Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) is becoming increasingly popular as more people discover the benefits it offers in addressing a range of issues such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and even sexual dysfunction. If you've been experiencing pelvic floor-related issues or have been referred to a therapist by your doctor, you probably have some questions about what to expect during a pelvic floor physical therapy evaluation. In this article, we will discuss the evaluation process, why it is important, and how you can prepare in order to get the most out of your appointment.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized branch of physical therapy that focuses on the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the pelvic region. If you have been referred for a PFPT evaluation, it is likely that your therapist will assess your pelvic floor muscles and discuss any issues or concerns you may have. This evaluation is crucial for determining the best course of treatment for your individual needs.
Before Your Appointment
Before your PFPT evaluation, it's essential to do some preparation. This may include:
- Gathering medical records and making a list of any medications you're currently taking.
- Completing any required patient intake forms provided by your therapist or clinic.
- Familiarizing yourself with your own pelvic anatomy, including the location and function of your pelvic floor muscles.
- Documenting any symptoms or concerns you've been experiencing, as well as any questions you may have for your therapist.
What to Expect During the Evaluation
During a pelvic floor physical therapy evaluation, your therapist will take several steps to assess your pelvic floor function and gather information about your specific needs. These steps may include:
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- Reviewing your medical history and discussing any relevant symptoms or concerns.
- A physical examination, possibly including external and internal components. The external portion involves visual inspection and palpation of the pelvic region, while the internal component may involve inserting a gloved finger into the vagina or rectum to evaluate the strength and coordination of your pelvic floor muscles. The internal examination is always performed with your consent, and you have the right to decline.
- Assessing your posture, alignment, and movement patterns.
- Evaluating any additional factors that may be contributing to your symptoms, such as stress, diet, or exercise habits.
Throughout this evaluation, your therapist will maintain open communication with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Remember, their goal is to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Evaluation Example
Let's consider an example of someone who has been experiencing pelvic pain and has been referred to a PFPT evaluation. During the evaluation, the therapist discovers that the patient has a hypertonic (tight and overactive) pelvic floor, which has been causing discomfort during daily activities and intimacy. The tailored treatment plan may include manual therapy to release trigger points in the pelvic floor muscles, relaxation exercises to help retrain the muscles to work more efficiently, and stretches to improve flexibility and overall function.
If you've been struggling with pelvic floor issues, don't hesitate to seek help from a trained pelvic floor physical therapist. Preparing for your evaluation can ensure a smooth and productive appointment, setting you on the path toward improved pelvic health and overall wellness. After completing a thorough and informative PFPT evaluation, you can feel confident in your personalized treatment plan and take the first steps toward regaining control of your pelvic floor function.
Please feel free to share this post with anyone who may benefit from understanding the pelvic floor physical therapy evaluation process. Be sure to explore our other guides and resources on Pelvic Floor Therapy for further information and support.