As a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor, I can assess, diagnose, prevent and prescribe treatment of pelvic floor related conditions. These dysfunctions include urinary incontinence, bladder and bowel dysfunctions, sensory issues and pain around pelvis, pain with sex and other sexual related dysfunctions, pelvic organ prolapse, pregnancy and postpartum recovery and more.
Dr. Nicole Cozean, physical therapist and owner of Pelvic Sanity created a screening tool to help people identify these concerns listed above. Take the screen and see how you do for yourself.
Cozean Pelvic Dysfunction Screening Protocol
Instructions: Check all that apply
___ I sometimes have pelvic pain (in genitals, perineum, pubic, or bladder area, or pain with urination) that exceeds a rating of 3 on a 1-10 pain scale (10 being the worst pain imaginable).
___ I can remember falling onto my tailbone, lower back or buttocks (even in childhood).
I sometimes experience one or more of the following urinary symptoms:
__ Accidental loss of urine
__ Feeling unable to completely empty my bladder
__ Having to void within a few minutes of a previous void
__ Pain or burning with urination
__ Difficulty starting or frequent stopping/starting of urine stream
___ I often or occasionally have to get up to urinate two or more times a night.
___ I sometimes have a feeling of increased pelvic pressure or the sensation of my pelvic organs slipping down or falling out.
___ I have history or pain in my low back, hip, groin, or tailbone or have sciatica.
I sometimes experience one or more of the following bowel symptoms:
__ Loss of bowel control
__ Feeling unable to completely empty my bowel movements
__ Straining or pain with a bowel movement
__ Difficulty initiating a bowel movement
___ I sometimes experience pain or discomfort with sexual activity or intercourse.
___ Sexual activity increases one or more of my other symptoms.
___ Prolonged sitting increases my symptoms.
If you checked 3 or more of these, pelvic floor dysfunction is likely. Physical therapists are highly trained at assessing the length/tension ratio of major muscle groups of the body, and the pelvic floor is no exception. Working with a pelvic health physical therapist can help determine the right techniques and exercises for you to start experiencing relief and getting you back safely to your loved activities.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.