What to Expect During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

What to Expect During Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Be prepared before you go to your first physical therapy session
Read Time: 2 minutes
Nov 26, 2021

Physical therapy is a great treatment option for a lot of different conditions. It can strengthen and stretch muscles and even reduce the reliance on pain medications. However, it’s normal for patients to be nervous before their first physical therapy session. Here’s what you can expect during pelvic floor physical therapy.

Check in

Just like with a doctor’s appointment, the very first thing you’ll do when you enter the physical therapy office is to check in with reception. If it’s your first time there, they may ask you to fill out some paperwork. You’ll also most likely need to provide your insurance information at that time. Make sure you have any documentation with you. This may include identification, health insurance information, and documentation related to medications and medical history.

Meet the Physical Therapist

Once you’ve completed the check in process, it’s time to meet the physical therapist. Typically, the physical therapist will take a moment to introduce themselves and get to know you a bit before getting to work.

Discuss Medical History

Physical exam for pelvic pain

It’s important for your physical therapist to know your medical history. This is important so that your physical therapist can properly treat you. They’ll also ask you about your daily life, including exercise, drinking and smoking habits. They’ll want to know anything that can impact your health and treatment. For pelvic floor physical therapy, they may ask questions about your sex life, whether or not you use tampons, how frequently you have to use the bathroom, and more.

It’s essential for you to be as upfront and as detailed as possible about your medical history. Your physical therapist can treat your pelvic floor pain best if they know everything that could possibly be causing it.

Physical Evaluation

Your physical therapist will then perform an evaluation. This typically involves directing you to move in certain ways. The physical therapist will be using the evaluation to look for other things that might be contributing to your pelvic floor pain. For example, many people who suffer from pelvic floor pain also experience back pain. The physical therapist would need to treat the back pain as well in order to treat the pelvic floor pain.

Internal Examination

Sometimes, an internal examination may be needed. This can help a physical therapist to discover what exactly might be causing the pelvic floor pain. However, this examination is generally optional and while it may help, your physical therapist can still treat you without it. A consent form would need to be signed before the examination, but before you agree to anything, the physical therapist should explain to you exactly what would happen and why.

Explanation of Care Plan

Once your physical therapist has evaluated and examined you, they will tell you the plan for treating your pelvic floor pain. They’ll let you know what they found during the examination and evaluation, so you’re informed about what exactly they’ll be working to treat. They’ll also explain how frequently you’ll need to visit the physical therapist and what kinds of exercises and stretches you’ll need to do.

Exercises and Stretches

Much of the time in the first session will have been taken up with paperwork, discussion of your medical history, and the evaluation and examination. However, your physical therapist should still show you some exercises and stretches that you can do at home. In subsequent sessions, you’ll spend more time on exercises and stretches during the physical therapy appointments. Most of what is taken care of in the first visit doesn’t need to be done in later sessions.

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Mark Shulman

Dr. Mark Shulman

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), FAAOMPT, COMT, CSCS


Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.

Mark Shulman

Dr. Allison McKay

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), PRPC


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