Home > Blog > Sexual dysfunction > What does an initial pelvic health physiotherapy appointment involve?
We understand that some people get nervous about attending their first pelvic health physiotherapy appointment, because it is new to them and they don’t know what to expect.
We have made this video to help you understand what an initial appointment involves and how we can help put your worries at rest. The initial assessment and examination will take up to one hour and will provide plenty of time for you to ask questions, and have a good understanding of your condition and treatment plan. To assess and treat these conditions you will always be seen in a private treatment room where your confidentiality is paramount.
An initial appointment involves a full history including a history of the problem that you are coming to seek treatment for, medical history and family history. We discuss any surgery you have had, medications you are on; we discuss sleep, diet, exercise and the requirements of your job. We get a full understanding of what you are hoping to achieve from treatment, and what you are wanting to get back to.
We then complete a comprehensive assessment which includes a postural and breathing assessment, assessment of strength and any stiffness in the body. We will look for any problems through spine or abdomen. If it is indicated and you feel comfortable, we will complete an internal vaginal or rectal examination to evaluate the condition and guide exercise instruction . This examination is performed by observing and/or palpating the perineal region including the vagina and/or rectum. This evaluation will assess skin condition, reflexes, muscle tone, length, strength and endurance, scar mobility and function of the pelvic floor region. It gives accurate information about the pelvic floor muscles, and helps us identify what might specifically be causing any pelvic pain. It allows us to obtain accurate information about the pelvic organs and how they might be contributing to any continence issues.
We then get started with treatment will be based on the findings at the initial assessment, and may include manual therapy to external muscles and joints; internal releases to the pelvic floor; stretching, strengthening or relaxation of muscles; education about your condition; lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, stress management; pelvic floor muscle training; biofeedback; electrical muscle stimulation; bladder and bowel re-training and postural re-education. A Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can help correctly identify the pelvic floor muscles and make sure exercises are performed optimally to rehabilitate the integrated core and continence system.
After the appointment we discuss self care, and how to get the most out of the appointment. We will give you a detailed management plan and / or exercise program so that you know exactly what is expected and needed to get you back to doing the things you live and live an active, happy and healthy life.
Some results can be felt immediately after the first session, however for permanent changes to be made it generally takes a little longer. Usually three or four treatments are indicated initially, then we can touch base semi-regularly until you are back doing the things you love. This is due to the complex and chronic nature of most pelvic health problems, meaning it takes time to change behaviour, and strengthen / relax muscles and co-ordinate body systems to optimise function. The greatest success occurs when you are an active participant in your treatment program, and follow the advice given.