I'm a pelvic floor physical therapist...what does that mean?

What is pelvic floor PT?

Pelvic floor PT is physical therapy from specialized physical therapists for diagnoses or conditions related to functions of the pelvis. This includes anything related to the bladder (peeing), bowel (pooping), or sex. It also includes any kind of aches or pain in and around the pelvis. This would include the groin, the pubic bone, low back, and abdomen. This could be for women at any age really, and some men too. There’s also a lot that a pelvic floor PT who has some obstetric training (like me!) can do during pregnancy and postpartum, since all that happens in the pelvis too. 

What happens when I go see a pelvic floor PT?

The PT will talk with you about your complaints, your goals, your daily habits. Then usually there will be a physical assessment of your muscles, your movement, your posture. This could include an internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles or not. It depends on your comfort level and if the PT thinks it is indicated. There is no need to do anything internal on the first day. Your PT should always explain the process to you and ask for your consent before proceeding! After this evaluation, your PT will be able to decide your baseline and plan the steps to help you achieve your goals. 

Then what?

You and your PT will work together to create your plan of care. This might include exercises, or other things for you to do on your own at home, education, and/or lifestyle changes to make to help you achieve the goals you set out. You and your PT will decide how often you are going to meet, and if those meetings will be in person as is traditional, or perhaps a combination of in person and virtual. 

I often find in my practice that I function as a health coach and a coordinator of patient care with other specialties that may be needed. Your PT should spend time with you to hear about the other members of your medical team. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page! 

What questions do you have about pelvic floor/pregnancy/postpartum PT? Send them over so I can answer in a future blog post. 


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