I know you just read that title and thought, “What the hell does pelvic floor physical therapy entail? I doubt it’ll be changing my life!”
It’s totally ok. I had the exact same thought when my surgeon told me I had pelvic floor dysfunction and needed pelvic floor physical therapy. He also told me I needed Valium suppositories that needed to be inserted into my vagina. Say WHAT?! My head was nodding and my mouth was saying, “Ok. Got it. Yep.” while he explained how to go about finding a pelvic floor physical therapist and where to order this Valium, but the rest of my body was reacting in a very different way! My eyeballs were popping right out of my head, my face was turning the color of a fire hydrant, my heart was pounding straight out of my chest, and my brain was screaming, “you are NOT doing this!”.
You know what, though? When you have endometriosis and you’ve spent 15+ years of your life spending every.single.day either in pain that compares to labor or sitting on the toilet–you tend to do ANYTHING that you’re told might help! Even if it means inserting some strong drug into your hoo-ha and making a call to find some insane person who wants to do physical therapy on a person’s pelvic floor!
And I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I’ve become to those crazy pelvic floor physical therapists! They are saints. No joke. Pelvic floor physical therapy has changed my life, and if you suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction and endometriosis, it will change your life too!
Why might a person need pelvic floor physical therapy?
For a number of reasons. For me, it was because my endometriosis and scar tissue was attached to many organs in my body, primarily on my left side. Your pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock holding everything where it is supposed to be inside–bowels, bladder, etc. My pelvic floor muscles retrained themselves to do everything a new way, accommodating my misplaced pelvic organs. The muscles were tight, rigid, and spastic. For me this primarily caused pressure, spasms, aches, bowel pain, constipation, and other irritable bowel type symptoms. Some people have incontinence issues with the bladder and/or bowel, or pain in the vagina or rectum when going to the bathroom.
What does pelvic floor physical therapy entail?
Pelvic floor physical therapy is often done in a 2-step approach. Many therapists will need to work internally. A friend of mine, who I met because of our equal struggles with endo, was told by her physical therapist that things were “very angry inside”. Because of this, she undergoes internal manipulation as well as external. External pelvic floor physical therapy (what I am currently receiving) includes a variety of exercises like kegels, hip rotations, toe circles, guided imagery, etc. My therapist also performs releases of many trigger points located in my pelvic, buttocks, abdominal, and vaginal area, as well as skin folding of the abdomen. It can be a little awkward at first having someone all up in your business, but the relief from the symptoms I mentioned above is worth every bit of the awkwardness!
I started out doing pelvic floor physical therapy once a week with my PT, Bridget. It got to the point where I was feeling like I could benefit from a little more.Turning to my trusty internet friend YouTube, I came across the FemFusion Fitness channel. Author, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and owner of this channel, Dr. Brianne Grogan, has THE most amazing line up of not only pelvic floor exercises, but educational videos as well.
Using her videos in combination with my weekly visits to physical rehab has completely transformed my days. I’ve gone from being in pain due to non-stop spasms to functioning like a normal human being in just over a month. Best of all for a hippie like myself, I was able to stop the use of that suppository after a very short time! Woohoo for natural living 100% (well, almost 100%…because #caramelm&ms).
Even if you don’t have a need for pelvic floor physical therapy, you’re sure to find a workout that will fit your needs. (I myself am super excited to have been released by my PT to start regular workouts again and can start Dr. Bri’s Ab Camp which launches tomorrow!) I also should throw in that I can not WAIT until this fall! Bri told me yesterday that she’s working on a yoga video for those of us with endometriosis! I’m pretty stoked about this y’all!
And if I haven’t rambled enough, I have to add that I just recently purchased Dr. Bri’s book, “Lady Bits”, on Amazon and am waiting for that 2 day Prime shipping!
How do you find a pelvic floor physical therapist?
I am absolutely no expert on pelvic floor physical therapy, but I can tell you that it has helped me tremendously. If pelvic floor physical therapy has been suggested to you, check out Dr. Bri and also find a therapist close to you! You can easily locate someone who fits your needs by clicking here. If you’ve not heard of pelvic floor physical therapy before today, but suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned earlier be sure to talk to your doctor. Inquire as to whether pelvic floor physical therapy may be right for you! Most insurances do require a prescription for physical therapy of any kind. Be sure to talk to insurance and/or your rehab center to find out the protocol.
As always, I’m a third grade teacher. In no way am I a physician of any kind. My advice here should not replace that of your trusted health professional.
If you’ve been through, or are going through, pelvic floor physical therapy what advice can you add? Leave your tips in the comments! If you have questions for me, leave those there as well or hit the contact button!
PS-This post does contain an affiliate link from Amazon. If you purchase through this link, I get a tiny kickback. My testimony to Dr. Brianne Grogan is truly my own and is not being compensated in any way.7 Like this post and show us s'more love!