Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Washington, DC

At Release Physical Therapy, our experienced therapists conduct a thorough assessment to identify the underlying causes of your pelvic floor issues and create a personalized treatment plan to promote healing and alleviate the problems you’re experiencing.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Washington, DC

At Release Physical Therapy in Vienna, Washington D.C. and Tysons Corner, our experienced therapists conduct a thorough assessment to identify the underlying causes of your pelvic floor issues and create a personalized treatment plan to promote healing and alleviate the problems you’re experiencing.

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Pelvic Floor Issues

The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues located at the bottom of the pelvis. These muscles play a crucial role in supporting our organs and maintaining bladder and bowel control. However, when these muscles become weak or dysfunctional, it can lead to various pelvic floor troubles including incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction.

Pelvic Floor Troubles: Causes, Symptoms and Physical Therapy

We at Release Physical Therapy understand the impact of pelvic floor troubles on daily life and are dedicated to providing reliable treatment through physical therapy. We have a pelvic floor therapist, Mia Smyser, who is trained to address pelvic floor dysfunction. She can be seen either in Washington, D.C. or in Tysons, VA.

We invite you to get in touch with us if you are experiencing any pelvic floor issues. Our team of pelvic floor physical therapists will conduct a thorough evaluation to identify the root cause and develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.

The Structure and Function of the Pelvic Floor

Imagine the pelvic floor as a mini trampoline, with several layers of stretchy, supportive material. At the front, it is anchored by the pubic bone, and at the back, it is attached to the tailbone. It has openings for the urethra, the vagina in women, and the rectum, allowing these organs to pass through while maintaining a firm, supportive structure. The main function of this complex system is to support the pelvic organs, assist in urinary and fecal continence, and provide core stability. 

The Main Components of the Pelvic Floor Include: 

  1. Muscles – these are responsible for providing support and stability to the pelvic organs, as well as controlling bladder and bowel function. They also play a vital role in sexual function by facilitating blood flow to the genitals and supporting orgasm.
  2. Connective tissue – this includes ligaments and fascia which provide structural support to the pelvic floor muscles.
  3. Nerves – these control the function of the pelvic floor muscles and provide sensation to the pelvic organs and the skin around the genitals.
  4. Blood vessels – these supply oxygen and nutrients to the pelvic floor muscles, allowing them to function properly.

A strong and balanced pelvic floor is crucial for preventing issues such as incontinence and pelvic pain. On the other hand, a weak or dysfunctional pelvic floor can contribute to sexual difficulties, including pain during intercourse and orgasmic issues. 

Pelvic floor physical therapy exercises can help alleviate these troubles by strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, improving blood flow to the pelvic region, and enhancing muscle elasticity.

Main Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

  1. Pregnancy and childbirth – the pelvic floor undergoes significant stress and stretching during pregnancy and delivery, which can lead to weakening or injury.
  2. Chronic constipation – straining during bowel movements can weaken the pelvic floor muscles over time.
  3. Aging – as we age, our muscles naturally lose strength and elasticity, which can affect the function of the pelvic floor.
  4. Obesity – excess weight can put additional pressure on the pelvic floor, leading to weakness and dysfunction.
  5. High-impact activities – repetitive high-impact exercises like running or jumping can strain the pelvic floor muscles and lead to dysfunction.
  6. Prostate surgery – in men, prostate surgery can damage the nerves and muscles responsible for controlling bladder and bowel function.

Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

  1. Urinary incontinence – this could include leakage during activities like sneezing, laughing, or exercising, as well as a sudden urge to urinate that is difficult to control.
  2. Fecal incontinence – difficulty controlling bowel movements or leakage of stool.
  3. Pelvic organ prolapse – a feeling of pressure or bulging in the pelvic region, caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles unable to support the organs.
  4. Painful intercourse – tight or weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to discomfort or pain during sexual activity.
  5. Chronic pelvic pain – ongoing pain or discomfort in the pelvic region that is not caused by a specific medical condition.

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What do they do at pelvic floor physical therapy?

Release Physical Therapy offers specialized treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. 

