What happens on my first visit?
Your therapist will talk with you to find out about your symptoms and your goals. She will review your medical history and forms with you, answer your questions and learn more about what brings you to therapy. The therapist will perform a comprehensive, hands-on evaluation of your overall alignment, flexibility and movement, as well as a visual and manual internal and external examination of your pelvic muscles to determine the root source of your symptoms. You will discuss findings and treatment recommendations with your therapist and she will provide a home program and answer any additional questions. Biofeedback with external or internal vaginal/ rectal sensors may be a part of your examination.
Do I need to come early?
Client forms will be sent to you prior to your first visit. By having paperwork completed, you can ensure that your evaluation is thorough and valuable. If, before your first visit, you have completed all paperwork, your arrival time should be 15 minutes prior to your appointment. If you have not completed your paperwork you should allow 30 minutes to fully complete prior to your appointment. Prepare to come a few minutes early to your follow up sessions to allow time to check in, use the restroom, and change clothing as needed prior to seeing your therapist.
What should I bring?
Please bring completed client forms for your first visit. These forms take time and thought and should be done in advance of your visit. If you do not bring them with you, you will need to fill them out prior to seeing your therapist. *A referral from your physician, if required by your insurance company and you plan to submit for reimbursement. If you are not sure whether you need a referral for insurance purposes, check with your insurance provider. You may bring a separate list of your current medications, past surgeries and any specific tests/ results with you as well.
What should I wear?
Wear or bring comfortable clothing that you can move in for your first and follow up visits. This may include comfortable shorts, yoga or sweat pants, comfortable walking shoes or sneakers, and a shirt. Women may want to bring a sports bra as some of the assessment and treatment will require us to look at your spine and abdomen. We also have gowns for your convenience.
What happens if I start my cycle?
We are still able to see you if you start your period. In most cases this will not disrupt exercise or manual treatment, although there may be some interventions that we will defer until your cycle ends based on your comfort and/ or treatment plan. Contact us prior to changing your appointment if you have any questions.
How many visits will I need?
Your number of treatment sessions and frequency of visits may vary according to your diagnosis, duration and intensity of your symptoms, medical and musculoskeletal contributors, and your consistency with attendance and home program. Your therapist will be able to give you a prognosis at your first visit and will continue to discuss and update this throughout your treatment.
I can’t come as often as the therapist recommends, will you still see me?
YES! We understand that many clients are juggling many other time and financial commitments, and that this may at times affect their ability to attend physical therapy. Ana's treatment philosophy relies on both clinic treatment and a home program. Decreased frequency of treatment may prolong your symptoms, however Ana will work with you to maximize your time in the clinic as well as emphasize your home exercises so that you can progress you toward your goals. I also offer online consultations for follow-up as appropriate.
Do I need a doctor’s referral?
North Carolina is a direct access state for physical therapy services meaning you do not need a referral from a physician for physical therapy services. However, pelvic health problems may also occur in conjunction with other serious medical problems. Thus, we may require a referral from your medical provider prior to your first session or during your treatment course to ensure adequate medical screening and testing. This will allow us to collaborate and communicate with your health care provider to ensure comprehensive treatment and wellness.
How does physical therapy help with pelvic pain?
Muscles, connective tissue (fascia), and nerves in the pelvis and surrounding regions may all contribute to pelvic pain. Physical therapists are well trained to evaluate and treat muscle spasm and trigger points that can result from muscle imbalance, compression or stretch injuries, and trauma.
Are Kegels good for everyone?
Kegel exercises, or pelvic muscle contractions, may be helpful for some patients with certain symptoms, such as incontinence. However, when done incorrectly, or if performed with a short or painful muscle, symptoms may remain unchanged or worsen.
Do I need to have my pelvic muscles examined?
If your symptoms involve pain, weakness, or coordination of the pelvic muscles, you will need a pelvic muscle examination for the most comprehensive assessment of your problem. This provides an important piece of information regarding your individualized physical therapy treatment plan, and full recovery may not be achieved without it. However, you always have the option to defer or decline this or any part of your examination and treatment.
Can I bring my spouse?
Yes. You may bring a spouse, partner or friend with you to any or all visits. Ana is happy to work with you together on pain management techniques, home exercises and general education about your condition.
Can I bring my children?
We would love to meet your family! However, it is preferable for you to come to your initial and follow up treatments without your children if possible. This allows for open discussion of personal information, as well as comprehensive examination and treatment. That said we appreciate that many of our patients are busy moms, and that child care issues may be a factor from time to time- please keep your appointment and come as planned if this occurs and I will do my best to accommodate your needs accordingly.