Pelvic floor therapy: Biofeedback or electrical stimulation?
Biofeedback or electrical stimulation, these are two techniques that are often used in pelvic floor therapy – and maybe you are wondering what is the difference. In order to help you choose the most convenient technique for you, we want to explain you the differences.
First we would like to show you a small overview of the position of the pelvic floor .
A common goal: strengthen the pelvic floor and treat urinary incontinence
Biofeedback and electrical stimulation are two techniques used by health professionals to treat urinary incontinence. There is good news: after seeing your pelvic floor therapist, you can continue to train your pelvic floor at home!
With the help of pelvic floor biofeedback the patient can “see” how the pelvic floor muscles are working. Woman can train their pelvic floor muscles in the same way they would train their abs. Via a smartphone, the patient can than visualise in real time the voluntary contractions of her pelvic floor.
Therefore, biofeedback is an active and natural solution, because you are training your pelvic floor muscles by yourself. A biofeedback device captures your pelvic floor muscles movements to give you feedback and help you to progress. You are the one working and learning to control your bladder.
To summarize, biofeedback therapy can be very helpful. It improves and strengthens your mind-body connection so that you regain control over your body.
So, let’s continue.
And so, what is the difference compared to electrical stimulation?
Electric muscle stimulation is a technology based on low voltage electrical current to stimulate your pelvic floor muscles. You do not have to do anything. Here it is the device that works, and you are staying passive.
After these definitions, I want to show you the two common points, and the upsides and downsides of these two devices.
Biofeedback and electrical stimulation: 2 complementary techniques
Electrical stimulation can be used before using biofeedback. This technique can be useful if you don’t feel if you contracted your pelvic floor muscles or if you don’t know how to contract it.
Varying the intensity of the electric current makes it possible to workout your pelvic floor muscles in different ways. According to the chosen program, you can work on different types of incontinence.
Once you feel your pelvic floor enough to contract it by yourself, you can change and train with biofeedback.
If you already know how to contract it, you can use biofeedback right away.
More interesting information about the pelvic floor and helpful exercices you can find in our free app:
The upsides and downsides of the 2 solutions – electrical stimulation and biofeedback
Both techniques take time:
The duration of an electric muscle stimulation session at home depends on the chosen program. It takes from 20 to 60 minutes on average (not more than 2 sessions a day).
Biofeedback sessions take from 5 to 15 minutes.
Both techniques must be used in the long term:
For biofeedback as well as for electrical stimulation, you should have at least 6 to 12 sessions to observe first results. For very complex cases the number of sessions can increase significantly. One of the problems of pelvic floor therapy is the necessity to train consistently so it is often said to be unpleasant and boring.
Thanks to innovations in pelvic floor therapy, it is possible to stay motivated. You can visualize your progress, muscle contractions, and be “coached” thanks to personalized programs on your smartphone.
Eventhough biofeedback and electrical muscle stimulation are used by health professionals, it is possible that these techniques are not covenient for you.
Biofeedback and electrical stimulation could not be convenient for your situation.
You do not feel your pelvic floor and you don’t know how to contract it? It is maybe too toned and too tight? You maybe suffer from mental disorder or severe depression? The best thing to do is to ask a health professional to find the most adapted solution.
To conclude, biofeedback or electrical stimulation must be chosen according to your situation and your morphology. Do not hesitate to ask a health professional who will know how to help you.
To download the Emy application directly to your smartphone :
Take care of yourself… and of your pelvic floor!