Pelvic health physical therapy is a specialized area of PT that looks at pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Although we rarely talk about the pelvic floor muscles, they can play a role in hip and back pain, so understanding their function is important for many musculoskeletal conditions.
Pelvic health physical therapists focus on conditions that we don’t always talk about, such as urinary leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, bowel problems, pelvic pain and pain with intercourse - just because we don’t often talk about these conditions doesn’t mean that they aren’t important, and also doesn’t mean that they are conditions that you need to live with!
Your first pelvic health visit will look very much like a traditional orthopedic physical therapy evaluation. We will go over medical history and look at the whole body, looking at any other areas that may be influencing your pelvic floor symptoms. It is important to check the back and hips as well, because sometimes these can influence pelvic floor function and pain. Depending on your condition, and if it is indicated, the second exam will be an internal assessment. This examination will be similar to an ob/gyn appointment, and will be an assessment of pelvic floor muscle strength and any muscular pain which may be contributing to symptoms.
Physical therapy can also help women who are dealing with pain while pregnant, and can be very beneficial in the postpartum period as well.