Pelvic Floor Therapy Guides

Can Physical Therapy Cause More Pain?

Can Physical Therapy Cause More Pain?

Imagine this: you've mustered up the courage to begin physical therapy for your pelvic floor issues. You eagerly attend your appointments, hopeful for relief and recovery, only to find that your pain levels increase instead of decrease. Most of us trust that physical therapy should be a valuable, healing support for managing pelvic floor dysfunction, but is it possible that it could cause more pain?

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore whether physical therapy, specifically pelvic floor therapy, can indeed cause more pain, how to avoid potential pitfalls that might exacerbate your condition, and strategies to ensure that you have a successful and pain-free therapy experience.

When treating pelvic floor dysfunction, it's essential to recognize the unique nature of your condition and the rehabilitation process. Each individual will have different pain thresholds, muscle imbalances, and specific needs. Hence, it can be challenging to develop a one-size-fits-all approach.

In some cases, physical therapy can lead to increased pain and discomfort. Generally, this occurs when:

The wrong therapy approach is applied

Not all pelvic floor therapies are appropriate for every individual. In some cases, certain techniques or exercises may be too aggressive or strenuous, causing more harm than good. An experienced pelvic floor therapist should be able to modify the therapy plan to provide a gentler, more tailored approach.

Poor instruction on exercise technique

or pelvic floor exercises to be effective, they must be executed correctly. If the therapist is not clear with their instruction or if the patient misunderstands, it may result in strain, inflammation, and more pain. Ensure that your therapist carefully explains each exercise and encourages frequent communication.


It's vital to be patient with your progress in therapy. While you might be eager to find relief quickly, remember that healing takes time. Overworking muscles can cause more harm than good, so always follow your therapist's guidelines on the frequency and intensity of exercises.

Can Physical Therapy Cause More Pain Example

Lucy started experiencing pelvic pain during her pregnancy and decided to see a physical therapist as her discomfort persisted postpartum. Although her therapist had some experience dealing with pelvic floor issues, their area of expertise was more sports-related injuries. While the therapist meant well, they gave Lucy some intense core and lower back strengthening exercises that left her feeling more pain and discomfort after each session.

Lucy decided to seek a second opinion and found a specialist in pelvic floor therapy. The new therapist recognized the need for a gentle and tailored approach to her condition and focused on more specific pelvic floor exercises that were appropriate for her situation. Within weeks, Lucy's pain subsided, and she could see the benefits of the carefully planned therapy approach.

In conclusion, physical therapy can undoubtedly be a life-changing tool in addressing pelvic floor dysfunction when appropriately executed. However, it's crucial to recognize that the path to recovery isn't always linear, and there might be setbacks or bumps along the way.

If you're concerned about experiencing more pain during physical therapy, make sure to choose a qualified therapist specializing in pelvic floor issues, communicate openly about your needs and progress, and be patient with your rehabilitation journey. By taking these precautions, you're more likely to experience the supportive, healing benefits of pelvic floor therapy.

If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it with others who may benefit from this information or exploring our other guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy. Together, we can empower each other in strengthening our pelvic health and reclaiming our lives from pelvic floor dysfunction.


About Annie Starling

Annie Starling, MD, is a respected authority in gynaecology and women's health with over 15 years of enriching experience. Her expansive knowledge and compassionate approach have been instrumental in transforming countless lives. Alongside her medical career, Annie has an impressive acting background, bringing a unique blend of expertise and empathetic communication to her work. She's not just a doctor; she's an educator, an advocate, and a trailblazer, deeply committed to empowering women through health education. Her blog posts reflect her passion for the field, offering a wealth of insights drawn from her vast professional experience. Trust Annie to guide you on your journey to better pelvic health.

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