How to Prepare for Your Pelvic PT Exam

Physical therapy is hard work, no matter what injury you're recovering from. Pelvic pt is no exception. In addition to being a lot of work, pelvic floor physical therapy is also incredibly vulnerable for the patient. If you know what to expect when you come in for your initial examination and subsequent therapy sessions it can be a lot easier, and prove to be the help you need to feel like yourself again.

Be prepared to start by providing a history of your pain; when the onset of any discomfort was, if you know the cause, what makes you feel better/worse, and your treatment history for this issue. This should be a comfortable, yet intimate, conversation with your therapist. If you were referred by your doctor, you should have some idea about the questions you'll hear. Be sure to provide as much information as you can and to offer up any information you think your therapist will need to know.

Your therapist will also likely offer an external and/or internal examination. At Sloane Stecker Lincoln Square we focus on an orthopedic approach to therapy so the treatment here definitely comes from that school of thought. In an external pelvic floor examination your hips, low back, core muscles, pelvic and other muscles might be tested for any weakness.

The internal examination for pelvic pt for women is very different than any typical gynecological appointment. In general there will be more time to talk to your physical therapist and get to know them than when you go to the gynecologist. Appointments are run by your physical therapist and are more than the ten-minutes-and-you're-out-the-door approach you might be used to with other doctors. Your physical therapist is also focusing on the joints, tendons, and fascia of your pelvis, which is a different examination than you'll experience at your gyno. Definitely ask your pt the questions you need to in order to feel comfortable before any examination takes place, but also remember they're here to help you feel your best again.

Depending on your therapists prognosis you might leave with some exercises to do at home, medications, or some tips on lifestyle changes that will help you recover. Your therapist should also have an idea of what your recovery path will look like and you should (hopefully!) leave the office with a sigh of relief that you're on the right track to recovering.