Pelvic floor dysfunction is on the rise and there is a shortage of providers to treat it. One of the questions most patients have is if the treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction is covered by insurance. The issue for the providers is that when accepting insurance plans, what is needed and what is approved are not the same. In fact, the majority of clinics and providers treating the pelvic floor don’t necessarily treat pelvic floor dysfunction, and that by itself is a huge disservice. Let me explain:
You should not even think about the ‘floor’ if the ‘house’ that the pelvic floor is the ‘floor’ of is unstable.
Why Is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction On The Rise?
The rise in pelvic floor dysfunction is multi-factorial. The most common reasons are:
- Rise in sedentary lifestyle which leads to an unstable pelvis, and what is attached to the pelvis (hips, lower back, and pelvic floor)
- More people are becoming symptomatic outside of the stereotypes of pelvic floor patients meaning younger people, people of all genders, and those who have never been pregnant or given birth are having pelvic floor issues
- More physicians are referring out for pelvic floor dysfunction
- Medicine and surgeries are not helping
- The general public has become more aware of pelvic floor dysfunction
Are Only Physical Therapist’s Treating The Pelvic Floor?
No. While most pelvic floor therapists are physical therapists who are trained in treating the pelvic floor, chiropractors, nurses, occupational therapists, and physicians all can be trained in the field of pelvic floor therapy and therefore treat patients with pelvic floor dysfunction.
Our clinic hosts courses for pelvic floor therapists as shown in this picture. Here, all therapists interested in the field of pelvic floor come together to learn about pelvic floor symptoms and treatment. While we all learn the same material, the majority of the therapists focus on the pelvic floor itself by using internal manual work while a few such as myself, focus on stabilizing the ‘house’ that the pelvic floor is the ‘floor’ of. The reason for that has to do with the logical conclusion that no work on the ‘floor’ is going to last long if the pelvis itself is unstable. To understand the anatomy of the pelvic floor when internal manual work is the focus of the treatment, I recommend you read my blog on Kegel and pelvic floor exercise.
Regardless of what type of treatment or therapist treats pelvic floor dysfunction, breathing is the first item to attend to as it is the establishment of the strong ‘barrel’ that allows us to create the stability necessary for the whole body to function properly.
Does Insurance Pay for Pelvic Floor Therapy?
It is not so much that insurance does not pay for pelvic floor therapy as it is that most pelvic floor therapists know that what it takes to address pelvic floor dysfunction thoroughly is not what insurance companies consider ‘medically necessary’. This is a term they use to not reimburse the provider for the services rendered without saying they are not paying!!
Those who accept insurance plans typically have to go through quite a few patients a day to make up for the loss of proper reimbursement by the insurance plans so the better question to ask is how do YOU feel about being in that position?
Should You Consider Paying Out Of Pocket For Pelvic Floor Treatment?
It all depends on what your priorities are. Of course, we all wish to get the treatment at the snap of a finger, preferably delivered by mail, at no cost, but that is not practical. When it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction treatment, your focus should be on:
- What is wrong?
- What did I do that made it this way?
- What can I do to make this go away and never come back?
- Can you fix it?
- How long will it take to fix it?
- How much does it cost?
- What does the treatment look like?
All of these are reasonable questions to have and most of them are easy to answer. When it comes to the length of time and the cost, that is not as easy because everyone responds differently to the treatment, and most often, when it comes to getting to the root cause of the problem and stabilizing the ‘house’ that the pelvic floor is the ‘floor’ of, it is only as we travel the path of correction of movement that we can see how deep the problem may be.
Look at it as if you see mold on the wall and instead of cleaning the surface, you decide to get rid of the mold. You need to get behind the wall to see how much is not even being seen. Sometimes it is a small area and at times, it is the whole wall that is impacted.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a series of issues that most often providers and physicians look at them as separate and unrelated incidents and THAT is a huge mistake. If you want to see how involved your pelvic floor dysfunction is, are ready to get to the root cause of your problem, and if you are ready to tackle the issue for good, contact us for your pelvic floor dysfunction assessment.