What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists are trained to utilize their vast understanding of the musculoskeletal system to diagnose and manage movement dysfunction. Just as the muscles of the rotator cuff in the shoulder can become dysfunctional and lead to shoulder pain, the muscles of the pelvic floor can become dysfunctional and lead to a laundry list of problems. Enter, Pelvic PT!
Physical therapists specializing in Pelvic PT are trained to assess and treat musculoskeletal and neuromuscular dysfunction as related to the pelvis. Pelvic floor dysfunction includes, but is not limited to, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual dysfunction, and associated conditions.
What to Expect?
Conversation – Your pelvic PT will sit down with you to discuss your current and past medical history. We want to hear all that you have to say! Every detail you share with us will help to devise an effective and efficient plan to help you accomplish your goals.
External examination – Pelvic PT’s understand that pelvic dysfunction likely results from more than just an issue with the pelvis. The entire body is connected and, therefore, a full body assessment is required to properly assess the “why” behind your pelvic condition. Posture, gait, and breathing patterns are all assessed during an initial examination. Examination of the ribs, low back, hips, and sacrum will be included, as well.
Internal examination – In order to best determine the appropriate plan of care, a Pelvic PT will need to conduct an internal exam to assess pelvic floor muscle function. This assessment is conducted privately and the trained therapist uses discretion and displays sensitivity. However, if this makes you nervous or uncomfortable, please understand that you have the right to decline or postpone this portion of the examination. Feel free to discuss your questions or concerns with your Pelvic PT at any point during your visit.
Treatment – Based on what we determine during your evaluation, we will devise a personalized plan of care to help you achieve your goals. Treatments may include, but are not limited to, trigger point release, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, strengthening, diaphragmatic breathing, stretching, myofascial release, and more.
I do kegels every day and still experience leakage… how are you going to help me?
Unfortunately, kegel exercises have become the “norm” for treating a host of pelvic floor issues. The truth is that many patients should NOT be performing kegels. A hypertonic (or tight) pelvic floor requires relaxation and lengthening. Taking shortened pelvic floor muscles and repeatedly performing contractions will further irritate these short muscles and lead to further dysfunction. That’s not to say that no one should be performing kegels — however, it is best to seek advice from a Pelvic PT to determine what specific exercises/techniques best address YOUR pelvic floor.
Is Pelvic PT only for women who have had children?
No! Pelvic PT’s treat patients from their teenage years to their 90’s! While post-partum women can absolutely benefit from seeing a Pelvic PT, they are not the only group of individuals attending Pelvic PT. We see plenty of athletes experiencing either pelvic pain or stress incontinence with activity (running, jumping, box jumps, double unders…). We see women of all ages experiencing incontinence (stress, urge, or frequency). We also treat individuals who have undergone pelvic surgery.
Contact 3 Dimensional Physical Therapy today and ask to schedule with Sarah Glynn, PT, DPT to treat your pelvic floor needs!