About the Program

Northwestern Medicine’s pelvic floor physical therapists evaluate and treat symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, including pregnancy-related musculoskeletal issues, postpartum recovery from C-section and vaginal deliveries, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency/frequency, fecal incontinence or accidental bowel leakage, functional bowel issues, pelvic organ prolapse, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia and sexual dysfunction, and pelvic, genital and abdominal pain.

Why is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Important?

Each year, pelvic floor disorders affect millions of women. More people are seeking help for issues that impact pelvic health, such as bowel and bladder changes or pain during sexual activities. These conditions may arise due to pregnancy or childbirth, following surgery, or as part of the natural aging process. However, you do not have to live with the discomfort or embarrassment caused by these issues. You can find the assistance, guidance and compassionate care you need from Northwestern Medicine’s specialized physical therapists.

Common Conditions that Affect Pelvic Health

Northwestern Medicine’s pelvic health physical therapists understand pelvic health issues and can help to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Our physical therapists are specialized in pelvic health and will design an individualized rehabilitation program specifically for your needs. We will provide effective treatment to decrease symptoms of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction that may include increased urinary frequency and/or leaking with coughing, sneezing, exercise or strong urges, as well as abdominal pain, pain with sexual activity, vulvar irritation, difficulty with urination/defecation, pelvic or genital pain, bladder pain, pelvic organ prolapse, low back and pelvic joint/muscle dysfunction and abdominal core weakness.

Typical Diagnoses Treated by our Pelvic Health Physical Therapists

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Anal Incontinence
  • Coccygodynia
  • Constipation
  • Diastasis Recti
  • Dyspareunia
  • Genital Pain
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Low Back Pain
  • Painful Scar or Adhesions
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Pubic Symphysis Pain
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Urinary Urgency
  • Vaginismus
  • Vulvodynia/Vestibulitis

Physical Therapy Services

Our pelvic health physical therapists will perform a comprehensive evaluation, design a treatment program to decrease pain and discomfort, and provide education to improve your overall emotional and physical status. We will educate and instruct you in proper exercises to help bladder and bowel issues. Our evaluation and treatment will improve conditioning and decrease pain after childbirth or surgery. We will promote sexual function postpartum, after cancer treatment, post-surgery and/or post-menopause. Our services will help you decrease your symptoms and emotional stress and improve your pelvic health and overall quality of life.

Treatments

  • Advanced Manual Therapy (myofascial release/soft tissue massage/visceral mobilization)
  • Biofeedback
  • Bladder Bowel Health Education and Retraining
  • Core Stabilization
  • Dilator Use
  • Electronic Stimulation
  • Lumbosacral Alignment and Postural Education
  • Muscle Reeducation and Relaxation of Pelvic Floor Muscles
  • Scar Tissue Management
  • Stretching
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