The pelvic floor is not an isolated part of the body but the bottom part of the pelvis. Unfortunately, it is ignored until problems such as incontinence, painful intercourse, erectile dysfunction or pain in the genitals bring attention to the area. Pelvic floor dysfunction is the name of a “book” with many chapters, which are generally looked at as unrelated. I have written a blog on these symptoms that you may want to review. In this blog, I walk you through the process of choosing a pelvic floor therapist. Specifically, one who specializes in posture and pelvic stability to ensure the best possible outcome for your pelvic health.
What Is The Role of the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. These muscles support the organs in the pelvic area, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum. All while also maintaining control over bowel and bladder functions. The pelvic floor does not work independently from the rest of the pelvis and is closely linked to core strength, posture, and overall pelvic stability.
How to Find the Right Pelvic Floor Therapist?
While most pelvic floor therapists are physical therapists, there are other clinicians such as occupational therapists, chiropractors, nurses, and physicians who further their education to treat pelvic floor dysfunction.
While most pelvic floor therapists focus primarily on the internal manual treatment with some attention to posture and breathing, as a chiropractor trained in pelvic floor therapy, I see the value in first stabilizing the pelvis, the house that the pelvic floor is the floor of. It is therefore important to not assume all pelvic floor therapists treat the presenting conditions the same way!
When searching for a pelvic floor therapist, look for professionals who specialize in pelvic floor health and have a focus on addressing posture and pelvic stability. A specialized therapist will have advanced knowledge and training in this area, enabling them to offer personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs.
Credentials and Experience
Review the credentials and experience of potential pelvic floor therapists. Look for therapists who have experience working with patients who have similar conditions or concerns as yours.
Assess Communication and Comfort Level
Building a comfortable and trusting relationship with your pelvic floor therapist is crucial for successful treatment. Pay attention to their communication style during initial consultations. A therapist who actively listens to your concerns, and explains treatment options in an understandable manner is more likely to establish a strong therapeutic alliance with you.
Emphasis on Posture and Pelvic Stability
To effectively address posture and pelvic stability, the therapist should focus on a holistic approach to treatment. This includes not only targeting the pelvic floor directly but also evaluating how other muscles, joints, and movement patterns influence pelvic health. Look for therapists who incorporate exercises and techniques to improve core strength, alignment, and overall body mechanics. These exercises are therefore beyond the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Manual Therapy Techniques
Manual therapy can be highly beneficial for pelvic floor health, particularly when addressing posture and pelvic stability. Techniques like Active Release Technique, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy can help release tension and improve muscle function in the pelvic region. Inquire whether the therapist incorporates manual therapy as part of their treatment approach.
Individualized Treatment Plans
Avoid one-size-fits-all approaches when it comes to pelvic floor therapy. Each person’s condition is unique, and a pelvic floor therapist will develop personalized treatment plans based on a thorough evaluation of your specific needs and goals. The goal of the exercise is to bring function back in movement and so the individualized treatment plans should include the movement patterns that are weak and dysfunctional. The exercises that I find highly effective are those of Developmental patterns called Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization.
Home Exercise Programs
A skilled pelvic floor dysfunction therapist will not only provide in-clinic treatment but also equip you with a home exercise program to continue progress between sessions. Consistency is key in pelvic floor therapy, and performing prescribed exercises at home can significantly improve treatment results.
Communication and comfort level are crucial for building a strong therapeutic cooperation and success in treatment. At my clinic, I require a 30-minute solution session in order to assure that all pre-exam questions are answered and that the professional relationship is successful.
If you are not happy with your pelvic floor dysfunction treatment, suspect you have pelvic floor dysfunction, and don’t know where to begin, contact me.