FAQs About Your Pelvic Health Program - OS
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists
What is a pelvic floor physical therapist?
A pelvic floor physical therapist (PT) is a licensed doctor of physical therapy who also has extensive specialized training and clinical practice experience in pelvic health. To practice as a PT in the U.S., they must earn a doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT) from an accredited physical therapist program, and pass a national board and state licensure exam. After completing their doctorate, pelvic floor PTs go through extensive evidence-based pelvic rehabilitation training through accredited programs (Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehab Institution and APTA) to sharpen their skills for treatment of pelvic floor and pelvic girdle dysfunction and numerous other pelvic floor conditions affecting the patient's lives.
A pelvic floor PT can help treat a range of symptoms and conditions, including: urinary and fecal incontinence, urinary urgency, organ prolapse, pelvic pain, painful sex, pregnancy, postpartum and menopausal body changes, and much more.
Isn’t it embarrassing to talk about pelvic health symptoms with a stranger?
We understand the awkwardness that you might feel about discussing pelvic health symptoms. Our professional, friendly pelvic floor PTs know how to put you at ease — and they’re not embarrassed to talk about pelvic symptoms. You might be surprised how easy it is to have this conversation with one of our PT experts.
Can I do the whole program without seeing a physical therapist?
Booking a video visit with a PT is completely up to you. You can participate in the program — and see results — without ever meeting with a PT. But we hope you will. We believe that visiting with your PT will provide a more personalized experience and increased support. But even without seeing a PT, you can be confident all exercises in your playlist are safe for your condition.
What if I'm already seeing a PT in person?
If you’re already seeing a local provider, our program is a great supplement to in-person care.
How long does a video visit take?
Video visits are approximately 30 minutes. Please let your PT know at the beginning of the visit if you have any time constraints. You can schedule a follow-up visit if additional time is needed.
What are the benefits of doing a video visit with a pelvic floor PT?
Meeting with a pelvic floor PT offers you the most personalized Hinge Health experience. During a video visit, your PT can:
Do a whole-body movement assessment to check your strength, coordination, endurance — and adjust your care plan accordingly.
Explain the purpose of each exercise, check your form, help you modify exercises to make them easier or harder, and add exercises to your care plan.
Share lifestyle changes around stress, sleep, and diet to improve your symptoms.
Their goal is to ensure that your program will best help you reach your goals. You can schedule a visit with your PT in the My Care tab of your Hinge Health app.
Is meeting on video the same as an in person visit?
Our PTs are highly skilled and licensed to evaluate, assess, and treat musculoskeletal conditions — including those related to pelvic health — via remote care. Some aspects of in-person care that we cannot provide remotely include hands-on physical assessments and some treatments like therapeutic massage, ultrasound, and hands-on exercise form feedback. However, these techniques are not always required for effective evaluation and treatment.
Our PTs are able to provide a complete assessment and treatment plan, while referring members to in-person care as appropriate.
My symptoms aren’t severe and I don’t have pelvic pain. Is a video visit really necessary?
Your symptoms might not be severe, but that doesn’t mean you should just put up with them. This includes symptoms people tend to dismiss or minimize, such as leaking urine or having pain during sex. Any symptoms that interfere with your ability to enjoy life deserve attention and treatment. As we say, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal.
What kind of questions will they ask?
Your PT will ask questions about your symptoms, when they started, and how long they’ve been bothering you. They’ll ask about your activity levels, nutrition, bowel and bladder habits, and more.
Do I have to get undressed or show anything “down there”?
No paper gowns here. Your PT will ask questions and may guide you in some on-camera stretches and exercises. Wear comfortable clothes that allow for movement.
If I don’t book a video visit now, can I still book one later?
You can book a video visit at any time during your program. Schedule via the My Care tab in app or reach out to your coach with questions about the process.
What do I need for the video visit?
To ensure a great video visit, please make sure you have a good internet connection, clear space to move about in, and are wearing comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily. You may need to lean your phone against a wall on the floor to allow your PT to see how you move. They can instruct you during the visit.
