How a Physical Therapist Treats Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
June 25, 2022
Are you preparing for your first appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist? Has your doctor referred you to pelvic floor physical therapy and you’re curious about what to expect?
If so—welcome to your healing journey! If you’ve been struggling with symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction like urinary incontinence and pelvic pain, or if you’ve been diagnosed with a pelvic health condition, then I want you to know that our Bethesda and McLean pelvic floor physical therapy team is ready to help you achieve meaningful improvement in your symptoms and overall well-being. We take a compassionate, person-focused approach to care that’s supported by our advanced training and features the best of what today’s pelvic floor rehabilitation has to offer.
As you might imagine, your pelvic health concerns are unique to you—which means your treatment plan should reflect that. And while the team at ITR Physical Therapy draws from a broad pool of therapies and techniques when designing plans of care, the specific protocol you receive will be completely customized to your needs and preferences.
To give you an idea of how our experienced physical therapists treat pelvic floor dysfunction, here’s an overview of some of our most common options:
When appropriate, our physical therapists use manual therapy techniques to help our patients achieve their stated goals. Our gentle yet effective hands-on approaches can reduce pain and muscle spasms, improve muscle tone and connective tissue health, restore optimal range of motion, ease tension and scar tissue build-up, enhance blood and lymphatic circulation, and support nervous system function for whole body healing.
Our therapists have advanced training in specific manual therapy techniques including:
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Visceral Manipulation
- Mechanical Link
- Muscle Energy Techniques
- Strain Counterstrain
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage
- Myofascial Release
When prescribed individually, manual therapy can help your body achieve a more optimized state for healing and will enhance the beneficial effects of your other treatments—allowing you to get the very most out of your care.
Personalized exercises and stretches are foundational elements of pelvic floor rehabilitation. After conducting a thorough examination and evaluation, your pelvic health PT can identify specific things you can work on—such as muscle strengthening, motor coordination, range of motion, and even posture or breathing mechanics—and then show you how to work on these things via a home exercise plan.
We take the time to make sure you know how to perform your exercises correctly, and are always ready to progress or modify your exercise program based on your needs and stages of healing.
Be sure to ask us about our team member, Lauren Starace who is also a certified yoga instructor.. Principles of yoga—such as mindfulness, breathing, and gentle movement—are ideal for reducing pain and improving awareness of pelvic floor activation, control, and coordination. Lauren integrates these principles in her individual sessions and she also offers yoga for the pelvic floor special online class series.
Mind-Body Coaching for the Pelvic Floor
The mind and body are intricately connected—and nowhere is this more evident than when healing from an acute or chronic health condition. Jennifer Chu offers personalized mind-body coaching sessions that will help you:
- Understand how your beliefs, expectations, and even dietary choices influence pain
- Clarify and establish your goals
- Reduce stress and increase energy
- Experience a greater sense of safety, peace, and comfort in your own body
- Claim ownership of your healing experience and go beyond “just” symptom relief