What to Expect at Your First Pelvic PT Appointment

March 24, 2024

“What to expect at your first pelvic PT appointment”


This week we want to talk about what to expect during a pelvic floor physical therapy initial appointment. 

  1. Background Information Gathering: 

The therapist usually starts with gathering background information about your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle, and goals. A conversation follows, aiming to understand your overall health, stress levels, diet, past injuries, and activity levels as these are all things that can play a role in your pelvic floor health.

Before beginning any physical assessment, the therapist provides a general explanation of the pelvic floor, its functions, common dysfunctions, and the purpose of the assessment.

  1. Body Mechanics Assessment: 

This involves observing your movements, including walking, lunging, and squatting, to assess how your body moves through the pelvis and identify any imbalances or dysfunctions. We want to see specifically how your pelvis moves in 3 planes of motion and how it moves in relation to the rest of your body because it does NOT work in isolation.

  1. Physical Assessment: 

The therapist will perform both upper and lower body assessments, looking at how different parts of the body connect with and affect the pelvic floor. We will assess your flexibility , range of motion, and sometimes strength. We will also look and palpate to see what muscles through the abdomen and around the pelvis might be tight and contributing to your symptoms.

  1. Internal Examination: 

This part, typically done last, involves an internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles using one finger. It is NOT like a GYN examination as there is no stir-ups or speculum used. The therapist checks for tenderness, tightness, and any other dysfunctions within the pelvic floor. We can assess for trigger points in the muscles, as well as look for scar tissue from tears or past surgeries, and see if you have a prolapse that might be contributing to symptoms.

  1. Discussion and Plan of Care: 

After all of the assessment is complete the therapist will discuss the findings with you, and explain how they relate to your symptoms and movement patterns. From here the therapist will work with you to develop a personalized plan of care, which may include exercises or further sessions.

Overall, the appointment focuses on assessing your pelvic floor function, looking at how your pelvis works with the rest of your body, determining how other past or current injuries could be impacting your pelvic floor, identifying the source of your symptoms, and developing a plan to address them. The therapist emphasizes communication and education to ensure you feel comfortable and informed throughout the entire process.

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