Pelvic Health FAQ

Pelvic Health

Pelvic Health FAQ

What is Pelvic Health Physical Therapy?

  • Our Pelvic Health Specialists are trained experts that directly address and treat conditions related to the lumbopelvic region, including treatment of the pelvic floor.
  • Pelvic Health Physical Therapy is intended for both men, women and children who experience pain, difficulty with bowel and bladder, or any other symptoms related to the pelvic area.
  • Addressing this often untreated area can be LIFE CHANGING and has immediate improvements on your quality of life. Speak with one of our pelvic health specialists today to learn more on how you can get control of your life back. 

What are the most common diagnoses we see?

  • Pelvic pain
  • Low back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pelvic organ prolapse  
  • Bladder or bowel incontinence
  • Chronic constipation
  • Difficulty voiding
  • Core muscle weakness
  • Feeling of incomplete bladder or bowel voiding
  • Pregnancy and postpartum 
  • Diastasis recti
  • SI joint pain and dysfunction
  • Tailbone pain
  • Urinary frequency and urgency
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Overactive bladder syndrome
  • Pain associated with endometriosis, adenomyosis, IC
  • Vulvodynia, vestibulitis
  • Pediatric incontinence, bed wetting, constipation
  • ...and many more!

Why does getting treatment for my pelvic floor matter?

  • If left untreated, Pelvic Pain Conditions can significantly impact your life in many ways including:
    • Difficulty being intimate with your partner
    • Trouble managing stress
    • Inability to sit comfortably on various surfaces
    • Over reliance on pain medication
    • Difficulty participating in recreational activities or being active with your family
  • Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction can also dramatically alter your life:
    • Decreased confidence leaving the house
    • Fear of attending events, celebrations and functions with limited proximity to bathrooms
    • Difficulty traveling long distances, especially by car or plane
    • Trouble exercising due to leakage
    • Inability to wear light colored clothing
    • Financial stress of having to purchase incontinence products
    • Disturbed sleep
  • Don't let these issues control your life, we are here to help!

Isn't Pelvic Floor PT just for women who have recently had a baby?

  • So the short answer to this question is "No" - Everyone who has a pelvis, has a pelvic floor - This includes all genders and ages: women, men, non-binary individuals, and children.

What types of Pelvic Health PT are there for men?

  • Men have pelvic floors too: We treat diagnoses such as erectile dysfunction, incontinence, constipation, testicular pain, and many more!

Why might my child need to see a Pelvic Health Specialist?

  • The pelvic floor muscles function like a trampoline to support your child's organs and provide postural support. When these muscles don't work properly, common symptoms might be:
    • Pee accidents (Urinary Incontinence)
    • Poop accidents (Fecal Incontinence)
    • Constipation
    • Bed-wetting
    • Dysfunctional voiding habits
    • ... and many more!
  • Is your child nervous to attend summer camps, sleepovers, school or participate in sports because of fears around bathroom habits? This is where we come in and give you and your child the tools they need to overcome these fears!
  • In your child's appointment, we assess their muscle strength and coordination, and get to know their current bathroom habits. Once we know more about where the problem might be, we begin treatment by:
    • Developing more optimal voiding schedules that are specific to the needs of your child
    • Developing constipation management programs
    • Training posture and breathing coordination techniques to improve bladder or bowel emptying
    • Bladder re-training to achieve dry days and nights
    • Biofeedback training to help your child learn how to properly contract and relax their pelvic muscles
    • Ultimately, we work to find a solution to help get your child back to doing what they love with confidence!

What is the primary complaint from a patient that you see in office? 

Uncertainty about whether you are doing a Kegel correctly or not! With real time ultrasound and hands on assessment, we can absolutely make sure that you are correctly performing this exercise.

Shouldn't I just do kegels at home and that's it? That's what my doctor said to do...

  • Although kegels are a great exercise for many pelvic health conditions, they are not always the answer nor the full solution to the problem!

I am currently pregnant - Do I need to wait until I am postpartum to come in for a Pelvic Health PT appointment?

  • This is the perfect time to come in and begin the process. There is so much to learn about the changes that are occurring in your body during and after pregnancy, therefore you may benefit from seeing a pelvic health therapist. Even if you do not have current symptoms, there are still plenty of things to learn to best support your body during pregnancy, to prepare for delivery, and set you up for success post-partum.
  • During pregnancy, your session can focus on:
    • Muscle imbalances and postural alignment changes to accommodate your growing belly
    • Exercise prescription and modification to help you stay physically active throughout your pregnancy
    • Joint and ligamentous changes that may contribute to pelvic and back pain, including SI joint and pubic symphysis pain
    • Labor preparation on positions and techniques to reduce risk of injury to pelvic floor, pelvis, and tailbone
    • Addressing any bowel or bladder concerns
  • We also offer a Labor and Delivery Session at 34-Weeks for you and your partner. This session includes:
    • Labor and delivery positioning, helpful tips & exercises
    • Hands-on partner assisted training for labor support
    • Perineal stretching demo
    • Gentle pushing training & coordination drills unique to your pregnancy
    • You will leave this appointment feeling educated and more prepared for your little one to make their arrival!