Treatment may include:

  1. Pelvic floor muscle training – also called Kegel exercises, involves learning how to properly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles to improve control and strength.
  2. Biofeedback – Our pelvic floor physical therapists may use sensors to provide visual or auditory feedback on your muscle contractions. The aim is to help you learn how to properly engage and relax your pelvic floor muscles. 
  3. Manual therapy – this can include massage, stretching, and manipulation techniques to help release tension in the pelvic floor muscles.
  4. Education on bladder and bowel habits – Some bad habits, such as holding urine for too long, can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. Our therapists will provide guidance on how to establish healthy habits for optimal pelvic floor function.
  5. Relaxation techniques – Certain relaxation techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing and mindfulness, can help reduce tension in the pelvic floor muscles.
  6. Posture and body mechanics – Our therapists will evaluate your posture and movement patterns to identify any imbalances or compensations that may be contributing to your pelvic floor dysfunction.
  7. Pelvic floor muscle coordination exercises – These exercises involve integrating pelvic floor muscle contractions with movements of other muscles in the body, such as during squats or lunges.
  8. Dietary changes – Some dietary factors, such as consuming too much caffeine or acidic foods, can irritate the bladder and contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. We also provide recommendations for a bladder-friendly diet.
  9. Supportive devices – Depending on your specific needs, our therapists may recommend the use of supportive devices such as pessaries or dilators to help improve pelvic floor function.
  10. Collaborative approach – Release Physical therapists can work closely with your healthcare team to ensure a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan for your individual needs.

We understand that pelvic floor dysfunction can greatly impact your quality of life. That’s why our team is dedicated to providing compassionate care and effective treatment options for all forms of pelvic floor dysfunction.

Is pelvic floor PT worth it? 

Yes. Pelvic floor physical therapy has had incredible success in helping our clients alleviate their pelvic pains, improve bladder control, enhance sexual function, enhance postpartum recovery, and ultimately improve their overall quality of life.

What is the most effective treatment for the pelvic floor?

Biofeedback, relaxation techniques, and support devices mentioned above are all effective treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction. However, the most effective treatment will vary depending on the individual needs and condition of the patient. For example, someone with hypertonic pelvic floor muscles may benefit more from relaxation techniques, while someone with weak pelvic floor muscles may see better results with strengthening exercises. 

That’s why our team at Release Physical Therapy takes a comprehensive approach, combining various interventions to create an individualized treatment plan for each client. 

What happens on the first day of pelvic floor physical therapy?

On the first day of pelvic floor physical therapy at Release Physical Therapy, a skilled and licensed physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation and assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. This may include asking questions about your symptoms and medical history, as well as performing internal and external examinations to assess muscle tone, strength, and coordination. 

Based on this information, the therapist will then create a personalized treatment plan that may include biofeedback training, relaxation techniques, manual therapy, exercise prescription, or other interventions as needed. 

We take our clients’ privacy and comfort seriously, so rest assured that all evaluations and treatments will be conducted in a private treatment room. 

What to expect at a pelvic floor session?

A typical pelvic floor physical therapy session at Release Physical Therapy will last for about 55 minutes. Sessions may involve a combination of treatments such as biofeedback, manual therapy, dry needling,  therapeutic exercise, and education on self-care techniques. 

Our experienced physical therapists will guide you through each technique and ensure that you are performing them correctly to achieve maximum benefit. They will also track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan as needed. 

How do you know if you need pelvic PT?

There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for pelvic floor physical therapy. These include pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, urinary or bowel dysfunction, painful intercourse, and pelvic organ prolapse. Other conditions such as pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and pelvic surgery may also benefit from pelvic floor therapy. If you are experiencing any of these issues, consult a licensed physical therapist to determine if pelvic PT is right for you. 

What are the disadvantages of pelvic floor exercises?

While pelvic floor exercises, specifically Kegel exercises, are generally safe and beneficial when done correctly and consistently, they can potentially be harmful if not performed properly. Overdoing it prematurely or engaging the incorrect muscles can result in discomfort or even problems with bladder control. It’s essential to be properly guided and supervised by a trained therapist to ensure the exercises are done correctly and safely to avoid any potential drawbacks or complications.

What makes the pelvic floor worse?

There are several factors that can contribute to making pelvic floor issues worse. These include poor posture, chronic constipation or straining during bowel movements, excessive high-impact activities or heavy lifting, and pregnancy and childbirth. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as endometriosis or interstitial cystitis may also worsen pelvic floor symptoms. 

What is a pelvic floor massage?

