I came into OrthoPelvic PT with endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and vaginismus with a side of newbie jitters.
In my experience with endometriosis, it’s common that you have to prove you have pain rather than say that you do.
However, the women working here are truly amazing and provide a safe space to express your fears, future health goals, and current pain. They are compassionate and well-educated on trauma-informed practices and quality pelvic health care. Plus, they’re fun as well.
OrthoPelvic does in-person and online calls, so you can schedule an appointment from anywhere in the world. They are unique in that they collaborate with therapists, nutritionists, and gynecologists, and other providers to bring you the most comprehensive and holistic care possible, and regularly do Q&A Instagram lives to provide extra support and education.
I’d gone to physical therapy on and off for the past year for ankle instability and plantar fasciitis, and I had done some work with my pelvic floor and hips during those sessions, but I’d never done internal vaginal work.
Before signing up for my first session I emailed my symptoms to Dr. Kelly, and felt sure, even before my first appointment, that I was making the right step towards healing my pelvic floor.
When I stepped into the office, I was greeted with music playing and the most reassuring energy from both Dr. Kelly and Dr. Lindsay, two of the physical therapists at OrthoPelvic PT. If you’ve read about their intake sessions, you probably know that they do a complete examination. During my intake appointment, I even found out I have slight scoliosis, which I would’ve never known had I not gone in.
During the first session, we talked about all the resources they provided (like their blog, Instagram lives, yoga sessions) and I was introduced to the Pelvic Wand to stretch out my pelvic floor muscles. I felt a bit intimidated because of the past trauma I’d experienced with pain during sex from Endo, but they showed me how to use it and I’ve been following the creator of the wand, Dr. Amanda Olsen, for a while, so I felt ready to get started.
Dr. Lindsay became my physical therapist, and I was excited to start the journey with her because she, like me, has traveled and lived in Latin America and has also experienced pelvic floor frustrations.
During the second week, I was surprised to learn how much breathwork is involved in relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. We continued doing internal work and also worked on massaging my stomach, and Dr. Lindsay sent me videos so I could practice the massage at home. I started learning more about which muscles were connected to my pelvic floor, which explained why when my thighs were tight, so were the muscles in my pelvic floor.
In the third week, we worked more on my ankle and stretching (as you’d guess from the name, they are orthopedic AND pelvic health specialists, so they truly do it all). Then I also learned that working your abs too intensely can affect IC (interstitial cystitis), which I also have and is common in Endo patients, so we took the ab work slowly. When I worked out with my personal trainer outside of PT, it was super helpful to be able to explain what I’d be able to do, since I don’t think many trainers are aware of Endometriosis and IC.
In the fourth week, we did more internal work and massage, as well as some strengthening for my ankles. I told Dr. Lindsay about my problems staying consistent with stretching and remembering to do all the exercises, and she talked me through some tips to combine the exercises and how to put less stress on myself. She emphasized how important it is for us to create a manageable homework routine so I’m progressing but not feeling consumed.
Once we hit the fifth consistent week, Dr. Lindsay said she could feel that my pelvic floor muscles were not only relaxing but getting stronger. I’d only been using the pelvic wand three times a week and working out with my own trainer twice a week.
I’m currently on my sixth week and am starting bi-weekly appointments. Dr. Lindsay told me off-the-bat that the goal was to educate me so I could do these things on my own at home. It’s so helpful to have a physical therapist as a guide during the sessions, but the confidence that’s built outside of the sessions from having co-created a personalized toolkit with a trained professional who believes in you is priceless.
The first step towards healing is accepting that a part of you is in pain and needs support. I have learned so much about endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and patience from the team at OrthoPelvic PT.
If anything I’ve said resonates with you, book a FREE 10-minute consult call. I know from experience that the OrthoPelvic Team would love to connect with you and share how they can eliminate your pain✨
Be empowered in education,
OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy
Guest-written by Sabrina Dorow