What To Expect From Your Pelvic Health Assessment
All interactions between the therapist and client are completely confidential. Informed consent is required prior to initial assessment. Verbal and signed consent is also required before your therapist can shared any information with your medical doctor, specialist or other health professional.
Pelvic health issues bring with them frustration, stress, anxiety and depression. With that said, we utilize a biopsychosocial approach to understand you as a whole person, taking into consideration all the different facets that may be contributing to your experience.
A thorough understanding of the current problem and all previous health issues is very important. You will asked to complete our digital intake forms prior to your initial assessment so that your provider can gain an understanding of all the issues that might be affecting you.
Most pelvic health specialists have orthopedic backgrounds. As such, a postural screen, spinal movement analysis, gait analysis, pelvic girdle and lower extremity motion and strength testing is part of the assessment.
Analyzing your breathing pattern and breath awareness is important because the diaphragm, core and pelvic floor work together. Many people suffer from poor breathing mechanics and don’t even know it. Additionally, many people hold their breath, which profoundly affects the function of the pelvic floor.
Your therapist will examine your abdominal wall and all the muscles externally around the pelvis for excessive tension. Any dysfunction of these muscles can affect the function of the pelvic floor and vice-versa.
Internal & External Exam
Palpation of pelvic floor muscles and perineum can be done without an internal exam although may sometimes be needed. An internal exams provide your therapist a lot of information though much can be gained from assessing externally. Keep in mind that palpation is a subjective measure with variability. By palpating the muscles near the pelvic floor muscles (including some of the hip muscles that are also pelvic floor muscles) we can gather a lot of what’s going on. Furthermore, there are certain conditions when internal examination is not indication.
Coordination, endurance and fatigue-ability of the muscles will also be tested.
Summary & Explanation
At the end of the assessment the findings, issues and goals are summarized and explained. You will leave the appointment with specific education, exercises and strategies to help you manage your individual problem and issues.