What Does a Non-Internal Pelvic Floor Treatment Look Like?
𝗟𝗲𝘁’𝘀 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗹𝘃𝗶𝗰 𝗳𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗿!
The pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscle, ligaments and fascia which stretch like a hammock from the back of the pelvis at the tailbone to the front at the pubic bone and spans out to the ischial tuberosities (aka your “sit bones”).
The pelvic floor has many very important functions, including:
Supporting the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus or prostate, and rectum) and regulating intra-abdominal pressure
Playing a role in respiration
Controlling the openings of the vagina, urethra, and rectum (so that you only pee poop, and fart when you mean to!)
Sexual function (orgasm, blood flow, and mobility)
Assisting in venous and lymphatic pumping
Despite being an area that is typically left out of regular assessment, (unless working with a pelvic health physio of course, which I highly recommend for more in-depth & specialized pelvic floor assessment!), Osteopathic Practitioners are also trained in assessment and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunctions.
Whereas pelvic health physiotherapists have specialized training and perform internal palpation exams and tissue techniques, my scope as an Osteopathic Practitioner includes the use of non-internal palpation and techniques, which means my patients keep their clothes on .
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲?
With explanation and consent, I gently palpate the sit bone and feel just inward towards the external layers of the pelvic floor as shown in the photos.
The Osteopathic approach to working with the body always involves looking at a person as a whole, understanding that the structure and functions of the body are interrelated. When working with pelvic floor dysfunction, we are not only addressing the pelvic floor, but also the associated musculoskeletal structures, organs, and connective tissues that relate to it.
For me, the pelvic floor is just another set of really important muscles that should not be overlooked and is always considered in my whole person approach.