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Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: The Ultimate Guide to Know if Pelvic Floor PT is for You.

Have you heard about pelvic floor physical therapy, but are not sure if it's a good fit for you?


Maybe you have been dealing with issues that a Women's Health Physical Therapist could help you with, but you're wondering if surgery is a better option.


Or you are pregnant and wanting to avoid pelvic floor dysfunction.


Either way, you are in the right place. In this blog we are going to break down everything you need to know about pelvic floor PT and pelvic health in general.


This blog will help you determine if you need to seek out services of a pelvic floor PT, and how to do so!


Here are the topics covered in this blog:



What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?


Pelvic floor physical therapy can go by several different names. These include pelvic health physical therapy, women's health physical therapy, pelvic floor PT, or pelvic physio.


There are pelvic floor occupational therapists as well. All of these terms refer to a provider that treats the pelvic floor, and all humans have a pelvic floor.


What is the Pelvic Floor?


The pelvic floor is a system of muscles, nerves, and tissues found at the base of your torso. If you are sitting, you are sitting on them as we speak!






What Does the Pelvic Floor Do?


The pelvic floor is responsible for 5 functions. These are as follows:


  1. Support: acts as a support system for the body's organs

  2. Sphincteric: functions to control the sphincters of the bladder, bowel and vagina

  3. Sexual: controls the sexual function in both men and women

  4. Stability: plays a role as a spinal and hip stabilizer

  5. Sump-pump: plays a role in circulation of lymphatic fluid to the heart.

People living with a healthy pelvic floor enjoy:


1. Pain free intercourse, urination and bowel movements

2. Run, jump, lift, laugh and play with their children without leaking

3. Have a healthy a strong core recruitment strategy to decrease injury during athletic activity.

4. Are able to move through life without pain or pressure in the pelvic region.


The goal of the pelvic floor physical therapist is to work with people experiencing symptoms related to pelvic region and eliminate pelvic floor dysfunction.


Although symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction is the primary cause for most people to seek out the help of a pelvic floor physical therapist, we know that nothing in the body works in isolation. Treatment of the pelvic floor may require looking elsewhere in the body to solve the pelvic floor dysfunction.


What Makes A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist?



A pelvic floor physical therapist is a physical therapist that has gone through extensive additional training outside of traditional physical therapy school, in order to be qualified to perform vaginal and rectal examinations, make a diagnosis and treat pelvic floor conditions.


There are also pelvic floor occupational therapists who go through similar training!


Not all pelvic floor physical therapists choose to perform internal vaginal and rectal examinations. In order to make sure your pelvic floor condition is thoroughly addressed, we recommend finding a pelvic floor physical therapist that does perform internal exams.


We recommend looking for a pelvic floor physical therapist trained through the APTA or Herman and Wallace.



How to find a pelvic floor physical therapist near you


If you are not in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Holistic Pelvic Health is located, then we recommend using these resources to find a pelvic floor physical therapist near you:



For those of you are local to Albuquerque, you can find our providers at Holistic Pelvic Health at the location below:



Who can benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy?


Every human has a pelvic floor. Therefore, everyone can benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy!


Although it has historically been marketing primarily to women due to the need to address the stress of pregnancy and postpartum on the pelvic floor, men and children also suffer from pelvic floor issues.


Many providers only treat one group, either women, men, or children. Not all providers are trained in all conditions. Make sure you find the right fit for you!


What diagnoses are treated in pelvic floor PT?


The pelvic floor is connected to everything. It is an integral component of the pelvis, the hips, and abdominal wall, the spine and the diaphragm. There are many, many reasons to seek out a pelvic floor physical therapist, but here are some of the most common diagnoses seen in pelvic floor PT:


  1. Pelvic Pain: pain in the front of the pelvis, back of the pelvis, tailbone, sacral region, buttocks area, hips, or even low back pain are often conditions related to pelvic pain. Pelvic pain also includes pain experienced with intercourse, peeing or pooping. We help people who experience pain the pelvis with pregnancy, postpartum, sitting pain, and athletics. Many people experience pelvic pain, and it is often the result of issues in the pelvic floor.

