Login
Register

Home

About Us

Diagnoses

Treatments

Classes

Resources

Media

Testimonials

Blog

Account

Diagnoses
Register
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

What is abdomino-phrenic dyssynergia?

Abdomino-phrenic dyssynergia (APD) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID).  This condition occurs when the brain cannot coordinate the correct movement of the diaphragm in relation to the fullness of the abdomen (abdominal muscles) via the phrenic nerve, causing uncomfortable abdominal distension and bloating.  

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that divides the chest and abdomen, our bodies use this muscle to help us breathe. Normally when the stomach is full of food or gas, the diaphragm will relax and release upward, in order to give the organs in the abdomen extra room.

With abdomino-phrenic dyssynergia, this coordination is dysfunctional and the diaphragm contracts instead of relaxing when there is abdominal fullness. When the diaphragm contracts the muscle moves downward, taking up space in the abdomen. This action forces the abdominal organs to move down and out, causing abdominal distention and bloating.

Symptoms

  • Abdominal bloating that does not resolve with changes in diet nor exercise
  • Distended belly that does not resolve with changes in diet nor exercise
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation

Often presents with pelvic floor dyssynergia (read more about dyssynergia in my previous blog post)

  • Constipation
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain with sex

How Pelvic Floor Therapy Can Help

A trained pelvic floor therapist will conduct a comprehensive exam of the spine, pelvis, lower extremities, nerve function, viscera (organs) of the abdomen and pelvis, and also assess the tone and function of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. After the therapist gathers all the pertinent information, they will work with the client to create a treatment plan and goals. Read my previous blog post on what to expect at your first appointment for more information.

Treatment for abdomino-phrenic dyssynergia can include:

  • Manual therapy of the structures surrounding the diaphragm, improving movement
  • Manual therapy of the spine and pelvic girdle
  • Nerve Flossing
  • Visceral Manipulation
  • Exercises to improve respiratory diaphragm and abdominal wall function and coordination
  • Pelvic floor manual therapy
  • Mindfulness and breathing exercises
  • Intestinal and abdominal massage
  • Biofeedback
  • Surface EMG biofeedback
  • Neuromuscular re-training of the diaphragm, abdominal wall, and pelvic floor

Our team at Femina PT is specially trained in all these techniques, let us hep you! Give us a call to schedule a visit today.

Resources

Villoria, A., Azpiroz, F., Burri, E., Cisternas, D., Soldevilla, A., & Malagelada, J.-R. (2011). Abdomino-Phrenic Dyssynergia in Patients With Abdominal Bloating and Distension. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 106(5), 815–819. doi:10.1038/ajg.2010.408

Malagelada, J. R., Accarino, A., & Azpiroz, F. (2017). Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Old Misconceptions and Current Knowledge. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 112(8), 1221–1231. doi:10.1038/ajg.2017.129

Sanders, L. (2013). Think Like a Doctor: The Gymnast's Big Belly Solved. New York Times Website: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/think-like-a-doctor-the-gymnasts-big-belly-solved/

** This information is for educational purposes only **

What They Say About Us

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by S.H., age 24

      I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be. It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally...

      Read more Testimonial by S.H., age 24

  • Testimonials

    • Testimonial by Fritzette H.

      I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the...

      Read more Testimonial by Fritzette H.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

captcha