Pelvic Floor Therapy

Hip joint pain, Physiotherapy treatment to improve scoliosis pelvic tilt inclination
Pelvic Floor Therapy

What is Pelvic Floor Physical & Occupational Therapy?

The pelvic floor is the group of muscles and connective tissue that support your urinary and reproductive organs. When these muscles experience dysfunction, patients can experience a variety of symptoms from frequent urination to painful intercourse. Oftentimes, if there is dysfunction within the pelvis, lumbar spine, or abdomen, pelvic floor therapy can be warranted. Pelvic Floor Therapy can be administered by both physical and occupational therapists and works to relieve the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction through therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, education, breath work, and much more.

Treatment plans are tailored to best address each patient’s unique needs. Though it may sound like pelvic floor muscles would be difficult to recondition, pelvic floor therapists have the skills to help patients make improvements, improve blood circulation, and reduce pain. Spear’s Pelvic Health Specialists provide comprehensive and accessible care for pelvic, lumbar, and abdominal health needs, inclusive of all genders.

Who is pelvic floor physical and occupational therapy recommended for?

Pelvic floor physical and occupational therapy is a powerful treatment that is beneficial to people experiencing a wide array of symptoms. Factors causing pelvic floor dysfunction vary from patient to patient.

Some medical problems that can be treated with pelvic floor physical therapy can include, but are not limited to:

  • Painful Intercourse
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Genital Pain
  • Post-Transition Discomfort
  • Perimenopausal & Menopausal Concern
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Prenatal Discomfort
  • Prostatitis
  • Coccyx/Tailbone Pain
  • Low Back/Sacroiliac
  • Joint Pain & Reconditioning
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diastasis Recti Rehabilitation
  • Post-Cesarean Section
  • Postpartum Discomfort
  • Post-Prostatectomy

People who experience these medical issues may benefit greatly from pelvic floor therapy. Medical professionals often recommend pelvic floor therapy before turning to invasive surgical procedures.

What are the benefits of treating pelvic floor dysfunction?

There are a wide array of profound benefits to seeking therapy or treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. From increased bowel and bladder control to improved sexual functioning, pelvic floor therapy can truly be life-changing for patients.

Pelvic floor physical therapy can help strengthen, elongate, or relax pelvic floor muscles. Therapists manipulate the muscles so that they become stronger. Equally important is the coordination of pelvic floor muscles, when these muscles are conditioned to work together more effectively, many of the issues associated with pelvic floor dysfunction begin to dissipate, including bladder control issues, constipation, incontinence, and much more.

Through pelvic floor therapy, patients can experience a dramatic reduction in pain, and in some cases, pain is alleviated altogether. Furthermore, physical therapy and occupational therapy gives patients the necessary tools to prevent pain from returning in the future.

What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?

Symptoms that impact both men and women suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • Using the bathroom with increased frequency and/or struggling to go
  • Painful and/or frequent urination
  • Incontinence (either urine or stool)
  • Constipation, straining to pass bowel movements, or pelvic pain after bowel movements
  • Lower back pain with no apparent cause
  • Ongoing genital, rectal, or pelvic floor pain
  • Stress urinary incontinence resulting from laughing, sneezing, or coughing

Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction that impact men and people with male sex organs exclusively include:

  • Groin pain
  • Ejaculation issues
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Prostatitis

Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction that impact women and people with female sex organs include:

  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Compromised reproductive health

A person is unlikely to experience all of the symptoms associated with pelvic floor dysfunction; in fact, experiencing only one or two symptoms merits a call to the doctor and/or a visit to the therapist.

How does pelvic floor therapy treatment work at Spear?

A highly qualified Spear Therapist will perform a thorough evaluation including medical history, discussion of your current condition, and assessment of your range of motion, posture, and strength. Your therapist will then design a comprehensive, individualized treatment program based on the findings of the evaluation and your personal goals.

All treatment will be administered in a safe, supportive environment.

At Spear, we use an integrative care approach to Pelvic Floor Therapy treatment. Program components may include:

  • Pain management
  • Pelvic floor muscle re-education
  • Postural stabilization
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Personalized therapeutic exercise
  • Strength training
  • Patient education
  • Behavioral modification
  • Bladder retraining
  • Biofeedback
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Lymphedema massage
  • Yoga & Pilates
  • Nutrition & diet modification
  • Meditation

What does Pelvic Floor Therapy Cost at Spear?

All Spear Pelvic Floor Therapy services are billed through insurance.