  2. Prolapse: pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when one or more organs in the body has decreased support systems and now feels like it is sitting low or protruding out the vaginal opening. Symptoms may worsen with prolonged positions or physical activity. Prolapse is a common diagnoses seen in pelvic floor physical therapy.

  3. Urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence: Urinary incontinence, or leaking pee, can occur following an intense urge to pee or with laughing, coughing, jumping or sneezing, or both. Similarly, fecal incontinence can occur following an intense urge or with physical activity. Neither condition is every normal, even in high level athletes that lift heavy, and pelvic floor physical therapy is the best way to start healing and to stay dry.

  4. Tailbone or Pubic Symphysis Pain: An injury to the tailbone, such as falling on the tailbone or a childbirth injury can create issues with the pelvic floor. The pubic symphysis is another place at the front of the pelvis where issues can manifest. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help address both of these problems.

  5. Pregnancy and Postpartum: Pelvic floor physical therapy is an important part of prenatal care. We help women stay strong and pain free throughout pregnancy, decrease the risk of urinary incontinence and prolapse arising during pregnancy, decrease the risk of developing abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti), and prepare for birth by helping decrease your risk of cesarean-section, or perineal tearing during a vaginal birth. Postpartum we help to heal the abdominal wall and pelvic floor from pregnancy and birth, and help to strengthen moms so they can get back to athletic activity and raising kids without urinary incontinence, prolpase, pain or abdominal separation.

  6. Diastasis Recti (Abdominal Separation) and Hernias: There can be a separation of the abdominal wall, with or without a hernia, that occurs during pregnancy and does not heal spontaneously postpartum. Pelvic floor physical therapists are specialists at rehabilitating this condition. We also help to improve core activation strategies in people dealing with hernias before and after surgery, and for those that would prefer to avoid surgery altogether.

  7. Core stability and performance: The pelvic floor is key to building core strength and maximizing athletic performance for women and men. At Holistic Pelvic Health, we work to build a healthy pelvic floor and then create stability around it with the abdominal wall, hips and shoulders.


Here's a list of specific diagnoses that we see at Holistic Pelvic Health


  1. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)

  2. Diastasis recti

  3. Incontinence (fecal or urinary)

  4. Constipation

  5. Hemorrhoids

  6. Tailbone pain

  7. Pain with intercourse or intimacy

  8. Low back pain

  9. Pelvic pain

  10. Pregnancy-related pain

  11. Pregnancy birth preparation

  12. Postpartum issues

  13. Pain associated with menstrual cycle, endometriosis, or interstitial cystitis

  14. Hip pain


The list below is a list of common phrases our clients say at their appointments and to their friends:


  • "I pee my pants when I laugh, cough or sneeze."

  • "I can't jump on the trampoline with my kids or i will pee."

  • "I have to pee all the time or I will pee my pants."

  • "Pooping has hurt since childbirth."

  • "Is it normal to leak pee in pregnancy?"

  • "My core is so weak after pregnancy."

  • "My body looks completely different after having kids."

  • "What exercises are safe for me during pregnancy?"

  • "I have pain with sex/intimacy."

  • "How do I get back into running and lifting after childbirth?"

  • "Whenever I do my HITT workouts at home I feel heaviness after."

  • "I want to make sure I don't have a diastasis or hernia after childbirth, and what exercises are safe for me to do if I do."

  • "I can run I just have to stop and pee all the time"

  • "I have nagging pain at the front of my hips that pinches."

  • "I have deep butt pain that acts up when I try to workout."

  • "I don't poop everyday."

  • "I feel a lot of heaviness in my pelvis after standing for a long time or lifting my kids."

  • "I have to pee every time I hear running water."

  • "How do I heal from a c-section?"


What are the results someone can expect from Pelvic PT?


