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Pelvic Floor PT: What is it and who needs it?                              

What is your pelvic floor?

Your pelvic floor muscles make up a “hammock” that support all of your internal organs. These muscles contract and relax to control urination/defecation. These muscles also help to maintain intra-abdominal pressure, which contributes to the function of your core muscles. The three main jobs or your pelvic floor are: support, control of voiding, and sexual function. 


What conditions can be treated?

  • Urge, stress, or mixed incontinence

  • Pelvic floor pain syndromes and pelvic floor tightness

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

  • Diastasis recti 

  • Constipation and bowel control 

  • Referred pain - abdomen, thorax, hips, glutes, lower leg, low back



Signs you might need to see a pelvic floor physical therapy:

  • You notice leakage of urine with stressful activities such as running, jumping, coughing, sneezing, or laughing

  • You aren’t able to control the urge to go to the bathroom leading to going too often or leakage

  • You have pain with intercourse, tampon insertion, bowel movements, or urinating

  • You have a feeling of weakness or sagging in your pelvic floor muscles

  • You have recently had a baby and want help getting back your muscle function and returning to activities

  • You have deep hip or low back pain that hasn’t improved with other forms of physical therapy or surgical treatment



What to expect at your first appointment:

Starting pelvic floor therapy begins with a thorough evaluation from your physical therapist! The first part of the appointment consists of talking about your current level of function, your pelvic floor history, and what your goals are. After that there will be a physical examination of your body’s range of motion, strength, and muscle length. To assess the strength, endurance, coordination, and tightness of your pelvic floor musculature you and your provider may opt to complete an internal exam. The internal exam portion is always optional and you can continue with pelvic floor physical therapy without an internal exam! After this your provider will get you started with education, exercises, and a home plan. 

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