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Answers to the most 20 asked questions about pelvic floor

Answers to the most 20 asked questions about pelvic floor 

If you have a sprain in your ankle while playing football you will search for a sports-certified therapist, and if you want to learn a new language you will be searching for a professional certified teacher

The same thing if you have a pelvic floor dysfunction, you should visit a certified pelvic floor therapist to be confident that you will be treated well

  1.   What is pelvic floor PT? 

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy (or Pelvic PT) is a specialized type of physical therapy that treats bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction through the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems.

  1. What even is the pelvic floor?  What does it do?

pelvic floor muscles are responsible for controlling your bladder function, and sexual intercourse and it supports all internal structure like the vagina and bladder in females and bladder in male

  1. What are the functions of the pelvic floor muscles?  

They Provide support to the pelvic organs including the bladder and rectum  

Aid in helping us maintain continence so that we do not leak urine or stool  

Play a role in sexual function and arousal  

Assist in core stability and postural control  

  1. How do I know if I have a pelvic floor problem?

There are many sneaky symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic pain is an obvious one (during sex, while using the bathroom, exercising, or randomly!). We also see patients for urinary or fecal incontinence, constipation, post-op for abdominal or pelvic surgeries, pelvic heaviness/pressure and prolapse, core weakness or abdominal muscle separation, and sexual dysfunction. Even hip, groin, and back pain could be related to a pelvic floor problem.

  1. What are some specific conditions that can be treated with pelvic floor PT?

So many conditions! Overflow incontinence, mixed incontinence, stress incontinence, uterine prolapse, pelvic and perineal

pain, pain with sexual intercourse, urge incontinence, uterovaginal prolapse, cystocele, rehabilitation

after prostatitis or any other prolapse surgery

  1. Do you see men for pelvic floor PT too?

Absolutely! Men have pelvic floors too. We see men with many similar symptoms as women: post-op abdominal or pelvic surgeries, incontinence, constipation, or pain! The list goes on.

  1. Can my back pain or sciatica be a pelvic floor problem?

It can! The pelvic floor muscles attach to the tailbone which is the last bone of the spine. So you could imagine that any abnormal tugging on that tailbone would absolutely cause some low back pain. Some of these muscles even run adjacent to the sciatic nerve.

  1. I was told leaking urine during or after pregnancy and after menopause was just a normal part of being a woman; is it? 

The truth is, incontinence in women is common but not normal. And there are many things we can do to fix it! Sometimes it’s a strength issue or sometimes it’s coordination! An evaluation of your pelvic floor muscles can help us narrow down what’s going on but it is definitely not something you should have to live with! 

  1. Do I need a referral from my Dr.?

NO! You no longer need a referral from your medical doctor to see a physical therapist – you now have what we call “direct access” to our services and you can just call to make your appointment.

If you did get a referral, please bring it with you to your first appointment.

  1. Do you accept insurance?

We accept most the insurances, like Medicare, Cigna, Healthfirst, Oscar, Fidelis, Humana, Palladian, Metro plus health, Magna care, empire blue cross shield, emblem health, the empire plan,1199 SEIU, and more 

  1. Will treatment for prolapse affect my sex life?

If you choose to do nothing or wear a pessary, your sex life shouldn’t change except you would have to remove the pessary prior to intercourse. If you choose to have surgery, you are asked to wait to have intercourse for a period of time, after which many patients report an improved sex life.

  1. Can pelvic floor physio help me with painful sex?

Absolutely – pelvic floor physiotherapy can help with the mechanical and muscular aspects of painful sex (such as tight pelvic floor muscles, hypersensitivity, scar tissue, pelvis/SI joint, lumbar spine issues, etc.). There can also be psycho-emotional aspects to painful sex, and so having mental health support to deal with those aspects of the pain can help the whole self move forward.

  1. How common are pelvic floor issues?

 Nearly a quarter of all women in the U.S. face some form of pelvic floor disorder

According to Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute, which  is one of the largest institutes in the United States in the field of pelvic floor rehabilitation 4.36 million more American women will experience pelvic floor dysfunction in 2030 compared to 2020

  1. Can I do pelvic floor PT when I’m on my period?

Yes! No problem on our end, however, everything we do is based on your comfort level.

  1. I just had a baby and am feeling pretty good, is there any reason why I should see a pelvic physical therapist?

YES! Even if you are feeling great after the delivery of your baby, seeking out an evaluation by a pelvic physical therapist can be very helpful. We can assess how your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles are healing, identifying early on if there are problems that need to be addressed. If you have scar tissue from an episiotomy or c-section we can evaluate if it is moving normally, or if it may cause a problem.

  1. I am pregnant right now, is it safe to come to pelvic floor therapy?

Yes! Low back pain, round ligament pain, pubic symphysis dysfunction, sacral misalignment, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction are all common conditions affecting pregnant women. We will work on posture, core stabilization, strengthening, and lengthening of your muscles, A few visits during pregnancy can be a great first introduction to the amazing support that pelvic health therapists offer women at this wondrous and powerful stage in life!

  1. I am already doing Kegel exercises and they are not helping, why would pelvic physical therapy help?

Pelvic physical therapy goes FAR beyond teaching someone to do Kegel exercises. That being said, rehabilitation for the pelvis is much more involved than simply strengthening a muscle group. It involves restoring function—improving muscular support around the pelvis, improving behavioral/dietary habits, and re-training body movements to allow for optimal organ and structural function. Thorough a tailored plan to achieve your specific goals.

  1. I have heard this type of physiotherapy involves an internal exam – is this true?

Typically, there is some sort of internal assessment, but this may not be necessary. There is a huge amount of information and education that is included in assessing and treating someone’s pelvic floor so depending on your presentation, an internal assessment may not be required. This is your body and you can decide what feels right for you – nothing needs to be decided right then.

  1. What is the difference between a good and a bad pelvic physical therapist?

Just three things: 1) the amount of “care” taken (easy to spot); 2) the hands-on techniques and skills being used; 3) the ability to accurately diagnose your issue.

All of these are determined by whether your physical therapist is certified/skilled or not . 

  1. Can I talk to a therapist before I book just to confirm pelvic physical therapy is right for me?

Absolutely. Just call us on one of the clinic numbers below, or even email your question to us using info@handsofhopeny.com, and we will get back to you ASAP

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