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Rehabilitation of the short pelvic floor. I: Background and patient evaluation


Pelvic floor physical therapists have traditionally focused on rehabilitation of the weak pelvic floor of normal length. With the recognition that many urogynecologic symptoms arise from the presence of a short, painful pelvic floor, the role of the physical therapist is expanding. Clinically, the pelvic floor musculature is found to be short, tender, and therefore weak. There are associated trigger points and characteristic extrapelvic connective tissue abnormalities. We report the characteristic patterns of myofascial and connective tissue abnormalities in 49 patients presenting with this syndrome.

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Fig. 1A, B.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 3a, b.



Pelvic floor muscles


Trigger point


Interstitial cystitis


Lower urinary tract


Urinary tract infection


Short pelvic floor


Connective tissue


Obturator internus


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Illustrations by Dr. M.J.T. FitzGerald.

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FitzGerald, M.P., Kotarinos, R. Rehabilitation of the short pelvic floor. I: Background and patient evaluation. Int Urogynecol J 14, 261–268 (2003).

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  • Pain
  • Pelvic floor
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation