What to expect for my 1st Pelvic Physical Therapy Visit  - Legacy Physical Therapy
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What to expect for my 1st Pelvic Physical Therapy Visit 

What to Expect on Your First Pelvic Physical Therapy Visit Blog Thumbnail Graphic (1)

You have taken the first step of scheduling a pelvic floor physical therapy evaluation but you are now wondering the logistics of what will happen during this first visit. You may be wondering if we can treat your symptoms or fear how the exam will go. You are not alone! 

We are going to walk you through the entire procedure so you have nothing to worry about. We can break up your first pelvic physical therapy appointment into 6 parts. 

Check In/Welcome to the Clinic

  • When you walk in, you will be greeted by one of our friendly patient care coordinators. They will get you checked in, collect any necessary paperwork from you, and make sure you feel welcome while you wait for your pelvic physical therapist.

Introduction and Getting to Know You

  • Your pelvic physical therapist will meet you in the waiting room and escort you back to one of our private treatment rooms. There we will take time to learn more about you and what brings you to our clinic.
  • Next your pelvic floor physical therapist will take a thorough history and further discuss your symptoms and you goals (so we can meet them!). Depending on what you are coming in for, we will ask things like what your bladder, bowel habits are like. We will ask about your obstetric history, any medical testing you have done, questions about your lifestyle like your current physical activity levels. 
  • We will go over pelvic floor, spine, and/or hip anatomy as it relates to your symptoms, we may even bring out a 3-d model of a pelvis and point to different muscles and organs to give you a better understanding of the pelvic floor. 
  • We will talk through our plan for the physical exam and highlight that before any action is taken we will be asking for verbal consent from you to continue with the exam. 

Movement Exam

  • This part of the evaluation will vary based on what symptoms you are coming in for
  • In general we start with a full body mobility and general strength exam that can include examples such as looking at how your back & hips move, your posture, what the strength of your core muscles are, and how you are breathing. We curate the exam to look at things that can impact your reported symptoms. 

Pelvic Floor Exam

  • The Gold standard for assessing the pelvic floor for both males and females is via a 1 finger exam however if you are not comfortable with this we do have other ways of assessing the muscles without internal assessment. 
  • With internal exams for both males and females we are assessing things like the tone of the pelvic floor muscles, the strength, coordination and general activation pattern of the muscles when we ask you to contract, relax or bear down. The exam is always targeted based on what specific symptoms you have reported. 
  • We will re-discuss the plan for the internal exam with you and ask for consent. The therapist will set up the table with sheets and step out of the room and you will be instructed to undress from the waist down and have a sheet draped over you. 
  • For females, with full consent, an internal exam is completed with 1 finger inserted vaginally. If there is a rectal component to your symptoms, a 1 finger rectal exam may be needed.
  • For males, with full consent, an internal exam is completed with1 finger inserted rectally. 
  • After the exam, we will step out of the room and let you get dressed again privately. 

Discussion of Findings & Treatment Plan

  • We will start by highlighting the things we found on exam parts 2 & 3 and how they connect with your symptoms. 
  • Based on your full exam, we will discuss our assessment and our recommendations for what we think will help you recover best 
  • We will come up with our plan of care including how many visits and how long you may need to be seen, however because everyone responds to therapy differently this plan can change. 

Check Out

  • We love to start treatment the day of the evaluation. Based on what we found we will give you initial exercises or strategies to start doing day 1 to start you on your recovery journey. 

Our evaluations are always individualized to what symptoms and consents you provide to treatment, but this is a good overview of what to expect during your first treatment! If you feel like you could benefit from seeing a pelvic floor PT, don’t hesitate to give us a call and talk to one of our pelvic floor physical therapists