Pelvic Health Program

Pelvic floor physical therapy helps address dysfunction in the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles not only provide support to the organs involved in urination, defecation, and sexual function but also contribute to the stability of the pelvis (hip bones) and spine. 

The pelvic floor muscles work in combination with the body's diaphragm (breathing muscle) to control changes in intra-abdominal pressure and load. These functions occur during various activities, including coughing, sneezing, laughing, holding deep breaths, crunching, running, lifting, accelerating speed, spiking, slamming, jumping, and landing.

During physical activity, particularly in endurance and high-impact sports, there is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure and load. The more often athletes engage in these activities, the more strain they put on their bodies, increasing the risk of developing pelvic floor dysfunction, as these muscles tire from prolonged exposure to heightened intra-abdominal pressure and load.

For athletes, this can commonly lead to pelvic pain or urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor dysfunction is under-reported, and consequently under-diagnosed and under-treated. Poor management can lead to feelings of embarrassment, lack of confidence, or even exit from sport. It is our team’s mission to help all athletes improve their quality of life and meet their goals to return-to-activity / sport through a comprehensive, individualized, and collaborative rehabilitation approach. 

What specific services does the clinical program offer?

  • Activation of pelvic floor
  • Core stabilization
  • Strengthening of weak muscles
  • Stretching of tight muscles
  • Breathing and relaxation strategies
  • Posture re-training
  • Bowel / bladder re-education
  • Behavior modification/lifestyle changes
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Modality administration: biofeedback, electrical stimulation, dry needling

Who would benefit from the program?

Children and adolescents with:

  • Pelvic, abdominal, hip, sacroiliac joint (SIJ), coccyx, and/or low back pain
  • Menstrual or stomach cramping while on or off period
  • Urinary or bowel dysfunction such as: leakage, urgency, increased/decreased frequency, straining
  • Endometriosis
  • Constipation
  • Low-Energy Availability (LEA) & Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)
  • Sexual dysfunction / pain

What makes the team experts?

The Cincinnati Children’s Pelvic Health Program is made up of physical therapists who have additional, extensive training in this specific area of practice. They received pelvic floor certifications from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as well as the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. Our team features great and diverse experiences in treating pediatric / adolescent patients with orthopedic, sport, and pelvic floor related conditions. Their expertise, coupled with their passion, enables them to empower athletes, maximizing their potential to achieve their goals and come back even stronger than before.

What locations offer this service?

Who should I contact for more information?