Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy (or Pelvic floor PT) is a specialized type of physical therapy that treats bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction with a focus on the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular system.
Research shows that pelvic pain caused by pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) affects one in three women at some point during their lives. While some symptoms associated with PFD may be common, they are never normal and physical therapy may be able to help.
Please know that leaking urine after pregnancy does not have to become the new normal!
Think of the pelvis as being the home to organs like the bladder, uterus and rectum, and the pelvic floor muscles are the home’s foundation. These muscles act as the support structure keeping everything in place within your body.
The pelvic floor muscles start at the pelvic bone and wrap all the way back to the rectum like a sling, creating support and stability for your internal organs.
Lots of things can go wrong with the pelvic floor muscles and the nerves that feed them. Muscles can be too tight, too weak, in spasm, full of scar tissue — all things that make it hard for them to do their job properly. When this occurs then all the neighboring organs and their functions may also be affected
Let’s be honest, many women’s health difficulties are sensitive issues. IPT provides a safe, private environment where you can discuss your concerns and work with a qualified Doctor of Physical Therapy to address these sensitive issues.
We use natural treatment methods including exercise, muscular strengthening, stretching, manual therapy, massage, relaxation, and biofeedback to restore mobility, strength and function to the muscles, nerves, and organs that cause your symptoms.
IPT is devoted to providing you with undivided, one-on-one attention at every visit, empowering you to recover and win your life back.
IPT initial evaluation is a one-hour assessment dedicated to evaluating all the factors that can contribute to your complaints. This includes a complete postural / alignment assessment, examination of your global flexibility, strength, gait and muscle integrity.
Internal pelvic floor muscle examinations are the gold standard for understanding the issues involving the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor physical therapists have specific, high-level training to assess the muscles, nerves and connective tissues that make up the pelvic floor, and we do this by performing an internal exam of the vagina and/or the rectum, depending on what area we need to assess.
However, we completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with an internal exam. We will discuss evaluation and treatment options at your first visit and only proceed with what you are comfortable with. There are several conditions that can be treated successfully using external techniques if you don’t wish to have an internal exam.
We will begin by getting to know one another with a discussion of the details regarding your current health concerns and your past medical history. Getting a complete history is really important in order to understand your condition and how it has been affecting your life. We will also send you an extensive pelvic symptom questionnaire form along with the traditional PT paperwork before your first visit.
Prior to any treatment we will review the pelvic floor anatomy and you will be asked to provide consent before any assessment or treatment, and most importantly, you can change your mind at any time.
There are no stirrups or speculum involved in pelvic floor therapy. We first observe your pelvic floor muscles externally, assessing tissue quality, health and muscle coordination. If an internal evaluation is required and agreed upon then we use clean, non-latex gloves and insert one or two gloved fingers into the vaginal canal, or one finger in the rectum, in order to assess the front and back portions of your pelvic floor muscles. Here we can examine the strength, endurance, muscle tone, coordination, connective tissue and tissue quality of these areas. You will be talked through the entire physical exam, and asked to provide feedback about any areas of discomfort, altered sensation, or limited mobility. Remember that at any time an internal assessment or treatment can be stopped, and there is a lot we will do that does not include internal work.
Additional treatments will include education on posture, lifestyle and proper breathing techniques. You will be taught exercises for core strength, pelvic/hip/back muscle re-education, flexibility and pain-relieving stretches. We use modalities like moist heat and stimulation for pain relief and more.
So, don’t let your discomfort persist any longer, call IPT and start your healing now.