How can you know if you are receiving the best physical therapy for your pelvic floor dysfunction?
Here are a few clues that may help:
- Not every patient will benefit from pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises (“kegels”). In fact, for some conditions, symptoms may worsen if kegels are performed. If pelvic floor exercises are being recommended, ask why. Exercise prescription always should be based upon patient history, current symptoms, and a thorough examination to determine appropriateness of the exercise.
- Shy away from a strict protocol approach (i.e., patients are seen for a specific number of visits based on diagnosis, and/or the same interventions are provided, regardless of the condition).
Individual care is key and should be based on patient history, symptoms, examination findings, and patient’s response to treatment.
- Your physical therapist should always keep in mind the whole body (not just the pelvic floor!) and the various systems that may play a role in pelvic floor dysfunction. This whole body approach should be evident to you by the thoroughness of the initial examination, the in-office treatments provided, and the home activities prescribed by your PT.
- The roles that your emotional well-being and response to stress may play should be discussed regardless of your condition/symptoms, but especially in the case of pelvic pain.
- Your physical therapist should ALWAYS give you activities to work on at home. The physical therapist’s role during your office visits is not to “fix” or “heal” you, but to empower you through education and instruction – the most effective tools you need to help you restore or improve function and/or alleviate pain.
- Your physical therapist should have an active physical therapy license in your state (ask for their license #) and should be trained in evaluation and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Ask questions before scheduling your appointment for pelvic physical therapy. Always seek the highest quality of care…. you deserve nothing less!