Things to Know Before your First Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Session

7 Things to Know about Pelvic Health Physical Therapy 1 1024x576 Things to Know Before your First Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Session

We often don’t talk enough about what’s going on with our bodies. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. Here is information regarding what to expect during your first visit and subsequent visits with your pelvic health physical therapist.

How long would the evaluation session usually take?

Initial evaluations are typically 60-90 minutes. It is advised to arrive early to complete paperwork.

What happens during a pelvic health physical therapy session?

“People don’t  talk about the pelvic floor and related issues enough when this is an essential part of our body and contributes a lot to our daily living.”

Elaine Chen, PT, DPT, Pelvic Health Physical Therapist at Body Gears Physical Therapy

Generally, the session will consist of 3 parts

1. Interview and discussion over important topics

Your PT will begin by asking questions and getting to know you and your condition better. Depending on the condition, questions may be asked regarding pain, bowel and bladder function. Additional questions may include what you drink or eat daily, along with your activity level.

Pelvic health therapy consists of hands-on work and a lot of education. Education includes pelvic floor anatomy and knowledge your therapist considers important about your condition.

Depending on your condition, your therapist might recommend doing an internal pelvic floor muscle assessment.

2. Internal exam of the pelvic floor muscle

Before proceeding to the internal exam, your therapist will explain in detail what will happen and give you a chance to ask clarification questions. Internal assessments provide the most accurate information to help decide the treatment plan and help you get better faster.

It is important to note that internal assessments are always optional. It doesn’t have to happen during the first session and can be done in a subsequent visit.

If you agree to do the exam, it can always be stopped at any point during the examination if you decide not to continue.

During an internal pelvic floor examination, the therapist will examine how your joints and muscles work. Neither stirrups nor speculums are used during internal pelvic floor muscle examinations.

Your PT will evaluate how much control you have over contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. They will consider which ones are painful and weak. They will also assess the strength and endurance of your pelvic floor muscles. Gathering this information will help us make the best recommendation for your plan.

3. Developing your plan of care

At the end of your session, your therapist will explain their findings and the best treatment options. Pelvic health therapy often includes a lot of patient education as this part of the body doesn’t usually get enough attention.

Depending on individual needs, external or internal manual therapy, behavior and movement changes, stretching exercises, and strengthening exercises will be included in treatment plans. Expect to discuss the duration and frequency of therapy sessions, participating in the home exercise program, and addressing any questions or concerns.

If you leave a session and think of a question, you can always bring it back during the next session or call or email if it is urgent.

“Our goal is to remove the barriers to receiving pelvic floor treatment so that you can be comfortable with your care here and can start feeling better as soon as possible”.

Lindsay Jana, PT, DPT, Pelvic Health Physical Therapist at Body Gears Physical Therapy

What should I wear to my first pelvic floor therapy visit?

Wear what makes you feel comfortable. Yoga pants, T-shirts, shorts, pants, you name it. Most clinics offer shorts for you to change into if it is necessary.

Do I have to do an internal assessment if my therapist suggests it?

Although an internal pelvic floor exam does provide valuable information, it is not required. It is most important that you feel comfortable.

What if I am on my period?

Your therapist can still perform an internal assessment if you’re on your period. It doesn’t affect the results of the exam. However, many patients choose to defer the exam to the next visit. It all depends on your comfort level.

What if I haven’t had a bowel movement for a few days?

Your therapist can still do an internal assessment as this doesn’t affect the results.

Does insurance cover pelvic floor therapy?

Yes, pelvic floor therapy is covered in your insurance plan’s physical therapy benefits portion. Be sure to bring a copy of your insurance card when you come in for an appointment

Begin Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

Click the button below to learn more

Tags: ,