Just as the name implies, “Beyond the…” there is more to you and your body than just your pelvic floor.
There is more to you than just your back, your hip, your pelvis, etc.
You are a complex being with different genetics, different life experiences, a difference in types of activities that your body has performed or had to endure.
So having multiple treatment approaches is vital to you not only achieving your goals, but helping you obtain the life and body you want, and the life and body you deserve!
What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy has begun to make its way into social media and occasionally in conversation among mothers. Even less often is it referred by all doctors. It’s still in its infancy because so many women still ask me, “What is it?” or “What do you have to do to fix me?”
For most patients, there are several components that might be similiar, but I will be bold to say that therapy should NOT look the same for you, your friend or sister, etc.! You have different bodies that have different stories that require different treatments
Most patients should experience continued evaluation and assessment of multiple regions of the body (neck, hip, back, pelvis, knee, ankle, etc.) throughout the course of their treatment. Some, not all patients have their pelvic floor assessed, internally and/or externally. This should be done with informed consent by the patient- meaning they understand the reason for having this performed and agree to it without feeling coerced or pressured.
Although this is called Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, it is important to know that there can be contributing factors from other areas of the body impacting the pelvic floor, or vice versa. It is important to identify ALL those contributors to the problem and improve them.
The following is a list of common things that could be performed at Beyond the V (with your consent!):
Soft tissue mobilization/Deep tissue mobilization
Scar Tissue Release
Internal Pelvic Floor or Internal Hip Trigger Point Release
Strengthening/Lengthening of muscles
Kinesiology Taping (KT Tape)
What diagnoses or problems do you treat?
The following are a list of diagnoses that are COMMON in Pelvic Floor PT. If you do not see your diagnosis/issue listed, please do not see that as a reason that this will not work for you. Pelvic Floor PT is an incredibly different approach to viewing your body, and I do not necessarily treat your “diagnosis.” I look at your body as one functioning unit and determine where the issues or symptoms are coming from and address those issues. In the end, I feel certain you are more concerned that you don’t have pain, are able to do what you want, when you want, without any limitations, rather than worrying what your issues or symptoms are labeled or called.
- Stress/Urge Incontinence
- Fecal Incontinence
- Pain with Intercourse (Dyspareunia)
- Vaginismus, Vulvodynia, Vulvar Vestibulitis
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Rectocele, Cystocele, Enterocele)
- Abdominal, Pelvic, Back, Hip Pain
- Painful Periods
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Hip Pain
- Pregnancy Pain (abdomen, back, hip, wrist, etc.) or other Issues
- Diastasis Recti
- Postpartum Issues
Craniosacral Therapy is a soft and gentle manual therapy technique that can free up tension in the body to remove dysfunction and pain in order to enhance the body’s function and health. Created by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger from years of of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University.
The technique is light, the weight of a nickel coin or less. The goal is free up restrictions around the surrounding tissues and structures of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord), which can also impact other systems of the body: endocrine, digestion, musculoskeletal, etc.
We live in a fast paced society and your body has to tolerate all the tension and stress that comes with that. This can create dysfunction/restrictions in the tissues around the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and can create a domino effect to other systems of your body.
The good news is that these areas of dysfunction and restriction can be found and addressed with this technique. The touch is so light and is used in multiple areas of the body to treat the tissues that could be impacting the brain, spinal cord and other systems of the body. This can assist the body in healing and allow the body to return to optimal function.
This is not meant to scare you into feeling like you need Craniosacral Therapy every day! It is only said to illustrate that your body is quite the masterpiece!
Many of us may be struggling with issues that have yet to be resolved by other means. Craniosacral Therapy is an option that not many will seek out right away, but after having one or more sessions, the consensus is, “I wish I would have known about this years ago!”
Because of the widespread effect that Craniosacral Therapy can have on the body, it can be used to treat a large variety of issues:
- Neck/Back Pain
- Orthopedic/Musculoskeletal Issues
- Learning Disabilities
- Balance and Coordination Issues
- Spinal Cord Issues
- Difficulty with learning or emotional issues
- Stress and other related issues
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
- Connective Tissue Diagnoses
- PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder)
- Post operative issues
- Immune issues
–adapted from Upledger Institute
Whether you become a patient or client- I would love for you to join NKU Sorority- weekly trainings, pelvic floor exercises, & exclusive content!
How do I know if I need Pelvic Floor PT? Do you treat________?
If you had a baby….
If you have a pelvic floor….
