Have you been wondering what to expect during pelvic floor physical therapy?
In this post, I want to provide you with some information as to what you can likely expect when visiting a pelvic floor physical therapist for the first time. Let’s get to it!
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Initial Evaluation
The first visit to your pelvic floor physical therapist is often called an initial evaluation. During this visit, your physical therapist will spend time getting to know you, ask what has brought you in, and really try to understand what your primary goals are for seeking out care.
This is the time where you’ll be asked several questions, but will also have the opportunity to ask your therapist any questions you have too.
The therapist will also provide you with general education on the anatomy of the body, your pelvic floor, and how the anatomy may play a role in what you are experiencing. The better understanding you have of your body and symptoms, the more empowered you will feel to participate in your recovery.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Musculoskeletal Examination
From this point, you will move into the physical part of the examination. This “external” examination clues your therapist into your movement patterns, good and bad, and what may need to be assessed further.
The “external” examination will include the therapist observing how well your body is moving, what muscles are working, and what muscles may be symptomatic.
If warranted, your physical therapist may recommend an internal pelvic examination. This portion of the first visit allows the therapist to get an up close look at the pelvic floor muscles and can help to provide them with a lot of information as to how these structures may be tied into your symptoms.
Often patients are hesitant to participate in the internal pelvic examination because it is very personal. Just know that you have the right to decline this portion before and anytime during the internal pelvic exam. You also have the right to decline any other portion of your time with your therapist.
If you consent to move forward with the internal exam, you will be provided with the appropriate clothing and items needed for your experience.
Developing a Game Plan with Your Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
After completion of the examination process, you and your therapist will come back together at the end and discuss your therapist’s findings. The therapist will provide you with further education and help to piece together how the examination findings may be linked to your symptoms.
From there, you and your therapist will work together to come up with a plan of action to address your symptoms and get you on your way to recovery.
If you're looking for some direction on how to benefit your pelvic floor symptoms immediately, check out my blog post here where I discuss a foundational concept to pelvic floor physical therapy.
I hope this post has helped you to feel more comfortable going into a pelvic physical therapy appointment. If you'd like to check out the video associated with this blog post, click the link here!