Pelvic health physiotherapists can help women and men rehabilitate their pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles form a 'sling' to support the womb (uterus), bladder and bowel (colon). These muscles can be weakened by childbirth, surgery, heavy lifting, being overweight, constipation or menopause. Weak muscles can affect your bladder and bowel control, leading to incontinence (leakage) or prolapse.
For some women the pelvic floor muscles may be overactive; that is, they can switch on involuntarily when they should be relaxing. These women need to learn to release their muscles. Overactivity can cause difficulty with having sex, emptying the bladder or bowels or using tampons.
No doctor's referral needed to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Services
Pelvic Health physiotherapy can help mange symptoms that many women experience with pregnancy. This can include:
- Diastasis rectus abdominus
- constipation, haemorrhoids, pain with bowel movements, fecal incontinence or urgency
- Low back pain, hip pain, sacral pain, tailbone and or coccyx pain
- Urinary incontinence, frequency, painful urination, incomplete bladder emptying
- Painful intercourse, organs or sexual stimulation (Dyspareunia and vaginismus)
- Pelvic girdle pain, sacral (SIJ) pain, and pubic symphysis pain
- Bladder pain
Labor and Delivery
Pelvic health physiotherapy can help prepare women mentally and physically for the challenge of labor, delivery and recovery
- Education for beneficial birthing positions
- Pain management
- Body awareness and relaxation during pregnancy and delivery
- Techniques to avoid perineal trauma
- Breathing education for labour and delivery
Pelvic health physiotherapy can assist women with recovery from natural vaginal delivery as well as cesarean delivery
- Healing of rectus diastasic (abdominal separation aka “Mummy tummy”)
- Postural correction
- Proper lifting and postural positions
- Rehabilitation of pelvic floor muscles and core coordination
- Incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and painful intercourse
Pelvic health conditions often present in conjunction with orthopaedic pain i.e. hip, back, shoulder. As physiotherapists, we are trained to assist with:
- Low back pain
- Foot pain and plantar fasciitis
- Scar tissue management
- TMJ dysfunction
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic and persistent pain conditions
Your first pelvic health appointment
The first appointment consists of an assessment, this will include a through history taking of your complaints and symptoms and health history. I will take a full history of your bladder and bowel function, sexual function and medical and surgical history. I will also be interested in your fitness activities. An objective exam will be completed to look at your body at rest and with movement to evaluate various areas of the body that could be contributing to your condition.
Posture, breath and functional movement patterns all play a role in how our body functions, and I will evaluate all of this during your assessment. Depending on your condition and complaints, I may obtain consent from you to perform an internal pelvic assessment to determine the muscle tone, tension and function.
Treatment may include exercises, biofeedback (electronic monitoring), and manual treatment of the pelvic floor muscles, advice about daily function and fitness, as well as good bowel and bladder habits.
I have taken extensive specialized courses in pelvic health physiotherapy to be trained to perform internal pelvic examinations. Treatment for pelvic health conditions may involve internal and external manual techniques. If I determine internal and external physiotherapy examination and treatments would be beneficial, I will only perform them with your consent.
Ready to feel better?