If you leak, have pain with sex, abdominal pain, pain with pregnancy, painful periods, back/hip/pelvic pain constipation, prolapse, endometriosis, postpartum issues, C section, have had unsuccessful attempts with PT in the past….
There are a lot of diagnoses and issues that can be treated with Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, and so rather than listing 100 diagnoses, please feel free to contact me if you are curious. (In my 13+ years, I have only ever found 3 pelvic floors that didn’t need some sort of treatment or help!)
What should I expect at a visit?
Each visit is 60 minutes, however, there are circumstances in which a longer appointment can be scheduled. You will have filled out paperwork before your visit, so the appointment can be spent working with you on whatever your specific goals are. Saying that an evaluation will be performed at the first visit is a little misleading, because if I have done my job correctly (& I hold myself to a high standard !) you will leave with a different body than what you came with, and you will come back with a different body than what you left with. So there is a quick assessment each visit & your plan is updated each time so you are constantly making progress (I also give you phone/email access to me if you’re a current patient to advance or modify your program between visits if needed to continue to move you through your journey!) This is also why each visit is the same price- not a radical price increase for the first visit when there can be a lot talking, and minimal treatment or work done, with minimal change. We minimize the talking, choose the areas that are most likely the “heavy hitters” to your issues and get to work within the first 10 minutes.
An internal pelvic floor exam may be performed, but rest assured this is at your pace and your discretion. I may recommend it as part of treatment, but I respect and honor informed consent. This means that I will present you with all my thoughts regarding your body, its areas of dysfunction and limitations, and give you my suggested options to help you achieve your goals, but ultimately you decide what you’re agreeable to or not (this is applicable to ALL medical and healthcare services!)
I strive to provide treatment that allows you to notice a difference quickly, either immediately upon leaving or in the next few days. I take it seriously that you are seeking to change your body and how it functions. I will always give “homework” for you to work on and that can be as little or as much as you prefer.
It has been mentioned by patients that they feel like they are hanging out with a friend or a sister. Of course there may be times when certain treatment techniques may require a “medical” feel.
Why do you perform an internal exam?
This is a common, but important question! If you went to see a Physical Therapist or a doctor, had knee pain, and they did not even look at your knee, only talked about it– you might question their abilities.
The pelvic floor muscles are all accessible by an internal pelvic floor assessment/palpation (some hip muscles are even more easily accessed through internal assessment/palpation). I do not always suggest that this be performed first, but there are a number of reasons that it may be necessary. If you have further questions, please feel free to ask prior to or at your appointment so I can better tailor my answer to you and your body.
How is this going to help when I have been to Physical Therapy before? How is this going to be different than doing a postpartum specialist ‘s program?
Oftentimes having another set of eyes and having someone with different experiences can provide a different outcome. I strongly believe that having a large bag of “tricks” (many manual therapy techniques, exercise and stretch creation based on your body, & more!) is helpful in providing different approaches to determine what options are the best for you. We all know that every BODY is different, and so every BODY needs a different approach.
Buying an online program gives you mostly generic advice, quite possibly from someone who hasn’t been able to assess their clients in person, or work with their hands on nothing that is customized to you, your goals, your limitations, or your history. Your body has experienced different things and has different genetics than the next girl and to honor that, you deserve programming that is customized to you, by someone who has hands on experience of working with thousands of women.
You keep talking about women, do you see men and kids?
There is a lot of talk a lot about women, but men and kids have pelvic floors too! I do treat men for pelvic pain and incontinence, as well as kids for constipation, bed wetting, and leaking. There is a need for this, and not many Physical Therapists who can treat these issues. Please contact me with questions or schedule an appointment.
Does insurance cover this?
Yes they do–depending on your benefits! The structure at Beyond the V is a little different than most Physical Therapy clinics. I have you pay upfront, give you the information needed to submit the claim to your insurance yourself, and you can receive the reimbursement based on your benefits. I do have a worksheet that can help guide the conversation with your insurance to determine your specific benefits.
How long do I have to come before I see results?
This depends on what you are being treated for, your goals, and how long you want to come. Please know that I am incredibly mindful of the money and time on your part that is invested in this. I will respect and attempt to create a plan based on your specifics needs and restrictions that will be the most effective. I often have patients that want to come for a few visits, and then attempt on their own for a month or so before returning…not a problem! I have some patients that want to come once a week for 3 months until they are 100%…not a problem! That being said, my typical recommendation is 3-6 visits, with assessments each time. I work extremely hard to be efficient & effective with our time, so that I am able to keep my “visits per patient” below the national average (12) and my average is half the national average. My goal is not keep you as a patient for long periods of time–unless you want to!