Seeking care from a pelvic physiotherapist is a novel experience for most people. This page will outline what to expect on your first visit and common questions we receive regarding our care.
Your First Visit
Robyn, Nicole or Shannon will either meet you at your home, online, or in clinic (Elora, Guelph or Hillsburgh).
Your physiotherapist will greet you and ask you if you have any questions prior to beginning the appointment. Fielding any questions is a great place to start to learn more about you and how we fit into your care team.
In the first 20-30 minutes of the appointment, you’ll be asked to share your story and whatever you feel is clinically important for your therapist to know. Based on this, we will ask a series of questions that will help give us a well rounded picture of your overall health if needed. These questions may include topics surrounding urinary, bowel, sexual, and mental health. We always respect our clients autonomy – so we are happy for clients to only share what they wish to and we always communicate that they have the right to not answer any questions. Some questions may feel invasive or sensitive to answer due to the nature of pelvic health physiotherapy.
The second half of the initial assessment involves what is called the objective assessment. This is individually designed for each client based on their needs and wishes.
Everyone is different, but we are usually interested in breath patterns, range of motions of hips, spine, and pelvis, core activation patterns, muscular tone, fascial mobility, somatosensory (body) awareness, and nervous system reactivity.
For online clients – we will only be able to perform a visual assessment (we can still get a lot of data from simply observing and discussing)
As you may or may not have heard – pelvic health physiotherapists have the ability to perform intrapelvic examinations both vaginally and rectally (this is a controlled act in Canada that requires specialized training). All of our therapist have a shame free, open, in depth discussion of what we feel may be helpful based on your story. See FAQs for more content regarding this area of practice.
Following/during the objective assessment we will offer individualized treatment by integration of exercise, manual therapy, and integrative home management techniques to help you start to achieve their goals.
1. What does an intrapelvic examination involve? How will it help me?
Intrapelvic examination involves assessing the 3 layers of the pelvic floor muscles using digital palpation vaginally and/or rectally. Tension and strength of the pelvic floor musculature is assessed. In addition, fascial length, the presence of vaginal wall softening (or pelvic organ prolapse) and the effects of changes in intra-abdominal pressure are assessed. This information is helpful for treatment of dysfunction of the pelvic floor, birth preparation, and post partum core retraining.
Robyn, Nicole, or Shannon will discuss what examination we think may be helpful for you and will let you make an informed decision prior to any intrapelvic examination or treatment. We use a clean technique, which involves examination with a gloved hand and use of bacteriostatic lubricant. We ensure verbal and non verbal consent is maintained at all times. It is important that we move slowly and discuss what we are doing and why during intrapelvic examination.
2. Can I see you if I do not want an intrapelvic examination or treatment?
Absolutely! We are extremely comfortable meeting all clients exactly where they are in their journey. Your therapist will explain the potentially risks of not having an intrapelvic examination in a non biased way, so you are informed. Our intention while working with all clients is to be supportive, informative, and shame free!
3. I would like to do some birth preparation! At how many weeks should I book with you?
First, congratulations (we are so excited for you)!!! When to come and see me prior to bringing your baby earthside depends on a lot of factors (e.g., are you having any pain? What is your coverage like? Is this your first, second, or tenth birth? etc.). I would highly recommend reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Robyn at 226.338.5012 to discuss what is right for you prior to booking.
If you just want to book – I usually say book your first assessment around 25-27 weeks. Ensure to book follow ups as I fill fast (it is easier to cancel than to book). I recommend follow ups at 30/31, 34/35, 36, 37, 38 and onward depending on coverage.
Also, visit our shop if you are interested in the Birthing Body Wellness prep course book and audios (all clients receive these resources as part of their treatment).
4. I don’t have a lot of coverage (or no coverage) and your prices are quite high! You mentioned you operate on a sliding scale. How does that work?
At The Village, we believe that money should not be a barrier to receiving pelvic and orthopedic physiotherapy care. The owner, Robyn, encourages anyone to reach out to her at email@example.com or calling 226.338.5012 and we can have an open and honest discussion on how we can work with you to achieve your goals. The sliding scale works on a client to client basis.
5. How does working with Lucy, Aimee, and Morgan (our physiotherapy assistants) work?
Our assistants work under the physiotherapist’s supervision to deliver in home or in clinic physiotherapy services. Each assistant has their area of expertise and your physiotherapist will discuss how they may be of help to achieving your goals. Having our assistants involved in your care is an excellent way to get a full session of detailed, individualized exercise rehabilitation while maximizing your coverage. After our assessment, we will discuss treatment planning with you to determine what may be the right direction for you. All of our assistant’s services are covered under physiotherapy through insurance using your physiotherapist’s license number.
While our PTAs are working with you, we are always on call to answer any questions you, or your assistant may have during your treatment sessions. We also check in with our assistants before and after each session if needed to determine if anything needs to be adjusted in your care plan.