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Pelvic Health

Pelvic Health FAQ

  1. What is pelvic floor therapy?

A specific and specialized type of physical therapy rehabilitation focusing on pelvic floor health for bowel, bladder, and sexual functions. There is a “bowl” of muscles in the lower pelvis holding up your organs (bladder, rectum, and uterus), which is where the dysfunction typically lies. These muscles can be too weak, too tight, in spasm, or scarred down with scar tissue.

  1. What conditions can you treat?

Treatment can include any of the following diagnoses listed below:

  • Urinary incontinence (leakage)
  • Fecal incontinence (leakage)
  • Pelvic and vaginal pain
  • Pelvic nerve injuries
  • Endometriosis
  • Prostate inflammation and surgery
  • Inability to urinate (urinary retention)
  • Constipation
  • Pre or post pregnancy related pain in the pelvic or low back
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Other orthopedic issues: low back pain, hip pain, tail bone pain
  • Post trauma pain or weakness of pelvic floor
  • Sexual trauma
  • Diastasis recti (gap between your right and left abdominal wall)
  • Traumatic birth, tearing, episiotomy

 

  1. How long will it take to help?

This is patient dependent and can vary based on the presentation of symptoms. After a thorough evaluation with your physical therapist, she will be able to give you a better estimate of a timeline. Generally, it can vary from 6-12 weeks, but some patients may be finished sooner, and some may take longer.

  1. What will happen on my first visit?

Usually, the evaluation (first visit) will involve mostly conversation between you and your therapist. This is when she will get to know you and your symptoms based on questions asked regarding your bowel, bladder, and sexual function. Occasionally, if the patient is willing and ready, there will be an internal examination on this visit. However, this is only if the patient feels comfortable and has agreed to begin this part of the examination. Typically, the internal examination will occur on visit two, but again, this will only occur when the patient feels comfortable and ready.

  1. What is an internal examination?

The internal examination is when the therapist uses a gloved hand to assess the muscles of the pelvic floor. This involves penetration through the vaginal canal with a single finger to assess for pain, tightness, muscle tension, muscle trigger points (knots), scar tissues, etc. This is also when the therapist will assess the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and assess for potential prolapse.

  1. What does prolapse mean?

The pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock that supports the pelvic organs. When prolapse occurs, one or more of the pelvic organs drop or press into the vagina. Prolapse occurs when the pelvic muscles and/ or ligaments lengthen and no longer provide enough support for the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, rectum).

  1. How long are the appointments?

The initial evaluation and follow up appointments will be approximately 45 minutes.

  1. Will the appointments be private?

Yes, all specific pelvic floor therapy will be done in a private room. However, there may be times when you will be working on stretching or core strengthening in the gym.

  1. Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Yes. If you feel more comfortable having a second person in the room, you are more than welcome to bring a friend or family member along.

  1. What ages can be treated for pelvic floor therapy?

At this time, we are accepting patients 18 years and older.

  1. Can I get pelvic floor therapy while I am pregnant or right after giving birth?

Yes, you can be seen during pregnancy and after giving birth. However, you will need a prescription from you OBGYN to be seen during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks postpartum.

  1. Can men be seen for pelvic floor therapy?

Absolutely, men have most of the same pelvic floor muscles as females and can often experience dysfunction as well.

  1. Will I always see the same therapist?

You will be seen by a physical therapist and a physical therapist assistant for treatment. Your care will remain confidential between the two therapists.

  1. Can I come in for PT when I am on my period?

Yes, you can still be treated while menstruating. If you are not comfortable with internal treatment during this time, we will work externally for that visit.