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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
    I'm glad you asked! People often describe Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy as "the specialty of physical therapy which focuses on the pelvic floor", which is not technically wrong, however it's also not that helpful if you are unfamiliar with the specialty. So let me describe what I do in a way that hopefully makes things feel a little less foreign. I am a Physical Therapist by trade which means that I went to school for 7 years (studying topics such as anatomy, physiology, and exercise) to obtain a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I then took additional coursework that focused on the pelvic floor muscles, which are the muscles in our nether regions that support our organs & posture and play a huge role in our bowel, bladder & sexual health! Just as in traditional orthopedic physical therapy, pelvic floor physical therapy can involve many different treatments including hands-on work (such as massage, cupping, dry needling, etc.), exercise, and/or education on healthy habits. Sessions are individualized to each client, depending on their unique needs. Pelvic floor physical therapy treatment can sometimes involve a pelvic muscle exam. Just as a physical therapist might touch your knee if it was hurting, this is the same idea - pelvic floor muscles may be hidden but they are still muscles! An exam is never required if you are uncomfortable with one as there are often many things we can work on that don't directly involve (but still influence) the pelvic floor. It's also important to note that a pelvic floor muscle exam is also quite different than a gynecological exam as it is performed using a finger rather than a speculum and is done at a slower pace. We will go over what a pelvic floor exam involves together in person as well.
  • What will we do at my first appointment? Will I need a pelvic exam?
    Your first appointment will be one hour together with me, your Doctor of Physical Therapy. First, we'll sit down together to discuss your concerns. I'll ask you questions about your medical history and we'll dive into your goals (meaning I want to know how you'd like to live your life if you didn't have to worry about your pelvic floor!). From there, I will take you through a full body assessment, where I'll be looking at how you move. I may suggest a pelvic floor muscle exam, however it is not always necessary. Pelvic exams are always based on patient preference so if you'd prefer not to have one, that's okay! While an exam can give us more insight into how the pelvic floor muscles are functioning, there are so many things outside of the pelvic floor that we can work on too. I've had patients have great results without ever having undergone a pelvic exam. At the conclusion of the hour, I will discuss the results of your exam and we'll work together to create a plan to address the factors contributing to your symptoms so that we can resolve them and I can help you reach your goals!
  • How many visits will I need?
    This is individual to each patient as it depends on how long symptoms have been present, how severe they are, and what factors are contributing to them. However, I typically see most patients for about 8 to 16 visits. Some patients then choose to continue on with a maintenance plan for additional support.
  • Where are you located?
    I am at 20 W Colony Pl, Suite 160 in Durham, NC, which is near the 15-501 at University Tower. You will turn off of Pickett Rd onto Colony Rd (near Triangle Dermatology) and then make the 3rd left onto Colony Pl (the 2nd and 3rd left are both Colony Pl as it is a loop but I recommend turning on the 3rd left for easiest access as I am on the first floor at the bottom of the hill). I am in the furthest building in the parking lot so keep driving all the way back. Please call or text 919-283-3864 if you have difficulty finding the place. I look forward to seeing you!
  • Do I need a referral from my doctor?
    Nope! The state of North Carolina allows patients direct access to physical therapy. This means that patients can seek out a physical therapist on their own, without needing to first visit a physician. At your evaluation, I will assess whether you may need further medical care and will make that recommendation if appropriate. Often patients who have pelvic health conditions benefit from a team approach, meaning they see me while also under the care of another healthcare provider.
  • Do you dry needle?
    Yes, dry needling is a tool that I use with many of my patients. It can be wonderful to help reduce pain and improve mobility. However, it is not appropriate with every patient, and is certainly not required if you are uncomfortable with it.
  • Do you work with men?
    While I specialize in Women's Health, I have worked with many male patients who have hip or lower back pain or other orthopedic injuries. I am happy to work with men in this capacity. However, at this time, I do not treat male pelvic health.
  • I'm pregnant! When should I come see you?
    What an exciting time! If you are having any unusual symptoms (such as urinary leakage or pelvic pain), I'd recommend making an appointment as soon as possible so that we can work on minimizing your symptoms before baby arrives. If you're feeling good, I'd recommend coming in during your second trimester so that I can assess you to ensure that you are moving well and your pelvic floor and core are ready for birth and motherhood!
  • I just had a baby! When should I come see you?
    What an exciting time! I have seen women immediately post-birth so you are welcome to come at any time. However, I know that the first few days postpartum can often feel like a whirlwind so I usually recommend that my postpartum patients make their first appointment at 2-3 weeks postpartum to give you time to adjust to your new routine. At this appointment, we can assess any complications from birth, address any symptoms you have, and begin to plan for an optimal postpartum recovery. I love helping postpartum women return to fitness classes or any other physical activities they want to do!
  • I've never had children. Can I come see you?
    Of course! Many women who have not had children suffer from pelvic floor symptoms. And if you plan to have children in your future, improving your pelvic floor health now will help you have a healthier pregnancy when the time comes!

If you have a question that was not answered here, please contact me directly so that I may assist you.

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