Does It Hurt? And Other Common Questions We Hear About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy!

August 30, 2022

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a research-supported specialty branch of physical therapy that benefits people of all ages and backgrounds. Pelvic floor PTs undergo advanced training in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of conditions affecting the pelvic floor, which is a group of muscles and connective tissues that literally act as the “floor” of the pelvis and support the alignment and function of important structures like the bowel, bladder, and internal reproductive organs.

At ITR Physical Therapy in McLean VA and Bethesda MD, our licensed and board-certified pelvic health PTs get a lot of great questions about the services we provide! Here are some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about pelvic floor physical therapy.

Does pelvic floor physical therapy hurt?

Often a main goal of pelvic floor physical therapy is to decrease pain. With this in mind, ITR Physical Therapy’s PTs always strive to meet the patient where they are at.  Because of this, most of our patients tell us that the services they receive during their sessions—including manual therapy, exercises, and mind-body training—significantly improve their pain and discomfort.

Some people report mild pressure during internal and external assessments or manual therapy. If you experience any pain or discomfort during your treatment, it’s important to let your provider know right away. Don’t be shy! Your feedback is important and your physical therapist will modify your treatment for your comfort.

Lastly, setting matters. You’ll notice that we make a conscious effort to create a calming, quiet, and private environment in our clinics. This is to ensure you have a positive experience with us and feel as relaxed as possible so you can get the most out of your care.

Do I need pelvic floor physical therapy?

Are you wondering if you need pelvic floor physical therapy? 

Here are some common symptoms and conditions that can benefit from pelvic health PT:

  • Pregnancy and postpartum
  • History of abdominal surgery
  • Chronic low back pain, pelvic pain, hip pain, and groin pain
  • Stress incontinence
  • Painful urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Chronic constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Coccydynia (tailbone pain)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Post-protectomy rehabilitation
  • Pelvic organ proplase (POP)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Endometriosis
  • Vaginismus

Can I go to pelvic floor physical therapy if I’m on my period?

Yes, people who get periods can come to pelvic floor physical therapy at any point in their menstrual cycle. Your comfort is our priority, so we if we can happily modify your treatment as needed.

Do I need a referral for pelvic floor physical therapy and is it covered by my insurance?

Good news! State legislation in both Maryland and Virginia (partial direct access) allows for direct access to physical therapy, meaning that you don’t need a referral or prescription from a primary health care provider to see a pelvic floor PT.

To ensure you get comprehensive care that will suit YOUR needs and goals, our Bethesda and McLean physical therapy team is happy to collaborate with the rest of your multidisciplinary care team if necessary, including your OB/GYN, surgeon, gastroenterologist, mental health counselor, and primary care provider.

In our experience, most major health insurance companies cover services related to pelvic floor health conditions. We encourage you to ask your insurance provider about your specific coverage needs and out of network benefits.

Are you interested in trying pelvic floor physical therapy in Bethesda MD or McLean VA?

If you’d like to learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy or are ready to schedule an appointment, contact ITR Physical Therapy at 301-770-7060 to get started!

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