So your doctor has referred you to a Pelvic Physical Therapist… Now what?
Recently your doctor may have referred you to a pelvic physical therapist and you may be wondering what happens next and how this therapy will help with your concerns and symptoms. You may also be wondering what happens during the first visit and subsequent follow up treatments. You may be feeling anxious or nervous or asking yourself if we treat women and men. Well, you are not alone! We hope the resources here will help to ease some of your concerns and questions.
Urinary incontinence (leaking). It is common for women to leak urine after giving birth but this is not normal. Kegel exercises are quite affective at strengthening the pelvic floor muscle, but are they right for you? Sometimes abdominal or pelvic floor muscles are hypertonic or too tight leading to urinary leaking. If you muscles are too tight, then you should not do Kegel exercises to start. After learning what you need to do first, your treatment will continue to teach you how and when to use these muscle in everyday activities and your specific requests. This goes beyond biofeedback or electrical stimulation that you may have received in other places.
Back, shoulder and neck pain may occur from lack of connection with pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscle. From decreased awareness of postures when holding or feeding baby. From non-optimal lifting techniques or body mechanics when picking up baby, carrier or stroller.
This program starts with a one-on-one evaluation by a Pelvic Physical Therapist. The evaluation will start with a history of your symptoms, observation and palpation of back, pelvis, hips, diastasis recti abdominis – abdominal gap (DRA), C-section scar if present, and with your permission, pelvic floor.
Treatment and exercise will focus on the finding of the assessment in Phase I. When ready to move on to Phase II & Phase III, exercises will progress toward specific goals as established by your Physical Therapist and you.