Our physical therapists are trained to treat a variety of conditions including areas associated with the pelvis (sacrum, sacroiliac joints, coccyx), vaginal and scrotum regions. Pelvic pain or pelvic floor dysfunction is a common issue men and women face, however, many people leave these conditions untreated. Pelvic pain could refer to a variety of underlying problems involving the muscles of pelvic floor being overused or underused, or impairments relating to the sacroiliac joint, low back, hip, or coccyx. A common question we get asked is whether pelvic physical therapy is kegel exercises. Kegel exercises focuses on strengthening a specific muscle, while pelvic physical therapy focuses on the entire region to correct any imbalances in the pelvic floor muscle group, abdominal muscles, hip muscles, diaphragm and low back muscles.
Understanding Your Pelvic Floor
You may or may not know that the pelvic floor is part of your “core” musculature. Its purpose is to support the bottom portion of your core where your spine and pelvis connect to your lower body. When working properly, the pelvic floor supports your upper and lower body with everything you do, from performing dead lifts at the gym to walking to maintaining a sitting position at a desk at work. The pelvic floor consists of muscles, ligaments, bones, and nerves, just like other area of our body. It can also be prone to dysfunction for a variety of reasons and dysfunction can be seen in both men and women.
Problems with the pelvic floor may be due to any of the following:
- Improper body mechanics and muscular asymmetry
- Lack of specific and balanced exercise (i.e., not cross training for your sport effectively)
- Dietary habits
- Abdominal, pelvic, or hip surgeries
- Pregnancy, childbirth, C-section, episiotomy
- Injury or trauma (including back, leg, hip, and even neck injuries)
- Excess body weight (either currently or in the past)
General Pelvic conditions treated by physical therapy include:
- Tailbone (coccyx) pain
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Urinary incontinence
Women-specific pelvic conditions include:
- Vulvar Pain
- Vaginal pain
For women, the causes of pelvic floor dysfunction can include pregnancy and childbirth, but many times pelvic pain can be a result of chronic low back SI dysfunction, trauma and surgery. During each trimester of your pregnancy, your body undergoes many physiological changes that may result in pain. With various hands-on physical therapy techniques and custom exercises, we can help you treat most of these conditions by getting to the root of the issue.
Pre- and post-partum conditions treated by physical therapy include:
- Diastasis Recti
- Back pain
- SI joint (sacroiliac joint) dysfunction
Men-specific pelvic conditions include:
- Penile pain
- Testicular pain
- Groin pain
What do expect during your first visit
During your first visit, also known as the initial evaluation, our physical therapist will discuss your medical history and perform an external and internal musculoskeletal examination.
Your initial evaluation may include:
- Postural assessment
- Full body movement assessment
- Identify any tender or painful areas in the pelvic floor muscles
- Assess general core strength and flexibility
Based on your results, our physical therapist will work with you develop a custom treatment program to meet your needs and goals which will involve a combination of hands-on treatment, exercises and stretches, and education so that you can take control of your symptoms.