Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy What to Expect

Pelvic floor physical therapy, why should you go and what can you expect on your first visit to pelvic floor physical therapy?

We’re going to discuss this so that you can go confidently into your first visit.

So, as you’re looking towards your first pelvic floor physical therapy appointment, the questions come up, what will happen?

How can I prepare?

So, let’s jump in. What is pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy works with the pelvic girdle and the pelvic floor, and not just this area, but the whole body completely. As well as working on bladder, bowel and sexual function.

So, let’s go over six reasons today why you would go to pelvic floor physical therapy?

Reason one, you’re pregnant, your body’s going through all kinds of changes. You might have pregnancy pain and you might need to know some tips for going into delivery, and how to connect with that pelvic floor.

Number two, for pelvic pain.

Did you know that low back pain often comes with pelvic floor dysfunction as well?

So, pelvic pain and low back pain are a great reason to go to pelvic floor physical therapy.

Three, postpartum, at six weeks postpartum you follow up with your doctor.

This is a great time to see a pelvic floor physical therapist so we can assess the pelvic floor and give you exercises to strengthen, as well as work on scar tissue mobilization, whether it was a vaginal delivery or C-section, and look at the abdominal muscles as well.

Number four, incontinence, incontinence is the unwanted loss of urine, stool, or gas.

Pelvic floor physical therapy addresses this and treats this wonderfully.

Five, pelvic organ prolapse. That’s when the bladder, the uterus, or the rectum have fallen vaginally and you want to work on strengthening these pelvic floor muscles and coordinating these muscles so that you get better support, and you decrease that heaviness feeling.

Number six, pain with sex. Again, that is a function of the pelvic floor, is to be able to enjoy sex, not just pain free, but enjoyable, and pelvic floor physical therapists do so much to help women with pain with sex.

So what should you expect going to your first pelvic floor physical therapy appointment?

You may have gone to physical therapy for your knee or your back, but you’re thinking, pelvic floor, what is going to happen? I’m a little nervous, am I going to be out in the gym?

Well, pelvic floor physical therapists usually see their patients in a private closed room.

There’s a door and it’s a very private place so that we can really talk about this pelvic area and evaluate it and address your specific needs, and make you as comfortable as possible.

So, what to expect at pelvic floor physical therapy? That’s a great question because you want to know what you’re getting into.

Typically it starts with paperwork, bringing in your insurance card, filling out some questions, especially about your history of your symptoms, and then we jump into the evaluation.

The first part is subjective. The pelvic floor physical therapist will ask you all types of questions.

Some questions you may not even think relate to your symptoms and why you’re there, but they do. All of this history and your symptoms, and how you’re moving, how you’re functioning, all of that relates so that we can put the pieces of the puzzles together to understand your symptoms and provide you the treatment that you need to achieve your goals.

After the subjective part, we do an objective part, which means we watch how you walk, how you move, how you bend.

We see how your range of motion is, which means how much you can move the joints that could be from your back to your hips, to your knees, everything in between, and then also assess your pain and see where you’re tender, and then the objective also includes assessing the pelvic floor.

Now, if you’re pregnant, it may not include an internal assessment, unless there is a definite need for that. But typically with pelvic floor assessments I’ll give the patient a sheet, I’ll step out of the room, say take off your underwear and pants, and cover up, then I’ll come back in, and pull out the pelvic model because education is so important. We’ll go through the external part of the pelvic floor, as well as internal with gloves and a gel on my finger.

Then I assess these tissues, again, just like you’d be assessing these muscles up in your neck, you could have some tension, or you can have some nerve involvement, different aspects, but again, it’s important to know and connect to this pelvic floor.

It’s important that, as a patient, you feel comfortable and if at any time you are uncomfortable, feel free to tell the pelvic floor physical therapist your concerns, or if we needed to end the session that day, we can do that as well.

What are some of the treatments that you might receive at pelvic floor physical therapy?

So from the evaluation, the PT will come up with a treatment plan. This could include looking at your posture, the way you move and the way you function, because what we do throughout the day really can impact how we feel.

Another thing may be biofeedback and that’s the ability to connect to your pelvic floor, because a lot of times the pelvic floor can seem like a black hole, but with the computer and electrodes, these electrodes can read and show your muscle contraction.

Now these won’t zap you or make your muscles contract, they’re actually just reading your muscle activity. So some of these electrodes may be placed right here on the outside or you may have an electrode that is an internal sensor that is inserted vaginally or rectally, similar to a tampon.

What these do is these record your muscles. Sometimes we’re trying to train the muscles to get stronger. Sometimes we’re doing down training where we want to relax, so it just depends on your symptoms and the treatment goal.

But biofeedback can be very beneficial to really connecting to that pelvic floor and really know how it’s moving, contracting, relaxing, and that gives such great feedback to you as the patient.

Some other treatment may be manual therapy, just like we would do manual therapy or trigger point release, or working on some muscle tension in your neck.

We can work on this pelvic floor area.

We can work externally as well as internally because if there’s muscle tension, or tightness, or trigger points that could be contributing to your pain or your symptoms as well, and you’ll also probably be receiving a home exercise program.

Usually we write these out or print them out so that you have a handout.

You go home and you know what you need to do. We wanted it to be as simple and free from complication, so that you can carry out those exercises, return, and then continue with the progress that you’ve made.

How often is pelvic floor physical therapy?

Well, it really just depends. You may see a pelvic floor physical therapist once during each trimester of your pregnancy and then six weeks postpartum. If you’re having a lot of pain, it might be two or three times a week. If it’s more of dealing with incontinence, it might be one time a week, and then if you have any restrictions or limitations, because of distance that you need to drive or financial restrictions, we can work and create the optimal plan that works for your symptoms, as well as your needs.

Together the pelvic floor physical therapist will work with you through your pelvic floor physical therapy appointment.

How can you find a pelvic floor physical therapist? There are several options. You can go to, and scroll down, and choose a women’s health physical therapist.

Another thing you can do is you can ask your doctor.

Number three, search pelvic floor physical therapist in your geographical area and see what comes up, and if you’d like some more help on finding a pelvic floor physical therapist, go to, hit the let’s chat, and let’s set up a time and I can help you out so that you can find a pelvic floor physical therapist in your area,

And now I hope that you have more confidence going into your first pelvic floor physical therapy appointment with more of your questions answered.

::Source : from One Simple Step Today by Heather Mara a pelvic floor physical therapist.
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