What is pelvic floor physical therapy?? By: Dr. Rebecca Gasca, PT, DPT

June 1, 2020 1:50 pm / Category: Uncategorized

In order to fully answer this question that I get on a regular basis, one must understand what the pelvic floor is. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles at the bottom of your pelvis that are essentially responsible for urination, defecation, and sexual activity.

5 “S” Functions of the Pelvic Floor

  • Support of abdominal and pelvic organs
  • Sphincter control of bowel and bladder
  • Sexual function such as achieving and maintaining arousal and orgasm
  • Stability across the pelvis and hips, including transferring force appropriately through spine to lower extremities
  • Sump pump, which is a muscular action that facilitates transfer of lymph (or swelling) from lower extremities and pelvis up through the trunk to be cleaned and recycled by the circulatory system


Now that we understand what a pelvic floor is, let us get to answering the mysterious question of pelvic floor PT.

Did you know:

  • 1 out of 4 women have one or more pelvic floor disorders?
  • 17% of women with a pelvic floor disorder will have urinary incontinence?
  • Nearly 90% of men that undergo prostate surgery will have a pelvic floor disorder?

That’s a lot of people! To put it another way, consider a few of these real life scenarios to help you relate.

Imagine you are a male cyclist with a new onset of groin and buttock pain. You have been to an orthopedic PT, which has helped most of your symptoms, but pain still remains. Pelvic floor PT can help with that! After the resolution of orthopedic impairments, there is a portion of patients that continue to present with symptoms referring from the pelvic floor muscles.

Imagine you are a female who celebrated the birth of her second child 2 months ago. You are experiencing leaking with strong urges to urinate and when you cough, sneeze, and laugh. Everyone tells you this is normal, but your gut tells you something just isn’t right. Your OB-GYN just cleared you to be able to have sex with your partner, but to your dismay you have to stop because it is painful. This concerns you because you’ve never had pain before. There is good news though, pelvic floor PT can address all of these problems! And chances are, they are all related.

OK, great!

What does a pelvic floor examination and treatment plan look like?

Depending on your medical history and subjective examination, your pelvic floor PT may recommend an internal examination along with a screen of external structures. Your pelvic floor PT has additional specialty education and training on how to properly assess and treat these issues. During the examination, your pelvic floor PT will be able to fully understand your mobility and strength limitations and devise an individualized program to help you reach your goals.

Stay tuned into our blog for new information coming out about specific pelvic floor conditions that can be treated with pelvic floor PT.


Dr. Rebecca Gasca

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