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Episode 12 | August 16, 2022

Common Does Not Mean Normal

Joanna Pavlak of Healthy Core Wellness and Rehab on Identifying the Need for Pelvic Floor Therapy and Helping to Eliminate Fears Associated with PT


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

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Joanna Pavlak on Pelvic Floor Therapy

Joanna Pavlak, DPT, Physical Therapist discusses pelvic floor therapy- what is common does not mean normal!  She describes when you may need it, what to expect, and how to get help and support.

Key Takeaways
  • What is a Pelvic Floor? 
    • Group of muscles that sit within your pelvis at the base of your abdomen
    • The jobs it takes on:
      • All voiding
      • Sex
      • Postural support
      • Assist with fluid return
      • Moves lymph nodes
      • Accessory muscles to breathing
  • What Should I Expect from Pelvic Floor PT?
    • Best practice is taking a holistic approach. Your PT may ask all about your life, body, and experiences. First they want to know why you came to them (in your own words and descriptions) and then they want to see why or how you may have ended up in the position you are in.
    • There often is hands on examination as well as support for teaching exercises and otherwise.
    • This will be an intimate appointment, it’s important you communicate your boundaries and listen to your body.
  • Why Would I Need Pelvic Floor Therapy? 
    • There are a multitude of reasons to seek pelvic floor therapy. If you are in pain or uncomfortable your general physician may know to refer you to us. However, listening to your body is the best way to know.
    • Below is a detailed checklist of what can be direct signs to find a pelvic floor therapist.
    • Pre, post, and during pregnancy

When we have stress, oftentimes you know you think of holding stress on your shoulders or clenching your jaw or your fists. People think of those things when they’re holding tension, but oftentimes we also simultaneously hold tension in our pelvic floor.

  • Common Does Not Mean Normal
    • Just because there are commercials for leakage or friends discusses leaking when laughing, this is not normal.
    • You do not need to accept being uncomfortable or in pain because these things are common.

But when we’re able to correctly train muscles to relax when they need to, we’re able to then utilize them to their full capacity.

  • When to Seek Pelvic Floor Therapy: A Checklist
    • Urinating more than 8 times in 24 hours
    • Voiding during the night before the age of 60
    • Leaking during coughing, sneezing, laughing hard
    • Urgency to use the restroom – sudden uncontrollable need
    • Feeling as though you can’t fully empty your bladder
    • Bladder pressure
    • “Falling out” feeling
    • Pain with sitting
    • Back, hip or pelvic pain
    • Inability to do a Kegel contraction

If you’re experiencing something, you’re definitely not alone, there are resources available and people who understand what it is that you’re going through know at least enough to be able to provide you with some assistance and support.


Where to Find Joanna
Read Full Transcript Here
Credits and Thanks