A pelvic floor massage is a form of physical therapy that involves the application of manual pressure and techniques to the muscles, tissues, and ligaments in the pelvic area. It aims to release tension, improve circulation, and promote relaxation in the pelvic floor muscles. This type of massage can be performed by a trained therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy or by using specialized tools such as pelvic wands or dilators. It can be a helpful addition to other pelvic floor treatment methods and may provide relief for tightness, pain, or discomfort in the pelvic region. 

What do you wear to pelvic floor therapy?

During a pelvic floor therapy session, it is recommended to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. This will allow for ease of movement and accessibility for the therapist to perform any necessary exercises or techniques. Some people may choose to wear athletic attire such as leggings or shorts, while others may prefer looser pants or a skirt. It is important to wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable during the session. Make sure to communicate with your therapist if you have any specific concerns or preferences regarding clothing during therapy. 

When is it too late for pelvic floor therapy?

It is never too late to start pelvic floor therapy. While it is ideal to begin therapy as soon as symptoms arise, it can still be beneficial for those who have been experiencing pelvic floor issues for a longer period of time. The goals of therapy may shift depending on the severity and duration of symptoms, but there are still many techniques and exercises that can help improve pelvic floor function and alleviate symptoms. It is important to consult with a trained therapist to determine the best course of treatment for your specific situation. 

Schedule a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Session 

At Release Physical Therapy, our trained therapists have experience and expertise in treating a wide range of pelvic floor issues. Our therapy sessions are tailored to meet the individual needs and goals of each patient, and we strive to create a safe and comfortable environment for all. 

Contact us today to schedule a session and start your path toward improved pelvic floor health. Together, we can work towards a stronger and more functional pelvic floor. Don’t wait any longer – schedule your session now!

We'll help you get back to work, back in the game, and back to doing the activities you love.

Release Physical Therapy


At Release Physical Therapy Washington, DC, we offer a full range of manual therapies, as well as both traditional and non-traditional techniques. We work one-on-one with our patients to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets their unique needs, conditions, wellness goals and fitness levels. Learn More

Active Release Technique ® (ART)

Massage and movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

K-Laser ® Therapy

The use of specific wavelengths of light to improve healing time, pain reduction, increase circulation and decrease swelling.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Needle treatment that decreases pain, increases range of motion and improves strength by inactivating myofascial trigger points.

ASTYM ® Therapy

Regenerates healthy soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.), and eliminates or reduces unwanted scar tissue that may be causing pain or movement restrictions.

Kineseo ® Taping Method

Taping technique that reduces muscular pain and inflammation, relaxes overused muscles, improves posture and movement awareness and enhances performance.

Running Assessment

Individualized biomechanical analysis designed to identify strength, gait, and alignment imbalances to decrease risk of injury and improve your current training program.

Functional Training

Exercise regimens that integrate multiple muscle groups, joints and the brain to prepare the body for everyday movement, athletics and other specialized physical activities.

Graston Technique ®

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Rehabilitation therapy and performance training technique using a Personalized Tourniquet System® designed for BFR, to reduce atrophy and increase strength.

Shockwave Therapy

A non-invasive, office based treatment that utilizes acoustic waves to alleviate pain, promote tissue regeneration, and accelerate the healing process.

Massage Therapy

Manual manipulation of the soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to relieve pain, improve circulation, and address specific musculoskeletal conditions.

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Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapist are accepting new patients.

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What Patients Are Saying

What Patients Say

"Dr. Simon's knowledge, expertise and patience have given me my life back. She spent more time discussing my injuries and recovery than both my doctor and an orthopedist." - L.J.

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Health & Safety


At Release Physical Therapy, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our patients and staff during this unprecedented time. The Department of Homeland Security and state governments have deemed physical therapy an essential component of healthcare during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; therefore, our office will remain open to serve those in need. We are taking extensive preventative measures to protect our patients and employees who enter our clinic. Learn more

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Location & Hours

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 6am - 8pm
Friday: 6am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment
Sunday: Office closed

Office Address

Release Physical Therapy
2134 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037

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Our Physical Therapists

Our experienced and highly trained physical therapists specialize in treating the outpatient orthopedic population, including sports therapy, orthopedic/spinal therapy, chronic pain management, pre/post-surgical therapy, as well as wellness and prevention. All of our physical therapists are accepting new patients.