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Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Floor


At Rose Physical Therapy, both of our Washington, DC offices have experts in pelvic floor physical therapy for both men and women. Among our pelvic floor specialists team includes physical therapists with doula experience. But most important is the additional expertise that our therapists uniquely possess in the Washington, DC area, including special certifications through McKenzie MDT, Maitland, Active Release Techniques (ART), and Trigger Point Dry Needling, to name a few.

By being uniquely well trained in all of these diagnosis and treatment methods for pelvic floor dysfunction, Rose physical therapists who are pevlic floor specialists have a tremendous knowledge of your body and the cutting edge ways to treat your discomfort.


What is pelvic floor physical therapy?

The pelvic floor is the group of muscles lining the pelvis and they support your organs, control bowel and bladder and provide sexual function for women and men. Like all other muscles in the body, the pelvic floor can lose motor control, become weak or tight resulting in a variety of issues. An expert physical therapist at Rose here in Washington, DC can design a treatment plan and pelvic floor exercises to help you treat pelvic floor dysfunction. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy involves the evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor, which are specialized physical therapy skills. The evaluation of the pelvic floor involves taking a history and both an external and internal examination. An internal exam may or may not occur within the first visit, it depends on your symptoms. The main things that we are assessing during an internal portion of the exam are the overall health, muscle trigger points, strength, coordination and prolapse.

Something we hear quite frequently from clients is that they didn’t realize this part of the body could be treated, or that what they were experiencing was “normal”. Just because something is “common” does not make it “normal” and for most issues of the pelvic floor there is help.

Another concern is of course privacy, and at Rose Physical Therapy Group we take this extremely seriously. All of our physical therapists have private treatment rooms in our Washington, DC offices. Although Rose does have the "exercise area" that is common in most clinics, we are far more advanced and use treatment rooms for every client, every time. We also use sheets and towels to keep you feeling as private and secure as we can within the private treatment room. 

Based on the examination results, your Rose physical therapist will design an individualized treatment program to meet your specific needs and goals. Your Rose physical therapist may:

  • Show you how to identify the appropriate muscles, such as the pelvic floor, deep abdominals, and diaphragm.
  • Educate you on how to use these muscles correctly for activities like exercise, posture correction, getting up from a chair, or squatting to pick up a child or pick something up from the floor.
  • Teach you exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected muscles and retrain them, so they work together normally.
  • Teach you techniques to improve blood flow and tissue function in the pelvic area.
  • Teach you appropriate pelvic floor muscle exercises.

Depending on your symptoms and level of discomfort, Rose physical therapists may use biofeedback to help make you aware of how your pelvic floor muscles work, and how you can control them better. Biofeedback can include attaching electrodes to the area to measure your muscle activity as it displays on a monitor, and will work with you to help you understand and change those readings. Electrode placement is usually external but can also be internal. The use of biofeedback in treating pelvic floor is rare, requires specialized training, and is a unique skill we have at Rose. Your physical therapist also may use gentle stimulation to improve your awareness of your muscles so that your pelvic floor exercises are effective in treating your specific pelvic floor dysfunction.


When is it time to see a pelvic floor physical therapist:

  • Urinary Leakage or incontinence
    • Small or large leakage of urine often occurs with exertion such as getting up from sitting, jumping, coughing, sneezing, running, lifting weights
  • Frequent urination or nocturia
    • Constantly needing to use the restroom, always using the bathroom before leaving the house, before meetings or long care rides
    • Getting up during the night to use the bathroom
  • Feelings of incomplete emptying
    • Having just gone to the bathroom and still feeling the urge to pee
  • Pelvic pain including vaginismus or dyspareunia
    • Constant or intermittent pain in the pelvic region, pubic bone, pain with penetration, tampon insertion or gynecological examinations
  • Feeling of heaviness or bottoming out sensations
    • Feeling as if something is falling out of your pelvis with or without activity
  • Unresolved hip or low back pain
    • Hip or low back pain which has been treated unsuccessfully in physical therapy may have pelvic floor involvement
  • Post-partum after childbirth
    • Diastasis recti, C-section scar, pelvic floor scarring following tears during labor or episiotomy
  • Testicular pain and pain with ejaculation

Pelvic floor physical therapy includes strengthening, manual therapy (both internally and externally), muscle re-education and coordination training, education of specific pelvic floor disorders, dietary changes, home exercise programs.


Will you work with my Obstetrician Gynecologist (OB/BYN)?

When important to advancing your care and at the discretion and direction of all those involved, Rose physical therapists accept referrals and have HIPAA compliant email that is compliant with federal privacy guidelines, and are willing to work with your OB/BYN to ensure you receive the best care possible. Note that involvement of your physician is not usually necessary. We note that Rose Physical Therapists are unique in that they have advanced skillsets that enable them to diagnose and treat without oversight--we develop our own treatment plans using our special skillsets which are distinct from OB/BYN work, which is why you want to see a physical therapists in the first place.


Your experience at Rose Physical Therapy

Rose Physical Therapy Group has long provided the best, expert pelvic floor treatments in the Washington, DC area. We also work with other area experts in this specialized field of care, however it is the unique skill acumen possessed by Rose therapists, who are skilled in not only understanding of the pelvic floor but have specialized training in many other treatments that may not seem related but often are, which makes Rose the gold standard of care in the Washington, DC area. When choosing a physical therapist for pelvic floor, you need to find someone who is an expert with years of experience or speicalized training, both of which exist at Rose.

If you are experiencing pelvic discomfort, please reach out to our team to schedule an appointment at either our downtown Washington, DC office near Dupont Circle, or at our Navy Yard location just a few blocks from Capitol Hill. Both our locations have physical therapists who are experts in Women's Health and pelvic floor health for both men and women.