It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive before your first pelvic floor physical therapy appointment. You may be wondering what exactly is going to happen. However, physical therapists always want their patients to feel comfortable and at ease. So, if you’re not sure about something, ask! “We want to take the mystery out of it for you and let you know what to expect,” said Dr. Rachel Feldman, a Physical Therapist at COR who specializes in women’s health.
How do I prepare for pelvic floor physical therapy?
Dress in comfortable clothing that allows for a full range of motion. Bring your ID, insurance card, and any pertinent records. Arrive 15 minutes early, so you have time to fill out any intake forms, or you may fill out your forms at home before you arrive.
Arriving at your First Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Appointment
When you first arrive for pelvic physical therapy, check in to let the staff know you are there. They will ask for your driver’s license, insurance, and form of payment. They will usually ask you to fill out forms beforehand, so bring a list of any prescriptions or test records. The information will give your PT insight into your current condition and medical history.
Meeting the Physical Therapist
After your PT has looked over your forms, she will meet with you to discuss your case. The therapist will ask questions about the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Your answers give the therapist a fuller understanding of your specific needs. Likewise, the PT will provide education about anatomy so you can better understand your condition. “At our clinic, this will take approximately 20-30 minutes…depending on the complexity of your case,” said Dr. Feldman.
After the discussion, your therapist will perform a series of simple assessments. These tests involve observation and palpation of the core, back, hips, and ribs. The therapist will examine your range of motion and look for the cause of your pain. This initial evaluation will help your PT determine your strength, flexibility, posture, and mobility.
Based on each individual’s comfort level as well as specific complaints, your PT may want to perform a quick internal pelvic exam in order to best assess the muscles. You have the right to refuse, or this can be postponed to a future session. If you agree to the internal exam, you’ll be given the privacy to change into a patient gown. When she returns, your therapist will evaluate the pelvic floor muscles using a single gloved finger. There will be no specula or other instruments involved. An internal evaluation helps your PT get a fuller picture of the health of your pelvic floor muscles. As Dr. Feldman explains, “This exam gives the best insight into the strength, control, and any painful areas in your pelvic floor.”
Scheduling an Appointment
Pelvic floor physical therapy can help women with urinary incontinence, organ prolapse, pelvic pain, and more. Our experienced physical therapists are here to help you regain your quality of life. Are you ready for your first pelvic physical therapy appointment? Schedule a consultation today.