Ever since I was a teenager, my life has been a cacophony of the same advice over and over:
“You just need to take deep breaths.”
“Maybe have a drink to relax more?”
“If it hurts, you’re probably just doing it wrong.”
I’ve been enduring pelvic pain for so long that I was shocked when a gynecologist mentioned to me that it could be fixed. I had just been through another unbearable pap smear, and after practically crawling up the table to try and get away from the speculum, my doctor gently suggested pelvic floor therapy. I had heard of the term once or twice but never really looked into it. She told me that through physical therapy I could one day be pain-free. It felt too good to be true, but also intriguing enough that I set out to book an appointment.
After a quick Google search, I found OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy. Upon entering, I knew it was a safe place; my therapist, Dr. Lindsay was kind and warm and easily walked me through the introduction of what pelvic floor therapy was and what it could do for me. I felt my jaw dropping through the entire first appointment. What I was experiencing was common? Other women went through this, as well? It was the first time in my life that I had ever been validated or reassured in my experience by a medical professional, and it brought many emotions into sharp focus. I was being taken seriously instead of being written off and dismissed. It was quite the concept.
We addressed multiple issues, many of them that I had previously thought were unrelated: pain upon insertion, frequent urination, stomach issues, tight inner thighs and back muscles, even down to the misalignment in my knees. I was shocked. Dr. Lindsay walked me through the muscles of the pelvic floor and how it sat within the pelvic bowl. We talked about my past and how it may have brought me to where I am now. There was a quick, painless internal exam, only upon my permission and comfort, where the depth of my issue was explored and gently tested. We discussed treatment, which would include stretches, exercises, manual therapy, dry needling, and my own homework of dilators at home, and laid out a great foundation for the path ahead.
I won’t lie, I was afraid to begin, even with such a wonderful treatment plan laid out for me. I had suffered from my condition for as long as I could remember, and the enormity of it all had weighed on me for just as long. We discussed that healing isn’t always linear and that there would be ups and downs. As much as I’d like to snap my fingers and be cured instantly, I knew it wouldn’t be the case for me. However, I can feel myself healing. It is a very tangible thing. After even just a handful of treatment sessions I’m able to do things I was never able to do before, from simple things like finally having flexibility and mobility in my hips, to inserting a tampon without any pain or struggle.
My experience at OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy has been one of the most singular experiences of my life. I’ve never been treated this way in a medical environment before, with such respect and compassion for me and my needs. I’m still on the road to healing my mind and body, but now I’m looking forward to the journey instead of being terrified, and I absolutely have the staff at OrthoPelvic Physical Therapy to thank for that.
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 Caiti Mitchell