Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

How Physical Therapy Can Reduce Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's


Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are types of inflammatory bowel disease that cause similar symptoms.  Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, while Crohn's disease may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract.  Both conditions fall under the broader category of 'Inflammatory Bowel Disease,' where the body has an abnormal immune response.

Symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, constipation, rectal bleeding, the urgent need to have a bowel movement, or the feeling of being unable to completely empty the bowels.

Inflammatory bowel disease can be suspected by symptoms, and is often confirmed with both blood tests (looking for inflammatory markers) and an endoscopy (and/or other imaging).  Ulcerative colitis is also continous in the colon, where Crohn's disease may have areas of healthy tissue separating areas with high inflammation.  

A multi-disciplinary approach is crucial to treating inflammatory bowel conditions.  Treatment often includes medications to lower immune response, changes in diet, probiotics, and physical therapy.  It's important to assemble a great team, including a physical therapist who is familiar with the condition.



Physical therapy plays a big role in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and restoring gut health.  Trigger points or adhesions on the abdomen can cause or exacerbate pain and cramping.  Scar tissue can inhibit the mobility of the abdomen or intestines, and can be an underlying cause of symptoms.  

The gut is part of a pressure system that is regulated by the pelvic floor and the diaphragm; pelvic PT makes sure both of these have proper mobility and function.  Physical therapy can also relieve related symptoms, including constipation, pelvic pain, low back pain, and urinary symptoms.

In fact, in one study that we conducted here at PelvicSanity, more than 70% of patients with pelvic floor dysfunction had related bowel symptoms; gut health and IBD can't be addressed in isolation.


At PelvicSanity, your physical therapist will be a specialist in the field and an expert in treating abdominal pain, GI health, and the pelvic floor.  Many of our patients have been to multiple doctors for their symptoms before finding success here at PelvicSanity.

We believe full-length sessions are crucial to success with pelvic PT, so all appointments at PelvicSanity are an hour in length and spent entirely with a pelvic floor specialist. You’ll never be hooked up to electrodes, see an aide instead of a physical therapist, or be told to ‘just do your Kegels.’  We create a positive, calm environment for healing in private treatment rooms.

We also believe the pelvic floor can’t be treated in isolation, so your treatment will address both the pelvic floor and the external muscles that connect and influence the entire pelvis for optimal results. 


Your initial evaluation will be an hour in length, and have three major components:

  • Consultation: Most of our patients have been to multiple doctors, but have never really felt listened to in their appointments.  In your initial evaluation you’ll have a chance to go through your medical history with your physical therapist.  We’ll listen to you and ask about your personal goals for physical therapy.

  • Assessment:  Next your physical therapist will do a complete assessment.  They will look at your posture, hip and pelvic alignment, fascia, scar tissue, and anything else influencing your pelvis.  Then they will do an internal evaluation, looking for trigger points and dysfunction within the pelvic floor muscles.

  • Treatment:  We also want to know how your body responds to treatment, so your initial evaluation also includes targeted treatment.  You’ll also leave with ‘homework’ that you can be doing in between your visits to build on the improvements with physical therapy.



"After just a few treatments, I have finally gotten relief of symptoms that flew under the radar of my MDs for over 10 years. It is an absolute joy to meet healthcare providers who care about what they do. No more useless tests, sleepless nights, or hours searching on forums to figure out what is going on!!"


Of patients with abdominal pain were found to have abdominal and/or pelvic floor trigger points contributing to their pain

"I'm so thankful to have found this place. I appreciate the comprehensive knowledge of my condition and the encouragement to keep working toward my goals."

The PelvicSanity Team

Our team at PelvicSanity specializes in all aspects of pelvic and core health, including treating inflammatory bowel disease and other gut health issues.  We've published The Gut Health Guide, a free book to help educate patients on what is normal and how a multi-disciplinary approach can help!

From our Patients


Pelvic Pain

"I love PelvicSanity!  They have helped me live pain-free, and taught me techniques to manage my pain at home.  I don't feel hopeless in pain anymore!"


Pelvic Pain

"I'm so thankful to have found this place. I appreciate the comprehensive knowledge of my condition and the encouragement to keep working toward my goals."


Pelvic Pain

"The excellent and precise treatment I have received has shifted me from a plateau where I was still very disabled, despite nearly three years of varied treatments, to feeling nearly pain-free for a full two weeks. I had given up hope that I would ever experience anything more than a temporary respite from intractable pain. I am extremely grateful."

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