rectocele pain as it addresses the underlying cause of the issue. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, it can help support the rectum and alleviate pain and discomfort. It can also improve bladder and bowel control, reduce the risk of other pelvic floor disorders, and improve overall quality of life.

Understanding Rectocele Pain

Symptoms of Rectocele Pain

The most common symptom of rectocele pain is discomfort or pressure in the pelvic area, particularly when sitting. Other symptoms may include difficulty emptying the bowels, a feeling of incomplete bowel movements, and pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse. In severe cases, a bulge may be visible in the vaginal area.

Impact on Daily Activities, Specifically Sitting

Rectocele pain can have a significant impact on daily activities, particularly sitting. The pressure and discomfort caused by sitting can make it difficult to engage in activities that require prolonged sitting, such as working at a desk or traveling. This can greatly affect one's quality of life and may lead to avoidance of certain activities.

Role of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

How it Can Help with Rectocele Pain

Rectocele pain is often caused by weakness or dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help address these issues by strengthening and retraining the muscles to better support the rectum and surrounding organs. This can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with rectocele.

Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Aside from helping with rectocele pain, pelvic floor physical therapy has many other benefits. It can improve bladder and bowel control, reduce pelvic pain, and enhance sexual function. It can also help with postpartum recovery and prepare the pelvic floor for childbirth.

Initial Assessment and Evaluation

Importance of a Thorough Assessment

Before beginning any treatment for rectocele pain, it is crucial to undergo a thorough assessment and evaluation. This will help the pelvic floor physical therapist understand the root cause of the pain and develop an individualized treatment plan. A thorough assessment can also help identify any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the pain, such as pelvic floor muscle dysfunction or nerve damage.

What to Expect During the Evaluation

During the evaluation, the pelvic floor physical therapist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also perform a physical examination of the pelvic floor muscles to assess their strength, tone, and coordination. This may involve an internal examination, where the therapist will use their fingers to assess the muscles and tissues in the pelvic floor.

Physical Examination of Pelvic Floor Muscles

The physical examination of the pelvic floor muscles is a crucial part of the evaluation process. It allows the therapist to assess the strength, tone, and coordination of the muscles, as well as identify any areas of tension or weakness. This information will help guide the development of a personalized treatment plan to address the rectocele pain.

Discussion of Symptoms and Medical History

During the evaluation, the therapist will also discuss your symptoms and medical history. This may include questions about the severity and location of your pain, any activities or positions that worsen the pain, and any previous treatments you have tried. It is essential to be open and honest during this discussion to ensure an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

Treatment Plan

Individualized Treatment Plan

When it comes to treating rectocele pain, it is important to have an individualized treatment plan. Our pelvic floor physical therapists will assess the patient's condition and create a plan that addresses their specific concerns and goals.

Goals of Treatment

The main goal of treatment for rectocele pain is to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. This can include reducing pain and discomfort, improving bowel function, and increasing pelvic floor muscle strength and coordination. The specific goals will vary depending on the individual's symptoms and needs.

Techniques and Exercises Used

Pelvic floor physical therapy for rectocele pain may include a variety of techniques and exercises. These can include manual therapy, such as massage and stretching, to release tension and improve muscle function. Other techniques may include biofeedback, which uses sensors to help the patient learn how to properly contract and relax their pelvic floor muscles. Specific exercises, such as Kegels and squats, may also be prescribed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

Frequency and Duration of Therapy Sessions

The frequency and duration of pelvic floor physical therapy sessions will depend on the individual's needs and progress. Typically, sessions are scheduled once or twice a week for several weeks. As the patient improves, the frequency of sessions may decrease. The overall duration of therapy will also vary, but it is important to continue with therapy until symptoms have significantly improved and the patient is able to maintain their progress on their own.

Management of Rectocele Pain While Sitting

Importance of Proper Posture and Body Mechanics

Proper posture and body mechanics are crucial for managing rectocele pain while sitting. When sitting, it is important to maintain a neutral spine position with your feet flat on the ground and your back supported. This helps to distribute your weight evenly and reduce pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. It is also important to avoid slouching or crossing your legs, as this can put additional strain on the pelvic floor.

Use of Supportive Cushions or Pillows

Supportive cushions or pillows can provide relief for rectocele pain while sitting. These can help to distribute your weight evenly and provide support for your pelvic floor muscles. Look for cushions or pillows specifically designed for pelvic floor support, or try using a small pillow or rolled towel under your buttocks to provide additional support.

Incorporating Pelvic Floor Exercises into Daily Routine

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, can help to strengthen the muscles that support the rectum and reduce pain while sitting. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, and can be done discreetly throughout the day. It is important to consult with a pelvic floor physical therapist to ensure you are performing the exercises correctly and to develop a personalized exercise plan.

Other Tips for Managing Pain While Sitting

In addition to proper posture, supportive cushions, and pelvic floor exercises, there are other tips that can help manage rectocele pain while sitting. These include taking frequent breaks to stand and stretch, avoiding activities that put strain on the pelvic floor, and using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to reduce tension in the pelvic floor muscles. It is also important to listen to your body and avoid activities that exacerbate your pain.


Recap of key points

Throughout this article, we have discussed the topic of rectocele pain while sitting and the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy in managing this discomfort. We have learned that rectocele is a common condition where the rectum bulges into the back wall of the vagina, causing discomfort and pain while sitting. We have also explored the various causes and symptoms of rectocele, as well as the role of pelvic floor muscles in supporting the pelvic organs.

Encouragement to seek help from a pelvic floor physical therapist

If you are experiencing rectocele pain while sitting, it is important to seek help from a pelvic floor physical therapist like the ones on our specialized team at Pelvic Health Physical Therapy. These specialized therapists are trained to assess and treat pelvic floor dysfunction, including rectocele. They can provide personalized treatment plans to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and alleviate your symptoms. Remember, seeking help is the first step towards finding relief and improving your quality of life.

Importance of consistency and patience in treatment

Lastly, it is crucial to understand that pelvic floor physical therapy is not a quick fix. It requires consistency and patience to see results. Your pelvic floor physical therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs and goals. It is essential to follow this plan diligently and attend all scheduled appointments to achieve the best results. Remember, every individual's body is different, and it may take time to see improvements. Be patient and trust the process, and you will eventually experience relief from your rectocele pain while sitting.

Reach Out to Us

If you’re experiencing pelvic floor dysfunctions associated with the issues above, please reach out to us at Pelvic Health Center in Madison, NJ to set up an evaluation and treatment! Feel free to call us at 908-443-9880 or email us at

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