Does insurance cover the costs of pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor dysfunction is regarded in the medical community as a serious issue that requires treatment. Therefore, pelvic floor physical therapy, among other types of treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, is typically covered by public and private insurance. At Spear, what sets us apart is our commitment to making our services as accessible as possible for patients in the diverse communities that we serve. We participate in-network with all major insurance companies in NYC including Aetna, BCBS, Cigna, UHC & Medicare.

Patients should review their insurance coverage before beginning treatment. Some insurers cap the amount of physical therapy coverage per year per patient, and others limit the number of sessions that will be covered.

Is pelvic floor therapy painful?

It is possible to feel discomfort during pelvic floor therapy, however, the patient is in complete control during the session and is encouraged to communicate with their therapist if there is pain, so that treatment can be adjusted. Pelvic floor physical therapy begins with an exam and assessment, during which time the physical or occupational therapist will work to understand the cause of symptoms.

Therapists offering Pelvic Floor Therapy
Erica Aborlleile, MS, OTR/L
Erica Aborlleile headshot
Erica Aborlleile, MS, OTR/L
Lauren Carleton, PT, DPT, CHT
Lauren Carleton headshot
Lauren Carleton, PT, DPT, CHT
Julia Delzingaro, OT, OTR/L
Julia D
Julia Delzingaro, OT, OTR/L
Christine Evangelista, MS, OTR/L
Christine E
Christine Evangelista, MS, OTR/L
Jamie Lief, MS, OTR/L
Jamie Lief headshot
Jamie Lief, MS, OTR/L
Sara Low, PT, DPT
Sara Low Headshot
Sara Low, PT, DPT
Avaniben Patel, PT, DPT
Avani Headshot
Avaniben Patel, PT, DPT
Maitrei Shah, PT, DPT
Maitrei Shah Headshot
Maitrei Shah, PT, DPT
Kira Sterling, MS, OTR/L
Kira Sterling Headshot
Kira Sterling, MS, OTR/L

Frequently asked questions about
Pelvic Floor Therapy

Patients who suspect they may be experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction should see their doctor as soon as possible. Some of the most common symptoms that indicate pelvic floor dysfunction include pain throughout the pelvis, abdomen or lumbar spine, difficulty fully emptying bladder, frequent urination, and incontinence.

A wide array of techniques, tools, and exercises are used throughout pelvic floor therapy treatment, and different methods are used to treat different symptoms in different patients. At Spear, treatment program components include manual therapy techniques, therapeutic exercise, education, and breath work as well as a number of other methods. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy can be incredibly helpful for people who are pregnant. Hormones that occur during pregnancy contribute to a loosening of the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments so that the baby can exit through the birth canal. Throughout pregnancy, the uterus continually expands, which adds more pressure on the pelvic floor. The combination of these two natural processes in the body can lead to issues with the pelvic floor. Our techniques can help prepare people for c-sections as well as natural births. Therapy can also assist in avoiding future symptoms, providing labor technique education, and improving overall birthing and postpartum experience.

The muscles that make up the pelvic floor are just like any other muscles in the body in that each time strengthening exercises are performed, they will become stronger. In the beginning, the body may tire easily or feel sore, and over the counter pain medication may be necessary. Many patients can be treated effectively with one physical therapy session per week for a total of three to six months, but it varies from person to person. Ultimately, the length of treatment depends on the extent of each patient’s pelvic floor dysfunction as well as their treatment goals.

When starting pelvic floor physical therapy, a therapist will first perform an assessment to determine which exercises and techniques are best suited to addressing a patient’s symptoms. The pelvic floor therapist will then guide the patient through those exercises, as well as dilator and pelvic wand use, which can often be done at home as well as during therapy sessions. Some strategies, like biofeedback and electrical stimulation, may require the assistance or supervision of a physical or occupational therapist.

With any new medical treatment comes a certain degree of trepidation or caution, and it is normal to question whether or not therapy is worthwhile. Fortunately, years of research and medical practice show that the benefits of treating the pelvic floor have the potential to be transformative. Patients are likely to experience relief from pain, better continence, and urge control.

Each patient will have a different experience with pelvic floor physical therapy, as different symptoms require different approaches and techniques. The aim of pelvic floor physical therapy is to help patients strengthen and stabilize or develop relaxation techniques for core muscles that include the pelvic floor, diaphragm, abdomen and back. Common methods of pelvic floor physical therapy include manual therapy, pelvic floor strengthening exercises, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, among others.

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