Women's Health physiotherapy, also known as Pelvic Floor physiotherapy is a safe, non-surgical option to help manage your symptoms and regain mobility and function. Women's health physical therapists have specialized education and expertise in the evaluation and treatment of both acute and chronic conditions that specifically affect women such as incontinence (urinary leakage), pelvic pain.
The pelvic floor muscles are located in your pelvis and stretch like a hammock from the pubic bone (at the front) to the coccyx or tail-bone (at the back) and from side to side. The pelvic floor muscles work with your deep abdominal (tummy) and deep back muscles and diaphragm to stabilize and support your spine. They also help control the pressure inside your abdomen to deal with the pushing down force when you lift or strain such as during exercise. Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel and uterus in women.They also help maintain bladder and bowel control and play an important role in sexual sensation and function.
Accidentally urine leakage when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
Needing to get to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
Constantly needing to go to the toilet
Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
Accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
Accidentally passing wind
A prolapse: in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping.
Pain in your pelvic area
Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight. Some people have weak pelvic floor muscles from an early age, while others notice problems after certain life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.
Pelvic floor muscle fitness is affected by a number of things. These include:
Not keeping them active or overworking them
Being pregnant and having babies
A history of back pain
Ongoing constipation and straining to empty the bowels
Being overweight or obese
Heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
Previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy)
If you experience pelvic floor (or bladder or bowel control) problems it is advisable to see a women’s health physiotherapist to determine the cause of your symptoms and discuss the best treatment and management options to suit your needs. This may include an individually tailored pelvic floor muscle training program to help get you back in control.
In your pelvic floor assessment and follow up appointment we will:
Take a detailed personal and medical history
Assess your posture and spine
Check for muscle imbalances
Assess the strength, tone and function of your pelvic floor muscles and core (this is done with an external and an internal exam of the pelvic floor)**
Check for Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation)
Check for pelvic organ prolapse
Assess and treat any scar tissue from tears or incisions from previous births or surgeries in our pelvic floor and abdomen
Create a comprehensive treatment plan that may include exercise, manual therapy, education and self-management of your symptoms
Address any questions or concerns you may have in regards to your care
**An internalPelvic exam is the Gold Standard for Pelvic floor care. If you are uncomfortable or have questions, please talk to your physiotherapist for the best possible treatment for you.