I am pregnant, what symptoms can Pelvic Health PT help with? 

The most common complaints that pregnant patients bring to pelvic floor PT can include bladder leaking, pelvic pain, pubic symphysis dysfunction, low back pain, hip pain, changes in bowel function, tailbone pain, pain with sex, and vulvar varicosities/swelling.

Remember, pelvic floor PTs can also treat orthopedic concerns like knee or neck pain but with a more specialized understanding of how pregnancy affects your body.

What can Pelvic Health PT do for me right after I have a baby?

We can see you immediately following birth and anytime during the postpartum period, we can address:

  • Muscle weakness of the abdominals and pelvic floor that can result in incontinence, pelvic pressure, or pain
  • Pain and stiffness from new postural demands from feeding, lifting, carrying, and holding a growing baby
  • Diastasis Recti
  • Proper body mechanics
  • Manual therapy to assist in faster healing
  • Scar management following cesarian or vaginal delivery
  • Pelvic heaviness or bulging
  • Persistent bowel and bladder concerns

You do not have to wait until after your "6-Week Postpartum" follow up appointment with your OB to come and see us, we are here to help you at any point in your recovery journey!

I just had a baby, what are some things I should look out for that would be considered "signs" to come in and see a Pelvic Health Specialist? 

If you have any of the following symptoms, it's time to make an appointment with us:

  • Abdominal pain, hip pain, low back pain, pubic pain, pelvic pain, tailbone pain
  • Pain with intercourse, bowel movements, urination, sitting, walking, moving in bed, etc 
  • A feeling of heaviness or “falling out” 
  • Sensitive scars 
  • Urine leaking that persists more than 6 weeks postpartum 
  • Fecal leaking and or constipation. 
  • Something just doesn’t “feel right”

I had my baby 8 weeks ago... I have been cleared to exercise - But how do I get back to doing my favorite activities again?

  • You had a baby -- And that is amazing! Now how do you get back to the activities and sports you love?
    • We take a carefully curated “Return to Sport” approach, dedicating time and specialized strength training to regain the strength, muscle tension, and muscle memory needed to engage in high level exercise.
  • In order to progressively load your system safely and effectively, our program also addresses:
    • Core stabilization
    • Pelvic organ prolapse
    • Scar tissue management
    • Bladder urgency and frequency
    • Pain with intercourse
    • Low back pain
    • Hip pain
    • Upper back pain
    • Shoulder and neck pain
    • Pelvic pain
    • ... and many more!

It's been 10 years since I had my baby, isn't it too late to get treatment for problems that I have been having since then?

  • It is NEVER too late to come in and see us!
  • Just like any other muscle in your body, your pelvic floor can be re-trained and be receptive treatment. Our clients reflect back on this exact situation every day, and leave a session feeling refreshed and relieved that there is a solution out there for their pain or problem they are experiencing!

I have urinary leakage during workouts, about how many Pelvic Health PT visits will it take to fix this? 

You should see improvement in your ability to control leakage in 4-6 visits or less

I am nervous... What should I expect with an internal exam? 

It's normal to feel nervous about new things, but trust us when we say "this is what we do every day!".

A medical internal pelvic exam involves vaginal or rectal assessment of pelvic floor tension and strength by your provider. The reason we recommend an internal exam, is that it gives us the information needed to determine whether your concerns are related to muscle spasm vs. muscle weakness. Once we determine what is causing your symptoms, we can then start you on the most appropriate course of treatment that gets you results fast.  

Do I need to see my OBGYN before coming to see you? 

Did you know that Montana is a Direct Access state? This means that you do not need a referral to come in and see us! 

If you plan to use your Health Insurance, double check your benefits as some insurance carriers do require a Physicans Referral for Physical Therapy. Often we can help you with this process, just give us a call or shoot us a text at a Lone Peak location near you to learn more. 

I have tried PT for my low back and hips before with no success, why would trying Pelvic Health PT as a next step be any different? 

The pelvic floor is a major anatomical factor in "core" stability and foundational support. The root of the problem with low back and hip pain can actually stem from weakness or tension in the pelvic floor and a pelvic evaluation can help to identify this.

Approaching your symptoms from a pelvic PT perspective can really change the outcome of your care if the pelvic floor is involved. 

Why should I see a Pelvic Health Specialist at Lone Peak vs. somewhere else? 

At Lone Peak, we are committed to getting to know you and guiding you to the results you deserve! 

Our Pelvic Health Specialists here at Lone Peak are truly experts in the field and hold the highest level credentials and extensive experience in treating pelvic health conditions for patients of all ages and genders. 

Every person's story and experience with their pelvic health is unique, but it does not have to be intimidating or scary to get started.

We understand this at a deep level, and are passionate about providing inclusive and supportive care to every single person who comes through our doors. We are here for you, every step of the way.

Contact us today to begin your journey to getting control of your life back!

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CONTENT CREATED BY: Allie Poalino, DPT

Content Contributors: Bri Blohm, DPT; Abby Dunning, DPT; Cheryl Tenpas, DPT; Susanna Clark, DPT; and Paige Williams, DPT

Lone Peak Physical Therapy & Lone Peak Pelvic Health

Bozeman | Billings | Helena | Butte | Big Sky