What to Wear to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
A pelvic floor workout is designed to reduce or eliminate bladder problems, painful sex, and vaginal prolapse in women. It may also be beneficial for those who have recently undergone childbirth or surgery. Your therapist may apply lubricant and press on various points of the pelvic floor muscles to assess their tone, strength, endurance, and control.
When attending pelvic floor physical therapy sessions, it’s essential to wear clothing that allows you to move freely and comfortably. Loose-fitting clothes such as yoga pants and a t-shirt offer coverage while still allowing your therapist access to the areas they need to work on. Avoid tight or restrictive clothing as these can obstruct proper blood flow and nerve conduction to the lower limbs and pelvic area. Tight jeans, in particular, tend to contribute to these problems since they increase pressure on the pelvic floor. Studies have demonstrated that wearing tight pants can cause abnormal movement and posture in the lumbar spine and pelvis, leading to musculoskeletal disorders with pain or discomfort.
Your lower torso is home to the pelvic floor, a hammock-like soft tissue structure designed to support organs like your rectum, bladder, and bowels. But if this structure becomes overstretched or tense, it can lead to various issues. Myofascial pain in the pelvis floor has been reported to be responsible for up to 23% of chronic pelvic pain cases and is the primary factor in 78% of bladder conditions called interstitial cystitis (Harvard Health, 2018). Pelvic floor physical therapists typically utilize gentle internal manual therapy, visualizations, and guided breathing during treatments to release tension in muscles and fascia, promote relaxation and restore blood, lymph and nerve innervation to your pelvic bowl. It is highly recommended to wear warm socks during pelvic floor physiotherapy sessions in order to protect your feet from getting chilled during manipulations on cold floors in the clinic.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a fantastic way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and prevent bladder problems. It’s especially helpful for women with vaginismus, endometriosis, or urinary incontinence after pregnancy or surgery. Kegels, squeezing your pelvic floor and other exercises that engage muscles are all incredibly therapeutic for the pelvic floor and other parts of the body – leading to improved sexual function as well as orgasms. However, you should take great care in selecting your shoes for treatment sessions. Wearing appropriate footwear can make all the difference in your progress and enable therapists to provide more precise exercise prescriptions. High heels that squeeze your toes together, such as high heels, can create tightness in the pelvic floor. On the other hand, ballet flats give your feet room and allow you to center your pelvic floor; this has positive effects on all other horizontal structures in your body such as ankles, knees, hips, and spine.
Your physical therapist may ask you to undress from the waist down for a comprehensive pelvic muscle exam conducted privately. They use non-latex gloves and lubricant on your pelvic floor muscles, as well as performing an internal exam using vagina or rectum as needed. Your therapist will also review your medical history and address any specific worries. This helps them gain a better insight into what’s wrong with your body, so they can suggest an individualized treatment plan to suit each individual. A physical therapist with special training in the pelvic floor will conduct a detailed evaluation of your posture, alignment, and movements. They may also test for balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination; additionally, they test sensory and sensation awareness as well.