So you’ve heard of Pelvic Physical Therapy. You’ve maybe talked with your mom friends about it or seen it on Instagram or Youtube or maybe if you’re not ancient like me, you’ve seen it on TikTok (btw, our nanny asked me the other day if I’d heard of Tik Tok, implying that maybe I hadn’t and I’ve never felt so old in my life). You’ve heard you probably need it after you have kids (actually we think you need it during pregnancy and after each kiddo and maybe even before you conceive, but I digress)
But what is it, actually? And what can you expect when starting with a Pelvic Physical Therapist? Well, this blog will fill you in.
Pelvic Physical Therapy is a specialty within Physical Therapy. Pelvic Physical Therapists undergo additional training after Physical Therapy school to learn more about the intricate muscles, nerves, ligaments, and bones in the pelvic region. In this training, they learn about specific conditions like incontinence (leaking urine, poo, or gas), prolapse, Diastasis Recti, and pain during pregnancy like hip pain and back pain. We have in depth training about nutrition for pelvic health and pregnancy and have an extensive background in whole human anatomy so we always look at the big picture.
Pelvic Physical Therapy with us:
When you commit to your health and decide it’s time to start with us, we get you started with a free virtual consult. In this consult, you’ll meet with me (Dr. Kailee) via our secure platform PT Everywhere. We will chat about your symptoms, history, what you’ve tried to do to resolve your symptoms, and discuss your goals. Then, we will do a quick assessment to see if I can find the root cause of your symptoms (I usually can ;) ). Then, we will discuss what treatment would look like for your specific problem and see if we would be a good fit.
When you decide to move forward with Pelvic Physical Therapy (always the right choice!) with us, you’ll get scheduled for an initial evaluation with me or with Dr. Gretchen. In this appointment, we will deep dive into symptoms, history, and what you’ve tried to do to resolve your symptoms. We will discuss your lifestyle- habits, diet, sleep, exercise, stress, etc. and your pregnancies, labors, and anything that might be contributing to your symptoms. After we make sure no stone is unturned, we will do a physical exam. We take an outside in approach and start with movement exam. We may ask you to bend, lift, or show us certain movements that are giving you symptoms. If running is giving you pain or leaking, we’ll probably want to see you run. Or if you are getting cramping or pain with sit ups or planks, we’ll want to see that. We also typically take time to assess specific muscles and joints by pressing on them and seeing if they’re tender or cause pain. We take a look at your whole body because you’re not just your pelvis or pelvic floor and there could be several things contributing to your problems! After the whole body exam, we may want to do an internal pelvic floor exam to confirm what we think is going on or give us more insight into your problems. If you’re comfortable with this, we’ll get you set up for it.
Internal pelvic floor exam in your home-
Typically the set up looks like the picture on this blog. We bring a super cushy yoga mat for you to lie on and ask you to have some pillow and a sheet. We’ll step into the other room while you undress from the waist down. Then, we’ll talk you through exactly what we’ll be doing and begin when you consent. During the pelvic exam we insert one gloved finger and use this finger to assess how flexible and strong your muscles are. We may press on them and ask if things are tender, ask you to take deep breaths and see how the pelvic floor responds, ask you to kegel, hold a kegel, etc. We assess at each of the 3 layers of the pelvic floor.
Begin treatment. We may start treatment along the way at any part of the exam, when you’re clothed or when we’re doing an internal exam. But near the end of the session, we’ll do a recap to make sure you know what exercises or habit changes to implement between sessions. Treatment may look like doing stretches, changing your breathing, changing posture, or adding in some strengthening exercises. Our goal is to re-wire your brain and make better muscle activation automatic, so often we’ll have you incorporate habits or exercises into your daily routine or existing exercise routine. We know it’s hard to find time to fit in extra exercises, so if we want you to do specific exercises outside of this, we keep it to 10-15 minutes.
- Start to feel better (yes, as soon as the first session) and set up your appointments.
- Most of our clients feel less pain and leaking and feel more confident right away. But long term change doesn’t happen with one session. We will want to see you for at least a few more sessions to reach our goals. Sessions are typically once a week at first and then as you feel more confident, we spread them out to every other week, then once a month.
- Complete your sessions and reach your goals. AKA get your confidence back!
- Optimize performance:
- Most of our clients choose to stay on with us long term and work toward loftier goals like marathons, triathalons, or optimizing their health in other ways, so we're in this with you for the long haul. We want to be a part of your healthy lifestyle. Pelvic health = optimal health. Have questions about what Pelvic Physical Therapy with us would look like for you? Schedule a free virtual consult with us today!