Updated: May 10, 2019
Pelvic floor physical therapy focuses on bladder, bowel and sexual health as well as pain or other symptoms between the ribs and knees.
Pelvic floor physical therapists treat all genders and age ranges with the same goal as all other physical therapists: keeping you active as comfortably as possibly.
So what makes pelvic floor physical therapy different?
Pelvic floor physical therapy focuses on the pelvic floor muscles, a bowl-shaped group of muscles that spans across the base of your pelvis. The role of a pelvic floor PT is easier to understand if you have a solid grasp of what the pelvic floor is. If you're not familiar with the pelvic floor, read my previous post and then come back!
Now that we're all on the same page...
A number of common conditions result from dysfunction in the pelvic floor. Some of these conditions include: urinary incontinence, low back pain, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, tailbone pain, painful intercourse and more.
One of the greatest assets of a pelvic floor physical therapist is their ability to educate you on parts of your body most people don't talk about. A pelvic floor PT can talk to you about how your bladder, bowels and sexual function are behaving and whether or not what you're experiencing is normal.
A pelvic floor PT session usually starts with a discussion. This discussion covers all the components listed above: bladder, bowels, sex and pain.
After the discussion comes a physical evaluation. What does a physical evaluation entail? I'm so happy you asked!
A pelvic floor physical evaluation includes an internal and external pelvic floor examination. In my clinic, the internal exam does not include stirrups or a speculum. However, if you are uncomfortable with an internal exam, all you have to do is say so. You never have to agree to any part of an evaluation that you are not comfortable with.
A pelvic floor PT may also evaluate your posture, the strength of your abdomen and lower extremities, your breathing mechanics, movement patterns and a number of other areas.
This evaluation will allow them to create a program including home exercises and hands-on techniques to best manage your symptoms and complaints!
Have questions about how pelvic floor PT can help you? Give us a call or contact us!