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Pelvic Floor Therapy

At Johns Hopkins, our pelvic health physical therapists are specially trained to evaluate and treat different types of pelvic floor dysfunction, helping you improve your quality of life. We work with patients of all ages and genders, and offer several convenient clinic locations  through the Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network.

Pelvic Floor Therapy: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

A physical therapist helping a woman stretch
  • We offer personalized, one-on-one physical therapy sessions in a private setting tailored to your symptoms and health goals.
  • With access to a wide range of therapies and technologies, such as laser therapy, electromyography (EMG) biofeedback, electrical stimulation, and various forms of manual therapy and exercise techniques, we are able to find a combination of treatments that works for you.
  • Our team includes several certified women’s health physical therapists, as well as therapists with specialized training in neurology, oncology, pediatrics and other related fields.
  • Our therapists work closely with specialists in Ob/Gyn, urogynecology, urology, gastroenterology, oncology, pain medicine and many other disciplines to coordinate your care in and outside Johns Hopkins.

Schedule An Appointment

Pelvic Floor Symptoms and Conditions We Treat

Our therapists treat a variety of pelvic floor symptoms that could stem from interstitial cystitis, levator ani syndrome, pregnancy and childbirth, surgery, as well as chronic disorders and other age- or trauma-related conditions.

  • Bladder problems, including urinary leakage, urinary urgency and/or frequency, difficulty emptying the bladder, urinary retention and pain with bladder filling or emptying.
  • Bowel problems, including chronic constipation; difficulty passing a bowel movement and incomplete emptying; increased bowel urgency; fecal leakage of solid stool, gas or mucus; pain with bowel movements.
  • Pelvic pain, including pain in the pelvic joints associated with transitions or increased activity level; pain in the tailbone; lower abdomen, lower back, groin, buttock or hip; pain in the genitals.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse and the feeling of pelvis pressure or heaviness.
  • Sexual dysfunction, including pain with sexual activity (dyspareunia); painful speculum exams or inability to tolerate tampon insertion; erectile dysfunction; decreased or overactive arousal symptoms.

Areas of Specialized Expertise

A pregnant woman stretching on a chair
  • Pelvic cancer rehabilitation, including restoring function and managing pain and scar tissue discomfort after surgery and/or pelvic radiation for cervical, uterine or colorectal cancer.
  • Pelvic floor issues related to neurologic and neuromuscular disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord or nerve injury.
  • Pregnancy and postpartum pelvic floor therapy, including treatment of pelvic girdle pain, diastasis recti abdominis (separation of abdominal muscles), Cesarean scar weakness and/or pain, perineal healing postpartum and urinary and bowel leakage.
  • Pre- and postoperative care for pelvic surgery, such as hysterectomy, pelvic reconstruction, bladder sling, sacral colpopexy and other procedures.
  • Pediatric pelvic floor therapy, including treatment of urinary incontinence (enuresis) and constipation in children.

Pelvic Floor Therapies We Use

Your physical therapist will perform a complete musculoskeletal assessment of the trunk and pelvis, including the pelvic floor musculature, and will work with you to set goals and develop a treatment plan that may include:

  • Education regarding pelvic floor and behavioral retraining: making lifestyle changes, such as the way you sit or how much coffee you drink, that may help improve your condition.
  • Pelvic floor muscle retraining: exercises to strengthen or relax your pelvic muscles, depending on the cause of your condition.
  • Functional dry needling: insertion of thin needles along trigger points to reduce pain and restore normal muscle function.
  • Myofascial release: manual stimulation of trigger points in the pelvic floor muscles that radiate pain to other areas.
  • Myofascial acoustic compression therapy: the use of focused sound waves to reach deep into fascia and muscles, similar to a deep-tissue massage.
  • Soft tissue mobilization to help remodel scar tissue.
  • Core strengthening and Pilates: exercises that focus on your posture and core strength and help restore pelvic floor tone and stabilize the lumbar region.
  • EMG biofeedback: the use of sensors to gather information about your pelvic muscle activity, which then can be used to help you retrain your muscles with specific exercises.
  • Electrical stimulation: the use of mild electrical current to stimulate a muscle to help strengthen it or normalize nerve activity.
  • Low-level laser therapy: the use of light (without the heat) to help muscles heal on a cellular level; it can be used on even the most sensitive tissues.
  • A home exercise program, often starting after the first visit.

Our Team

  • Nora Arnold | Physical Therapist

    Expertise: pelvic health
    Locations: Baltimore and Lutherville
    headshot of Nora Arnold
  • Mary Austin | Physical Therapist, Rehab Therapy Manager, JHH Women's Health Physical Therapy Residency Director

    Certifications: Board-Certified Women's Health Specialist
    Expertise: pelvic health
    Location: Lutherville
    headshot of Mary Austin
  • Susan Berger | Physical Therapist

    Expertise: falls/balance, orthopedics, pelvic health
    Location: Columbia
    headshot of Susan Berger
  • Holly Brook-Cotton | Physical Therapist Assistant

    Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
    Expertise: lymphedema, oncology, pelvic health
    Location: Odenton
    headshot of Holly Brook-Cotton
  • Karen Dobbs | Physical Therapist

    Expertise: oncology, pelvic health
    Location: Odenton
    headshot of Karen Dobbs
  • Susanne Faux | Physical Therapist

    Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
    Expertise: breast cancer, falls/balance, lymphedema, neurologic rehabilitation
    Location: Columbia
    headshot of Susanne Faux
  • Lola Oyebefun | Physical Therapist

    Expertise: orthopedics, pelvic health
    Location: Sibley
    headshot of Lola Oyebefun
  • Laura Scheufele | Physical Therapist, Clinical Specialist

    Certifications: Board-Certified Women's Health Specialist
    Expertise: pelvic health
    Location: Baltimore
    headshot of Laura Scheufele
  • Madeline Urban | Physical Therapist

    Certifications: Board-Certified Women's Health Specialist
    Expertise: pelvic health
    Location: Lutherville
    headshot of Madeline Urban
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