Getting a complete history is really important in order to understand your condition and how it has been affecting your life. So for the first part of the appointment, I will be asking a lot of questions — about treatments you may have already tried, surgeries you’ve undergone, your birth history, your toileting habits and whether it is painful to urinate, have a bowel movement, or have intercourse with a partner. I’ll listen to what you have to say and jot down some notes.
Yes, these are personal topics and it may be difficult for you to discuss them openly. Please know that our conversations are entirely confidential and the more complete of a history that you can provide, the more thoroughly I can understand your problem, provide an accurate diagnosis and develop your personalized treatment program for our sessions together.
After getting your history, I do a postural and musculoskeletal assessment: basically, I look at the way your joints and muscles move, their range of motion, strength and endurance, and assess any imbalances you have that may be contributing to your condition. Then, with your permission, I conduct an external and internal pelvic floor muscle exam to check your pelvic floor muscles and identify what other factors may be contributing to the issues you’re dealing with. There are no stirrups or speculum involved, and we can stop at any time. If at any point you feel uncomfortable or in pain, let me know immediately. Though I do this work with my patients every day, I completely understand that what is a totally normal day of work for me may be a highly stressful or anxiety-provoking experience for others. My priority is to ensure that you feel as comfortable and as safe as possible throughout your visit. Pelvic floor physical therapy is only successful if we work together and communicate openly.
Afterwards, we will go over my findings, address any questions or concerns you may have, and discuss our treatment plan going forward to meet your goals.