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Steady State Health

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Portland Maine

Blending Running, Orthopedic & Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

A crossfit athlete performing wall balls.

Runners & Active Adults

If you're a runner or enjoy lifting, at any age, pelvic symptoms getting in the way of your activity are the worst. Our Pelvic Therapists specialize in helping you return to higher level activities without leaking or pelvic pain.

A runner 6 months pregnant.


Continuing to exercise during pregnancy can be tough when you're battling new symptoms every week. Fortunately the bony, joint, or muscle symptoms can be managed with the right treatment plan, allowing you to exercise as much of your pregnancy as you'd like. 

A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist holding a mom's baby while instructing her on core engagement with deadlifting.

Postpartum Rehab

Postpartum is not just 6 weeks or 1 year - it's forever! Our Pelvic Floor Therapists are experts at helping moms return to running, lifting, and jumping - symptom-free. To return to these activities, proper rehab must eventually include much higher level exercises than simple birddogs and bridges!

Understanding Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

The pelvic floor, a key element of your body's core, is as vital as it is often overlooked. This complex network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments stretches like a hammock across the base of your pelvis, holding crucial roles in supporting your abdominal and pelvic organs, managing intra-abdominal pressure, and maintaining continence.

Why Does the Pelvic Floor Matter?

A well-functioning pelvic floor is essential for more than just bodily support. It integrates with the muscles of the abdomen and diaphragm to form what's known as the "core canister," a dynamic system that stabilizes your torso, hips, and pelvis during movements. This synergy is crucial not just for athletes but for anyone engaged in daily activities. From lifting groceries to running marathons, a strong and responsive core canister ensures your body moves efficiently and safely.

Unique Functions of the Pelvic Floor:

  • Sphincteric Control: Manages the opening and closing mechanisms for urination and defecation.
  • Support: Acts as a foundational structure holding your pelvic organs in place.
  • Sexual Function: Plays a significant role in sexual health and function.
  • Stability: Contributes to the stability of the pelvic region and the entire body.
  • Sump Pump Effect: Assists in circulating blood and lymphatic fluid, reducing swelling and congestion.

A Dual Role: Skeletal and Autonomic Muscles

The pelvic floor is unique in that it comprises skeletal muscle that you can control, such as tensing or relaxing, and it also performs autonomic functions critical for bowel and bladder control. This dual role means that maintaining a healthy pelvic floor requires a balance of strength, flexibility, and relaxation, countering common misconceptions that strength training alone, like performing Kegels, is the sole solution to pelvic floor issues.

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Recognizing the signs of pelvic floor dysfunction is the first step toward regaining comfort and stability in your active life. While symptoms can vary widely among individuals, common indicators include:

  • Incontinence: Unexpected leakage of urine or stool, particularly when coughing, sneezing, or during physical activities.
  • Urgency and Frequency: A frequent need to urinate or a sudden, urgent need to go to the bathroom.
  • Pain: Discomfort or pain in the pelvic region, lower back, or the genital area.
  • Pressure: A sensation of heaviness or bulging in the pelvic area, which may indicate pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Sexual Discomfort: Pain during intercourse or other sexual activities, which can stem from heightened pelvic floor tension or dysfunction.

Common Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 

Understanding the root causes of pelvic floor dysfunction is crucial for effective treatment and prevention. Factors contributing to dysfunction include:

  • Physical Stress: Pregnancy and childbirth exert significant strain on the pelvic floor, potentially leading to dysfunction. Similarly, heavy lifting and high-impact sports can increase pressure on these muscles.
  • Aging: Natural changes in muscle strength and hormonal levels as we age can affect pelvic floor health.
  • Injury or Surgery: Trauma to the pelvic area, including surgery, can impact the function of the pelvic floor.
  • Chronic Conditions: Conditions that increase abdominal pressure, like chronic coughing or constipation, can strain pelvic floor muscles.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Sedentary behavior or conversely, overtraining in athletics without adequate core strengthening, can lead to imbalances and dysfunction.

Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Embarking on pelvic floor physical therapy at Steady State opens the door to profound benefits, directly addressing the dysfunction's root causes and symptoms. Here's what you can expect:

  • Enhanced Strength and Stability: Tailored exercises strengthen the pelvic floor, contributing to overall core stability and reducing the risk of injury.
  • Improved Function: Therapy aims to restore normal pelvic floor function, alleviating issues like incontinence and pain, thereby improving quality of life.
  • Pain Reduction: Targeted treatments and exercises help mitigate pelvic and associated pains, increasing comfort in daily activities.
  • Increased Awareness and Control: Our approach educates you on the pelvic floor's role, teaching strategies for better muscle control and relaxation, essential for optimal function.
  • Preventative Care: Beyond immediate relief, therapy provides tools and knowledge for long-term health, helping prevent future dysfunction.

Integrating Orthopedic & Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy at Steady State

Our approach to pelvic floor physical therapy transcends traditional boundaries. We specialize in a unique blend of orthopedic and pelvic floor physical therapy, recognizing the interconnectedness of the body's systems. This dual focus ensures a holistic treatment plan that addresses not only specific pelvic floor concerns but also related orthopedic conditions, offering a more complete recovery and enhancement of physical function.

Why Our Blended Approach Matters

  • Holistic Understanding: By viewing the body as an integrated system, we identify and treat related issues that might contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, such as hip pain or low back discomfort.
  • Customized Strategies: Our expertise in both orthopedic and pelvic floor areas allows us to craft highly personalized treatment plans. These strategies are designed to meet your individual needs, ensuring effective recovery and long-term health.
  • Empowerment Through Education: A cornerstone of our practice is educating our clients. Understanding the relationship between pelvic health and overall physical well-being empowers you to take an active role in your recovery and future health maintenance.

