The reasons you’re not seeing progress after pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT), with your fitness, or in your symptoms can be so varied and complex. Let’s start by asking some questions to see if we can narrow down what’s going on.
- What are your goals, and are they realistic?
- Are you following a progressive overload fitness program or just piecing together movements or workouts from social media?
- Are you strength training outside of your PFPT exercises?
- What’s your diagnosis and how long have you been seeking treatment (some things take longer to resolve than others)?
- What does a typical PFPT visit look like for you?
- Is your provider addressing your concerns and matching your rehab to your goals?
- Do your rehab goals match your ideal daily lifestyle?
- What does your nutrition look like?
- How are your bathroom habits?
- Are you seeing the right provider for your issue?
We can break all of these down into 3 sections: time, what you do outside of the gym/rehab, and does your plan match your goals.
Let’s look at each of those pieces.
How long does pelvic floor therapy take?
Consistency over time is vastly underrated in even misrepresented in healing. We’re presented with fast and easy fixes, and that’s just not true.
Some diagnoses are just by nature going to take longer to heal/see results than others. Ex: If you’re leaking with just jump rope I’d expect you to see results in one session.
But if you’re newly diagnosed with prolapse, have vaginismus, or pain around an internal or external scar, buckle up for the long road friend.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be seeing small changes in pain, tension, or an increase in the activities you’re able to do without symptoms after a few sessions. Just don’t expect big drastic results right away. Time and consistency will need to be your friends here.
If you’re screaming “But what if I’ve given it time? I’ve been working with someone for MONTHS!” Then you’ve got to look at 3 possibilities:
- Maybe they’re not the right provider/coach for you
- Maybe it’s time to progress your rehab and challenge your body more
- Maybe your goals were unrealistic for the situation/timeline given.
Outside factors that effect your pelvic floor rehab
If you want to see results in your symptoms, there may need to be things you change outside of the gym/PT office.
Struggling with constipation? A PFPT appointment isn’t going to get you results if you aren’t eating plenty of fiber rich foods, drinking enough water, and avoiding dietary triggers outside of your office visits. Work with a registered dietician to help pinpoint this for you.
Hypertonic? Just doing stretches at the end of the day or only during your sessions/workouts probably isn’t going to be enough to combat the build-up of tension. Look for ways to relieve stress, stack short relaxation exercises throughout the day, and stop trying to kegel, engage your core, and grip your glutes with all the things.
Realistic goals for pelvic floor rehab
First – what is your goal and is it realistic within the timeframe and parameters of your diagnosis? Be honest with that second part.
Second – Does your provider/plan support your goals? I’m not talking in terms of emotional or cheering support, but rather will your provider/plan actually get you to where you want to be?
Want to return to lifting or running? Your PFPT should be assessing you with impact drills, bracing technique, and lifting within your sessions. Just doing kegels and clamshells on your back isn’t going to cut it.
Have body composition or specific fitness goals (heavy lifting, CrossFit, half marathon, etc)? Piecing together workouts from Instagram or YouTube isn’t going to get you there. You need an actual progressive plan that helps you build back to impact and strength while working on your core and pelvic floor at the same time.
If you’ve been trying all the things and still aren’t seeing results – it’s time to change things up.
Get goals that match your lifestyle, a plan that matches your goals, and a professional that helps you execute that plan and challenge your body in ways you didn’t think were possible anymore when you join FIT Core Restore.
If you want to take a deep dive on more core and pelvic floor topics, join my weekly Q&A email list. It may or may not also be the only place to snag a discount on programs. So run, don’t walk, to join.