What to expect on your initial visit...
Duration: 60 minutes
Consent: You will be given an explanation of what a pelvic health assessment entails and of the entire treatment process. You will be asked for consent, or permission, prior to discussing your history and performing a physical assessment. Explanations will be given at each step of the treatment process. You have the right and will be given the opportunity to withdraw or deny your consent for any or all of the treatment plan at any time.
Questionnaires: Upon making your initial appointment, you will be sent a questionnaire to have completed and returned prior to the first session. You can either bring the completed paper copy of the questionnaire to the first session, or email it prior to the appointment. This step is very important as it will help to best understand your issues and to make the best treatment plan for you. The completed questionnaires will then be reviewed together during the initial appointment.
Treatment goals identification: You will be given the chance to say what it is you want to achieve with treatment. You know what is important to you, and in what order of priority. We will then set a treatment plan together with these goals in mind.
Physical Assessment: You will be given an explanation and asked your
consent prior to all of these steps. This assessment can include but is not
limited to or will always include a:
• Postural Assessment
• Movement screen of spine, pelvis and hip joints
• Detailed assessment of joints involved based on movement screen
• External muscle assessment for both sensitivity and strength
• Internal pelvic floor muscle assessment (vaginal and/or ano-rectal)
• Connective tissue/fascial assessment through external palpation
• Neurological screen
Assessment findings will be explained in a way that you can understand. After the initial assessment, you will be given tips, tools, and advice on how you can start helping yourself.
Home exercise program: An essential part of your success will be doing exercises to maintain improvements made and to continue your progress. Exercises will be given as part of a home exercise program. These may include exercises that focus on relaxation, flexibility, and/or strength. Exercise will be one of your tools toward independent management of your health.
Internal Assessment - What to Expect:
A pelvic examination consists of two parts:
You will be given privacy to disrobe from the waist down, and you will be covered from the waist down during the assessment. You will be asked to position yourself similar to when you have a gynaecological/digital rectal examination performed by your doctor or gynaecologist, but here are two differences:
A physiotherapist uses their hands rather than a speculum.
A physiotherapist will assess the position of the pelvic contents, muscle tone and strength.
You are ALWAYS in control of the examination and can stop it at any time, and the examination will be done as gently as possible. This is can be an integral part of the pelvic examination as this can identify specific problem areas in the pelvic floor in order to formulate a working diagnosis and the best possible treatment plan. If you are uncomfortable with this, alternative options will be provided. As always, if a pelvic floor exam in indicated in your case, the risks/benefits/alternatives will be discussed during your assessment prior to proceeding to ensure your comfort and informed consent.
The goal is to give you freedom from restriction, and the freedom to help yourself!