Written by Morgan Segale, DPT
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles at the base of your pelvis. They coordinate with your core muscles including but not limited to your abdominal muscles, back muscles and your diaphragm. They also work to support and regulate gastrointestinal, bladder and sexual health. They’re a big player in providing strength in stability to surrounding structures.
Just like any other muscle group in the body, the many muscles of the pelvic floor can become tight, weak, or uncoordinated. Dysfunction of the pelvic floor can influence local musculature into the ribs, diaphragm, hips, spine and abdomen. Due to the complexity and interconnected nature of this region, pelvic floor PT requires a whole body approach. Consulting with a trained pelvic floor Physical Therapist can help identify the root cause of the dysfunction or pain and work with you to help improve quality of life.
What are some common diagnosis pelvic PT’s treat?
- Pregnancy and Postpartum Care
- Safe transition back to exercises after childbirth
- Diastasis recti
- Urinary or Fecal incontinence
- Pelvic pain conditions
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pain with sex/intimacy
- Pelvic girdle/tailbone pain
- Low back pain
- Hip pain
Is Pelvic Floor PT just for folks with typical female anatomy?
NOPE!! Everyone, despite the type of external genitalia that a person has, pelvic floor muscles and can suffer from pain or dysfunction. With typical female anatomy, there are three exits through the pelvic floor muscles including the urethra, vagina and bowel. With typical male anatomy, there are two exits which include urethra and bowel.
What does a typical first visit with a pelvic floor Physical Therapist look like?
First, and most importantly, the evaluation is always on YOUR terms. The majority of the first visit will be spent taking a thorough history of any symptoms you may be having whether that be pain, leaking, prolapse, constipation etc. We will also go over your general bowel, bladder, sexual and dietary habits and discuss how they might be related to any symptoms you may be having. Due to the pelvic floor’s role in stability of surrounding structures there are always other things going on as well: posture, weakness, breathing patterns, stress & body mechanics to name a few. A thorough examination of the entire body and person will be conducted to gather a complete picture, instead of just the body part that is in pain or dysfunction. After a discussion about symptoms, lifestyle and goals the therapist will go over, in detail, the anatomy of the pelvic floor and educate (if indicated) on the process of an internal muscle evaluation. The first session will always end with answering any questions that may arise and with a discussion of any goals the client would like to achieve.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above please contact Morgan at 207-797-7578.
94 Auburn St
Portland, ME 04103