How do I join the video visit?
At the time of your visit, open the Hinge Health app on your phone and click the “Join visit” button.
Do I need to pay for my PT visit? Does it involve a copay, my deductible, or my insurance coverage?
There is no charge for the video visit or any elements of the program.
The Program and Exercises
How long is the program?
Your program doesn't have an "end date" because we want this to become a lifelong habit. That being said, there are 40 levels to the program and it takes about 6 months to go through them the first time when doing at least 3 days/week. Our pregnancy program contains exercises to support you throughout 40 weeks of pregnancy and 12 weeks of postpartum.
What are “daily playlists”?
Daily playlists are your daily activities in the app. They usually consist of a short exercise therapy session, an educational article, health logging questions, and occasional health surveys. Each session is about 15 minutes long.
How are exercise therapy plans created?
Our evidence-based programs are created by our clinical team of PTs who have additional training in pelvic health. They target not only the specific region of your symptoms, but include additional movements because the function and health of your pelvic floor is closely connected to the strength and flexibility of other regions, such as your back, hips, and core.
For example, your pelvic health program may include specific “traditional” pelvic health exercises (like Kegels) as well as exercises that involve your hips and lower body. Movements you perform in your daily life are not isolated. Your body works as a system, so our programs are built around this principle.
If you would like a more personalized program, you may schedule a visit with your PT.
How do I know these exercises are safe to do, especially while pregnant?
Pelvic floor exercise therapy is completely safe to participate in during pregnancy. Being active throughout your pregnancy is helpful to maintain strength and flexibility all while also preventing injury and keeping the body strong through the many changes that are occurring. Our evidence-based programs created by our pelvic health trained PTs include safe exercises, movements, positions and transitions as you progress through your pregnancy, whether you are early on in your pregnancy or days away from giving birth. Our exercise playlists keep in mind positions, timing, transitions to help make the experience as comfortable, safe, helpful and effective as possible for your individual experience. We recommend scheduling a video visit with your pelvic floor PT if you feel uncertain about starting exercise therapy during your pregnancy. Your pelvic health PT can help educate you and create a more personalized experience and support through your individual pregnancy journey.
How long should I expect to continue these exercises for lasting symptom relief?
If you perform your pelvic health exercise therapy regularly, you can expect to see results within a few weeks to a few months. For continued benefits, making these pelvic health exercises a permanent part of your routine is key, even if you just carry over 1-2 exercises into your daily routine.
Do I need any special exercise equipment?
Our exercise program requires very little to no equipment, so you can do it in your own home. Before starting an exercise session, you can view what equipment you need. You will have the ability to order a personalized kit after you complete your first exercise session. The kit includes resistance bands and an optional yoga mat.
What is a coach and how do they help me?
Your health coach is your partner on your Hinge Health journey. They are trained in women’s health and board-certified in health coaching and the science of behavior change. You can reach out to your coach for questions about your exercises, information, support on staying on track with your goals, and encouragement on tough days. They will work with your PT to support you in achieving symptom and pain reduction.
What if I’m not happy with my exercise plan?
You can adjust your exercise plan in a few ways:
Send a message to your health coach via the “Log Your Health” form (after your exercise session) and they will collaborate with your PT to adjust your program.
Schedule a video visit with your PT via the My Care tab in app. You can discuss your concerns and request adjustments to tailor your exercise plan.
Staying in Touch
How else can I communicate with my care team?
You can contact your care team (which includes your coach and PT) any time you have a question by texting 833-418-0909.
What other support is available through the program?
We know that pelvic health conditions can be lonely and isolating. That’s why we provide support through our online community support groups connecting members dealing with similar challenges and symptoms. You decide whether, how much, and how you want to participate. You may access Groups via the Groups tab in the app.
What if I have more questions?
Please reach out to your health coach and they will be happy to answer additional questions and provide support. They are your co-pilot in the program and are with you every step of the way in finding symptom and/or pain relief.