Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Pelvic bone

WHAT Do You Do?? – Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

We all know that when you meet someone new, maybe a parent on your kids’ new soccer team, eventually we are going to talk about what it is that you DO. Are you a banker, stay at home mom, nurse, teacher? My response is I am a Physical Therapist. Usually people are satisfied with that and feel pretty confident that they can picture what my day at work is like, so we move on to who’s bringing snacks to the next game. After several soccer games and a lot of sideline talking and getting to know each other, sometimes I get to know people well enough that they feel comfortable asking me about their aches and pains. Sure, I will recommend some stretches or exercises for their knee or low back. Then, on occasion, someone will then say, “Hey, Can I come see you at your clinic for my knee?” Well, not really. You see I work at a Urologists office. “But…I thought you were a PT?” Yup — I am a pelvic floor physical therapist.

“What does that mean???”

What is a pelvic floor PT?

A pelvic floor Physical Therapist is a PT qualified to treat knees, backs, etc. but also has specialized training in treating the muscles inside your pelvis called the pelvic floor muscles, commonly referred to as the “Kegel” muscles. This unique group of muscles help control your bladder, bowels, and sexual function as well as help support your body. They are a very important part of the “core” group of muscles that we hear about when we go to the gym, but rarely does anyone at the gym say, “Make sure you are contracting your pelvic floor muscles correctly during that deadlift!” Many pelvic floor PTs wish there was more conversation about how these important muscles work because a lot of injury and dysfunction may be prevented with a little bit of knowledge.

The patients I see…

So, since my friend with the bad knee can’t come see me at my office, who would? The types of problems that a pelvic floor PT sees will usually fall into one of these categories:

  • People experiencing bladder control problems including leaking urine, urinary frequency and urgency, difficulty emptying their bladder, bladder prolapse and often patients with frequent UTIs (urinary tract or bladder infections).
  • People experiencing bowel control problems including leaking bowels, chronic constipation, bowel prolapse (rectocele) and inability to empty your bowels completely.
  • People experiencing sexual dysfunction including painful sexual activity, inability to maintain erections, and decreased sexual sensation.
  • People experiencing pelvic pain including pain in the genital region (all genders), pain with bladder or bowel emptying. Often this pain may be due to underlying conditions such as IC (interstitial cystitis) or endometriosis.

Our patient population includes all genders and all ages. In one day, I may see a 10-year-old with bedwetting issues, a 25 year with testicle pain, a young woman who is unable to have penetrative sexual intercourse due to pain and a 72-year-old post-prostatectomy patient with urinary incontinence.

I know this for sure, I LOVE what I DO. I am privileged to work with patients who will entrust me with some of their most private and intimate issues. I look forward to contributing to this forum and hopefully will help more people recognize that there is help for these types of problems.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • easyethatsme
    1 year ago

    Thank you for this article. I went to exactly one visit post my surgery. It was very personal very quick. I am sure there is needed information. When she told me what our next visit would be like. Well I was just too nervous about it. At the time, I had just been thru enough. I even coded in the hospital due to a post surgical internal bleed. Clearly I made it, but I had just had enough poking and prodding to last a life time.

    I do have a question, I do remember her saying that I could learn the right way or I would probably have problems later. Now a couple of years out, I’m starting to maybe have that come true. I think the way I control leaking is pretty much a constant muscle tension. Due to discomfort now, I am wondering. Is this just destined to continue to get worse. Am I causing damage? I’m just wondering outloud.

    I applaud you for sharing this with us, I wish someone had kind of prepped me for exactly what was involved with this most personal PT appointment. This is a topic we as a group suck at discussing. It’s a guy thing!

  • Erin Glace moderator author
    1 year ago

    It is very difficult to talk about these issues, so I am happy to be contributing to this forum in hopes of helping to alleviate some of the embarrassment and anxiety. One of the hints I give to my prostatectomy guys is to avoid holding their pelvic floor muscles in a constant contraction because this can create soreness, incomplete bladder emptying and actually a “weaker” muscle. You may be experiencing this. Do you have a pelvic floor PT that could work with you?

    You can try to do kegels but focus on the release sensation. Then pay attention through out the day and try to release the pelvic floor muscles. The downside, you may have a temporary increase in leakage but the upside will be more strength, less pain and hopefully less leakage for the long run!

    I plan on contributing some articles about how to kegel and other important tips and tricks. Based on your note, I will also write something about what to expect at a PT visit! So thanks for your input.

    I hope this was somewhat helpful! Be well!

  • Poll