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What Does a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Do?

This is a great question! I’ll start by explaining what the pelvic floor is, and why it’s important. The pelvic floor is a sling of several muscles that spans the bottom of your pelvis, reaching from your pubic bone to your tailbone front to back, then to each sitting bone side to side. These muscles play a vital role in supporting bladder and bowel function, sexual response, and childbirth; they also provide support for the hips, spine, pelvis and pelvic organs, and help to pump blood and lymph through the pelvis. As you can see, they are pretty important, so when they aren’t working properly, you can experience problems with any of the above activities, such as:


  • Leaking urine or poop with activity or a strong urge

  • Constipation

  • Pain during intercourse (arousal, penetration, and/or orgasm)

  • Pelvic, hip, low back pain

  • Pain in the genitals, or during/after using the bathroom

  • Strong pressure or bulging in the pelvis or vagina, often with activity or straining

  • Core weakness

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of the wide range of activities our pelvic floors are responsible for.


So how can PT help your pelvic floor?


Well, although we don’t usually think about them, these muscles are under our conscious control, so part of the evaluation involves assessing how they function, including strength, endurance, and their ability to relax. Posture, breathing, and functional movements are also evaluated, as well as the mobility of your spine, hips and pelvis. Bowel and bladder habits, including diet and fluid intake, are also reviewed in order to determine whether what and when you eat and drink may be impacting your symptoms.


At Breathe and Blossom, my evaluation also includes inquiring about your overall wellness: how do you handle stress? Do you have a support system? Is spirituality important to you? How are you sleeping? I am interested in viewing each person not just as body parts, but an integrated human being who requires balance in all aspects of life in order to function optimally. Each person is unique, and deserves a treatment plan tailored specifically to them; my clients have often joked that they can “see the wheels turning in my brain” as I work with them during their sessions. By coming to you, either in person or virtually, I can also save you time, and tailor your program to your home environment.


Pelvic floor dysfunction can be embarrassing, frightening, frustrating, and isolating. What is most important to remember is that there is help! Please reach out to me with any questions, and I will be happy to continue the conversation!


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