The ultimate goal of pelvic floor therapy is to improve the functioning of the pelvic floor. This may be achieved through physical exercises, lifestyle modifications, patient education, and hands-on or manual treatment to eliminate if not decrease symptoms.

Pelvic floor therapy entails the assessment and treatment of muscle groups in charge of urinary, bowel, and sexual activities or functions. If the muscles in these areas are not functioning at their optimum this can lead to various symptoms. Symptoms for pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions may include incontinence, bowel or bladder retention, increased urgency and frequency, and pelvic pain as well.

Here are 5 good-to-knows about pelvic floor therapy and pelvic floor health.

1. Pelvic Floor Therapy is More Than Just Kegels

Weak pelvic floor muscles may lead to several symptoms like incontinence, urinary urgency and frequency, and as well as prolapse. Pelvic floor strengthening exercises or Kegels play a crucial role in helping symptoms improve when the pelvic floor is found to be weak.

Depending on the symptoms manifested, however, Kegels are not always the best solution to the problem. The pelvic floor muscles can become tight as in any other muscle in the body. In this case, patients may experience different sets of symptoms. For pelvic floor muscle tightening, patients may experience pelvic pain, feeling of incomplete bladder or bowel emptying, pain during or after sexual intercourse, and a weak or hesitant urinary stream. For this case, the goal of pelvic floor therapy is to have a strong pelvic floor, not the other way around (tight pelvic floor).

For tight pelvic floor muscles, pelvic floor therapy exercises focus on relaxation and gentle stretches. These exercises help “release” the pelvic floor muscles to aid the improvement of symptoms in patients.

2. Pelvic Floor Therapy Works on the Pelvic Floor as Part of the Patient’s Core

A patient’s “core” involves not only the abdominal muscles. Referred to as the core, it is the area that begins at the patient’s diaphragm down to the pelvic floor. Having defined the core employed in pelvic floor therapy, the components include the diaphragm, abdominal muscles, muscles of the lower back, and pelvic floor muscles. As a whole, these muscles work hand in hand to support an individual’s abdominal contents. Pelvic floor therapy clinics are concerned with all of these parts functioning properly. During pelvic floor therapy, physiotherapists should assess the parts of the core and develop exercises that build their functions.

3. Pelvic Floor Therapy Offers Benefits to Anyone

Anyone can have pelvic floor problems and therefore can benefit from a visit to a pelvic floor therapy clinic. There may be certain groups who are more prone or have higher chances of getting dysfunctions of the pelvic floor, they may even experience varying symptoms, but a pelvic floor therapy may still benefit anyone.

Here are a few groups that may benefit most from a pelvic floor therapy:

Prenatal and Postpartum Women

Growing a baby, going through labor, and undergoing recovery after delivery, maybe the most common instances where pelvic floor concerns crop up. Women’s bodies go through a lot of change in this short period. Pain in the lower back, tailbone, hips, and pelvis is not uncommon for most individuals.

Women, prenatal and postpartum, may also experience symptoms like incontinence, heaviness, pain with sexual intercourse, urgency, and frequency. Pelvic floor therapy can improve these symptoms.

Post-menopausal Women

Women in their menopause stage experience a significant decrease in their estrogen levels. Estrogen is crucial to maintaining optimal pelvic floor area functioning. Women going through menopause may experience common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor therapy with its manual techniques, exercise, and patient education coupled with medical advice may ease up the symptoms of this group.


Any male can have pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. The most prevalent cause of pelvic floor dysfunction in men are chronic pelvic pain, prostatitis, post-surgical, and after prostatectomy. Symptoms experienced by men in this group include the feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder/bowel, slow/weak stream, pelvic pain, incontinence, and ED (erectile dysfunction). Pelvic floor therapy can ease up these symptoms as well.

4. Pelvic Floor Therapy Sessions and their Expectations

It helps to know what to expect in the initial and succeeding sessions of pelvic floor therapy.

During the assessment, a physical therapist will get a detailed history of the case. The external examination will follow suit. External examinations in a pelvic floor therapy session include assessing the patient’s posture, flexibility, and lower back, hips, and pelvic muscle strength.

Thereafter, an external and internal exam may be performed within the initial pelvic floor therapy session to assess the pelvic floor muscles. This can be done vaginally and/or through the rectum with women and through the rectum as well for men.

The internal examination may not be likely recommended but, when necessary, this procedure will provide helpful information on the pelvic floor muscles status. It is not likely done when a patient is experiencing acute pain or is uncomfortable with the procedure.

Based on the assessment finding from the initial pelvic floor therapy session, a tailor-fit treatment plan will be agreed upon and implemented. Pelvic floor therapy treatments can include patient education primarily, pelvic exercises, and manual therapy.

Succeeding pelvic floor therapy sessions will focus on the treatment of the patient’s symptoms. Treatment varies from one individual to another and further assessments may be done by the physical therapist doctor to be completed. Some lab tests may also be recommended to get a fuller picture of the patient’s concerns and progressing symptoms relief.

5. Pelvic Floor Therapy Seeks No Pain for Patients

A pelvic floor therapy clinic’s aim for pelvic floor treatments is to improve patient symptoms. The patients may experience some degree of discomfort considering different treatment approaches, but the goal of the physical therapist doctor is to not create any painful response.

Within assessments, the pelvic floor therapy doctor will be identifying the causes of symptoms. For example, lower back pain may be experienced with bending over, the doctor may ask to see the movement to assess the back movements. In this process, some pain may be experienced but this should not aggravate the symptoms or give patients further paid afterward.

Also, during pelvic floor therapy sessions, hands-on techniques are utilized to provide symptoms relief and they may create some mild discomfort short of becoming painful. Home exercises and techniques taught by pelvic floor therapy clinics also abide by the same principle. Discomforts may be experienced during exercise but patients should not be feeling pain anytime within the regimen.

Pelvic floor dysfunctions affect both men and women to great lengths. Get help in the treatment and resolve pelvic health disorders by going to pelvic floor therapy clinics near you.