What is pelvic floor physical therapy and what should you expect at the first session?
Finding yourself at your very first pelvic floor physical therapy session might sound intimidating and embarrassing. After all, you’re likely at that session because of some urinary or fecal issue, perhaps some pain with intercourse, or maybe it was just purely suggested by a friend, family member, or doctor.
A little background first. The pelvic floor is a group of 14 muscles that make a bowl or hammock shape positioned between your pelvis (hips side to side and tailbone / pubic bone back to front) providing support, stability, and sexual function.
Pelvic floor physical therapy aims at identifying any dysfunction of these muscles, including weakness, tightness, and pain. During your first session, a thorough history is taken to help your therapist identify any factors contributing to current symptoms. The examination process includes gait assessment, range of motion, movement, strength, and general flexibility. Muscles affecting the pelvic floor, including those in the hip, back, legs, and core, are examined. An Internal pelvic floor assessment may also be suggested, per comfort level, to gain a better understanding of how well the pelvic floor muscles are functioning.
Eduction on the pelvic floor, what is being assessed, and how the examination process works will be explained prior to and during the process. It’s more than just engaging your pelvic floor … Knowing how to perform a proper Kegel, engage core muscles, and breathing patterns are assessed and discussed. An initial home program will be printed off to take home and follow up sessions will be scheduled.
A typical pelvic floor program at All In PT includes one session per week for 4-6 weeks with a follow up one month following the last session. Exercises are progressed each week with handouts provided and a suggestion of 2-3 times per week performance at home. Your All In Pelvic Floor PT is happy to address any and all questions between sessions via email or phone call.
-Angeline Petersen, your All In pelvic floor PT