FAQ -Pelvic Floor Therapy

What is pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) is a type of treatment for people with certain kinds of pelvic floor disorders.  The therapist assesses your pelvic floor and designs a treatment plan for you.

What kind of conditions can be treated with pelvic floor physical therapy?

Pelvic floor disorders that can be treated with pelvic floor physical therapy include:

  • leaking of urine
  • leaking of stool
  • constipation
  • pelvic pain
  • pain with sex
Is pelvic therapy just for women?

Not true. Men have pelvic floor muscles just like women, and therefore, they can also have pelvic floor dysfunction. The most common problems that need pelvic therapy for men are post-prostatectomy incontinence and some cases of male pelvic pain.

Is pelvic floor therapy different than Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises are only one kind of pelvic floor exercise. Your pelvic floor therapist will evaluate your overall pelvic health and determine what kind of pelvic floor exercises are best for you.

Can I just do Kegel exercises by myself at home?

Kegel exercises can be very difficult to perform correctly. Actually 30% of women do them incorrectly and in some cases, this can put them at risk of worsening their condition.

If you are not sure that you’re doing your Kegels correctly, then it is a good place to start.

Also, not everyone needs Kegels, sometimes the issue is pelvic floor muscle tightness, not weakness. Pelvic therapy can help you figure that out.

What happens in the first session?

During the initial evaluation, your pelvic health therapist will ask specific questions to try and understand the cause of your symptoms.

Do I need to have an internal examination?

An internal exam is the best way to determine how well your pelvic muscles are working and to discover the root causes of your problems. However, an internal exam will only be completed if you are completely comfortable with it.

Is physical examination for pelvic floor painful?

Healthy muscles should not be painful to touch. If pain happens during an exam, you should inform your therapist immediately.

Will I need pelvic therapy if I am planning to have surgery?

Surgery will often correct an anatomical problem, but it is important to have improved muscular control and function to help a person attain optimal outcomes after surgery. Research has shown that physical therapy prior to and after surgery improves patient outcomes as well as reduces the need for future surgery.

What happens after the first session if I don’t want to go on with the therapy?

We will explain to you the nature of your problem and tell you what your best options for treatment would be. But it is always your decision on how you would like to handle your care.

Will I get an exercise program to do at home?

You will receive education on your condition and suggestions for things that you can change right away to help. You may go home with some home exercise program, according to your condition.

What should I wear?

Comfortable and loose-fitting clothing.

How long is the session?

Your first appointment may last for up to 60 minutes for all your questions to be answered and to allow your therapist to understand your symptoms.  After the evaluation, you can expect your sessions to last 30 to 60 minutes. 

How frequent will be the sessions?

You will be expected to come once a week or every two weeks for one to three months.

How long it takes before I notice the results?

If you are committed to your appointments and the home exercise plan, you should begin to see changes in your symptoms in three to four weeks.  

FAQ -Nerve Conduction Studies and EMG

What are Nerve conduction studies and EMG (Electromyography)?

EMG (Electromyography) measures the electrical activity of muscles and NCS (Nerve Conduction Studies) measure the speed and intensity of electrical signals that travel along nerves. It is a detailed investigation of the health of your peripheral nervous system (basically, this means all the nerves outside your brain and spinal cord). 

Will there be needles?

Some tests do involve using a very small needle that is placed gently into specific muscle groups. Whether or not you will need needle EMG depends on what your doctor has asked us to investigate. 

The needle acts like a microphone and picks up the electrical activity in your muscle.

Does it hurt?

Most of our patients tolerate the test very well.  For some people, there may be a small amount of discomfort associated with nerve conduction studies. Most patients describe it as being like receiving a small “static shock” from tapping their elbows.

Do I have to fast?

No, fasting is not necessary for these tests. You may follow your regular meal schedule.

How do I prepare for the test?

Refer to the page below:

Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

Do I need to stop taking my medication?

In most cases, there should be no need to stop your medication for this test. However, you should check with your referring physician prior to the test.

What should I wear?

It is best to wear loose clothing that is easy to remove.

How long will it take?

Your test may take from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the question asked by your referring doctor.

When will I find out about the test results?

You will get the results right away once the test is completed.

Can I drive afterwards?

You will be able to drive after your test or do anything else that you would normally do.

FAQ -Urodynamic Study

What is urodynamic testing?

Urodynamic tests look at how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra are storing and releasing urine (pee).

What happens after a urodynamic test?

You might have mild discomfort or pain when you urinate. This is normal.

You might even see a small amount of blood due to the catheter.

These symptoms might ease up if you drink enough water after the test.

You might take over-the-counter pain medication if you need it. ‘

You might be given a prescription for an antibiotic to prevent infection

When will my urodynamic test results be available?

You should be given the results directly after the test.

What will be done during the test?

You will need to undress and put on a gown. A tiny catheter will then be placed through the urethra into the urinary bladder. In addition, a small catheter will be placed in the rectum. Placement of the catheter in the rectum enhances the accuracy of the bladder measurements.

A computer will record all the measurements and a “tracing” will be generated.

How long does the test take?

The test will take 30 to 60 minutes.


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