Here are a few of the results our clients can expect to see at Holistic Pelvic Health:

  1. Exercise without leaking

  2. Decreased pelvic pain

  3. Have sex without pain

  4. Decreased heaviness in the pelvic region

  5. Decreased C-section scar pain and better mobility of scar tissue

  6. Improved birth outcomes and birth preparedness

  7. Visual improvement of Diastasis Recti and improved core strength

  8. Lifting heavy and safely

  9. Improved hip, back, tailbone, and pelvic pain

  10. Decreased constipation and pain with bowel movements


What to expect at your pelvic floor physical therapy session


At Holistic Pelvic Health, all of our sessions are 1-on-1 with your pelvic health therapist. All of our visits are 55-minutes long. The first visit your therapist will perform an internal pelvic floor assessment by either inserting one gloved finger vaginally or rectally, depending on your pelvic anatomy and symptoms, in order to assess the health, strength and coordination of the pelvic muscles.


An internal examination is never mandatory. Although it is the most specific way your therapist can evaluate the health of your pelvic floor, some people are not comfortable with having an internal exam performed at their first visit, or ever. In this case, we will start with a thorough external examination looking at your breathing strategies, abdominal wall strength, hip mobility and stability, and spinal movements to look for clues around how you are moving and how it may be affecting your pelvic floor health.


Follow up sessions will vary based on your needs. There may be a need to do further work internally for the pelvic floor muscles, or it may be time to work on exercises and movement strategies.


Our goal is to reflect our treatment to get you back to doing what you love. If you want to go to the trampoline park with your kiddos, we will work on fixing why you are leaking and then have you jump on a trampoline to test your results!


If you are wondering if you should start buying vaginal weights or doing kegels, we recommend waiting until you have your assessment with us so we can tell you whether that would be helpful or not. Pelvic floor physical therapy is about way more than just kegels!



Our Approach At Holistic Pelvic Health


We have many clients that come to us after seeing other providers and physical therapists with minimal improvements and are able to improve with us.


This is because we understand how the pelvic floor is functioning alongside their other orthopedic conditions. This is a unique lens we bring at Holistic Pelvic Health, because it is a blend of highly cultivated pelvic floor and orthopedic skills.


We are experts at analyzing movement. Although we do quite a bit of hands-on work, we believe that true healing comes from reinforcement of correct movement patterns through coaching and strengthening.


This means that you won't spend all of your treatment time on the table. As your symptoms improve and as we feel you are ready, we will have you up and moving, learning and strengthening new movements strategies to provide you with lasting change.


We know that in order for moms to build strength to lift their kids, for athletes to participate in their sport without injury or pelvic floor issues, and to heal abdominal separation (DRA), proper recruitment strategies must first be learned and then reinforced by strengthening and loading the system.


Our strong orthopedic approach to pelvic health provides the best possible, lasting results to our clients.


What does pelvic floor PT cost?


Pelvic floor PT may be covered by your insurance benefits, depending on your benefits and where you go for your care.


At Holistic Pelvic Health, we are out of network for insurances, because insurances limit the amount and quality of care you can receive, and we want to provide the best care possible.


As an out of network provider, our fees are fully transparent and upfront. There are no hidden costs. If you would like to submit for out-of-network reimbursement from your insurance company, we will provide you with the paperwork to do so.


How to get started


If you would like to get started with us at Holistic Pelvic Health, click here to contact us today.


Otherwise, search for a provider in your area through the registry links provided above.


Learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy


If you would like to learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy, check out the resources below:



More about Holistic Pelvic Health


Holistic Pelvic Health is a physical therapy clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, dedicated to healing pelvic floor disorders in men and women.


We approach pelvic health from a strong full-body lense. taking into account your entire body, head to toe, and your entire history to help heal your issues.


We are specialized in movement analysis and layer on our strong orthopedic knowledge to help you stay active, healthy, and pain free for good.


We are focused on finding the root cause of your problems and eliminating them completely. We are committed to your healing process and will never give up on you. We are devoted to keeping you involved in the activities you want to be doing and making them pain free (or leak free) along the way.


We work hard for each and every client to make sure they get the results they want. This is why we are so successful, and why we have so many clients that come to us after "failing" physical therapy elsewhere.


If you are interested in getting started with us, click the link below to contact us today!


















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