Beyond Treatment: A Journey to Enhanced Well-being

Choosing Steady State means embarking on a journey toward not just recovery but improved performance and well-being. Whether you're an athlete looking to optimize your physical capabilities or seeking to live your daily life without discomfort, our comprehensive approach supports your goals. We're dedicated to guiding you back to your favorite activities and helping you discover new potentials.

Your Partner in Health

Our team at Steady State is more than just healthcare providers; we're your partners in health. With a shared passion for active living and a commitment to personalized care, we're here to support your journey every step of the way. From your initial assessment through every milestone in your therapy, we celebrate your progress and work tirelessly to ensure you achieve your health and activity goals.

Your First Session: What to Expect at Steady State

Embarking on Your Healing Journey

Your initial session at Steady State is the first step toward reclaiming your active lifestyle, free from the limitations of pelvic floor dysfunction. Here's what you can look forward to during your first visit:

Personalized Assessment

  • Listening to Your Story: We start by understanding your unique experiences, symptoms, and goals. This conversation lays the foundation for a treatment plan tailored just for you.
  • Comprehensive Evaluation: Your physical therapist conducts a thorough physical assessment, examining both orthopedic and pelvic floor function, to pinpoint the root causes of your discomfort or dysfunction.
  • Collaborative Goal Setting: Together, we'll discuss and set realistic, achievable goals for your therapy, ensuring they align with your lifestyle and aspirations.

Your Customized Treatment Plan

  • Understanding Your Path: We’ll provide you with a clear, detailed explanation of your customized treatment plan, including the types of therapy and exercises you'll be engaging in.
  • Education and Empowerment: A key part of your first session is education. You'll gain insights into pelvic floor health, learn how to integrate practices into your daily routine, and start with techniques to improve your condition.

Support and Guidance

  • A Team Approach: You're not alone on this journey. Your physical therapist will be with you every step of the way, providing support, encouragement, and adjustments to your plan when needed.
  • Questions and Concerns: We dedicate time to address any questions or concerns you may have, ensuring you feel confident and informed as you begin your therapy.

Looking Forward

  • Next Steps: Before you leave, we'll discuss the next steps, schedule your follow-up sessions, and provide you with initial exercises or practices to start at home.

Your First Step Towards a Fuller Life

At Steady State, we're committed to not just treating symptoms but fostering a vibrant, active life for each of our clients. Your first session is more than just an appointment; it's the beginning of a new chapter in your health and well-being story.

Request an Appointment


I started seeing Ashten when I was halfway through my pregnancy. She helped me prepare for an amazing natural birth through pelvic floor therapy and a customized, guided strength training plan. I continued to see her through postpartum and am amazed at how seamless the transition into motherhood has been as far as strength and physical abilities go. Ashten always listens very actively and knows the right questions to ask. She goes the extra mile to help, even going so far as to hold my baby while I do the exercises in the clinic. (And as a side note, everyone in the clinic is very friendly and it is such a nice environment to spend time in.)

I would recommend Steady State to anyone who is pregnant and is desiring to stay physically strong through their pregnancy and into postpartum.

I plan to work with Ashten through all of my pregnancies!

- Mary Daniels

Steady State has quite literally changed my life. For over 5 years I was struggling with pelvic floor dysfunction and never found the right way to manage it- until physical therapy with Steady State. I tried everything there was in those 5 years, even went to a different PT. But Steady State goes above and beyond.

If you are also struggling with pelvic floor dysfunction, you need to go to Steady State. Almost 1 year working with them and I am the strongest I have ever been, I am more comfortable and confident in my body, and I no longer let PFD take over. I cannot recommend this place enough! Oh- and the entire staff are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.”

- Olivia Proctor

"I saw Ashten early on in my pregnancy with a goal to remain physically active and fit but do so in a safe way. She gave me a great prenatal workout plan specific to my goals and needs, and in doing so my fears of "working out the wrong way" washed away. She helped me recognize my areas of strengths and weaknesses as well. Halfway through my second trimester I started to suffer from severe pain in my left hip and had a terrible limp- Ashten was quick to help me and diagnosed me with pelvic girdle pain (something that can occur during pregnancy). She listened to all of my concerns and gave me exercises to help strengthen my core and lower back which were undergoing many changes due to pregnancy. She even taught me how to properly get in and out of bed and move smarter while accomplishing daily tasks. After a couple of weeks of consistently doing the exercises Ashten gave me, my hip pain went from an 8 to nearly a 2!! And now, at 32 weeks pregnant I can honestly say I feel the best I have so far and am still very active! Ashten is more than a physical therapist, she is a true, devoted friend who wants the absolute best for everyone and won't stop until you get there! Thank you, Ashten!"

- Jessica Lyons

Recent Pelvic Health Blog Posts

  • Dr. Ashten with her 2 dogs, Jasper and Opal
  • Dr. Ashten doing wall balls at Misfit Crossfit
  • Dr. Ashten hiking with her son, Calix.
  • Dr. Ashten sprinting at the America East Conference Championships in 2014.

Ready to Get Your Life Back & Live Symptom-Free?

Learn more with a Free 20-Minute Discovery Call today!

  • 24 Romasco Ln, Portland Maine 04101


  • +1 207-200-9409