What is pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialty that focuses on the dysfunctions in the pelvic region of the body. This includes conditions of the abdomen, back, pelvis, hips and thighs (think “bike short region”).  However, our body is complex and I take a whole woman approach. Thus a full body assessment of alignment, movement, strength and flexibility will always be performed.

Do I need a referral?

Maine is a direct access state, which means you are able to have physical therapy treatment without a prescription or referral from a physician.

Please note however, if you are seeking reimbursement from your health insurance provider, they may require a prescription.

What can I expect at the evaluation?

The evaluation begins with a conversation about your past medical history, review your intake forms as well as review your specific goals. Typical measurements assessed include posture and alignment, flexibility, movement patterns, strength and other tests related to your complaints. For pelvic floor related conditions, an internal examination (vaginal or rectal) may be performed to assess pelvic floor tension, strength and function. Read my blog post on What to Expect During the Pelvic Floor Evaluation for details. The session will end with a summary of the findings, possible treatment and a simple home program to begin.

Does everyone have to get an internal evaluation?

For pelvic floor dysfunction, an internal vaginal and/or rectal examination is the gold standard; however, this does not need to happen on the first visit or at all. You are in control of your care.  I will explain everything thoroughly so you understand why the evaluation is important and ensure you are comfortable throughout your session. It is your choice as to participate in any part of the assessment/treatment. With this in mind, the pelvic floor is only one piece of the puzzle; there are many other structures of the pelvic region that are assessed externally and are often the focus for the majority of the treatments.

Can I still come to my appointment during my menstrual cycle?

Yes. If your flow is light and you feel comfortable, internal pelvic floor work is still appropriate. If your flow is heavy and/or you feel uncomfortable, internal work is not necessary. There are plenty of other things we can focus on!

What Should I Wear to My Appointment?

Wear or bring comfortable clothing you can move easily in. If you forget, that’s o.k. too, I can make pretty much anything work. Generally, you do not need to bring sneakers.

Can I Bring My Child With Me to the Appointment?

It is totally up to you. Some sessions, we will be focused on relaxation and/or performing internal work, so if you feel you will be unable to relax with your child in the room, maybe it would be best to find a time that you would have childcare. I do offer late hours (until 8pm ) for just this reason. Please feel free to nurse or change a diaper while we talk (babies always have blow outs in my presence, it’s a gift, really). However, I am happy to hold a fussy baby so mom can focus on herself!

How many sessions will I need to treat my issue?

It depends. The amount of appointments needed is very individualized, and I can better answer this question after the first visit. Typically, I recommend sessions on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Will you teach me exercises I can do at home?

Yes! We will work together to develop a customized home program to include exercises, proper posture for your body and education on how to properly care for yourself that is realistic to your lifestyle and goals. My goal is to make it as easy as possible to integrate your home program into your everyday activities.  

What is the cancellation policy?

I ask that you cancel at least 24 hours prior to your session via phone, email or online. If you do not show for your appointment or cancel after this time, you are subject to a full session fee.

How do I find out if insurance will cover my treatment?

Please refer to the insurance worksheet when asking your insurance provider of your out-of-network benefits. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) you may also be reimbursed through that provider. I will issue you a super bill receipt upon request.

How do I pay for treatments?

Payments are due at time of service. Cash, check, credit cards and health savings accounts (HSAs) are accepted. You will receive an invoice (super bill) to then submit for reimbursement from your insurance provider or FSA.