Pelvic health issues are more common than people may think. 67.5% of women experience at least one type of pelvic floor dysfunction and up to 16% of men suffer from pelvic pain or dysfunction at some point in their lives.
Our pelvic health specialists, Danielle Pasquale, DPT, and Jessica Klecki, DPT, treats both incontinence-based dysfunctions as well as pelvic floor, hip or lower back pain-based issues through breathing exercises, stretches, manual therapy as well as strengthening exercises.
Pelvic care at Performance is more than just a regimen of kegels; we focus on all aspects of your pelvic floor, not just how strong it is. Depending on the issue, a variety of exercises can be prescribed. For some, breathing and stretching exercises can help release pain and tension. For others, the solution could be strengthening exercises that target the pelvic floor and hip muscles.
Who can benefit
Pelvic physical therapy is appropriate for anyone with issues relating pelvic health, for both women and men of all ages. A common misconception is that it is only appropriate women who are pregnant or have children; while that is a large percentage of the population with pelvic health issues, it can include anyone who has had abdominal or pelvic surgery, clients with pelvic, tailbone, hip, or back pain, sexual dysfunction, and/or incontinence (leakage) of urine or stool.
Common pelvic health diagnoses that are treatable with physical therapy include:
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Post prostatectomy
- Prolapse issues
- Pelvic pain
- Pregnancy/postpartum care
- Urinary frequency
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- Coccyx pain
- Diastasis Recti
- Post-op pelvic/abdominal surgeries
What does an initial evaluation look like?
Initial evaluations involve an hour-long, one-on-one assessment with a pelvic physical therapist. The therapist will take thorough, subjective history of the issue and previous medical history, and will perform a comprehensive examination that includes orthopedic exam of the lower back and hips, as well as internal pelvic floor assessment (only with patient consent). The evaluation will also include education on pelvic floor anatomy, function, the purpose of pelvic physical therapy, and the specific plan to treat the condition.
What do typical follow-up treatments look like?
They typically last an hour and include one-on-one manual therapies as needed, including internal pelvic floor techniques (if appropriate and patient consents), habitual changes, stress management, exercise for lengthening OR strengthening muscles as appropriate, and a plethora of education.
Will Kegel exercises help?
It all depends on the evaluation. A common misconception is that all pelvic health issues can be solved with Kegels. This is not true and often can exacerbate the condition. While Kegels may help some, other clients won’t ever do a single Kegel.
How often do patients need to come to pelvic physical therapy?
The answer is of course, “it depends”! Typically pelvic “pain” patients would benefit from visits twice per week for six to eight weeks, depending on severity and onset of symptoms.
Incontinence (leakage) patients would benefit from visits once or twice a week, and the length of their plan of care is dependent on how much work they want to put in, but average around four to eight weeks.
All treatment plans can be tailored to fit any schedule or budget.