Many women have dysfunction that they have not discussed with others because they are embarrassed or assume it is normal, when in fact there are different treatments available for a range of issues women experience related to the pelvic floor. These could include medication for urine leakage or frequent urination, Pessaries, which are inserts women wear intravaginally to help decrease the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse or in some cases even surgery to correct leakage or prolapse. Often physiotherapy can be a great treatment option for many pelvic floor dysfunctions as it is less invasive than many treatment options. With a combination of in clinic treatment and home exercises, great improvements can often be obtained with physiotherapy.
What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?
Women’s Health Physiotherapy Treatments focus primarily on the pelvic floor and core. Physiotherapists with specific training like Jeri Williams are able to assess your alignment and musculature with specific attention to the pelvic floor, hips, low back and even up through the ribs if needed.
Conditions Physiotherapists treat:
A physiotherapist who has specific training in treating the pelvic floor is a great resource to treat a range of conditions. These conditions include urinary leakage including stress incontinence (leakage caused by activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise) and urge incontinence (leakage when you are not able to make it to the bathroom in time). They can also address frequent urination, which could be impacting your daily activities or sleep. They can help to decrease pelvic floor tension, which can result in pain and urinary leakage. They can guide you with exercises to strengthen a weak pelvic floor, which can result in urinary leakage and impact your ability to lift and exercise. They can also help to minimize the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and slow the progression.
Can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Help Me?
Women who benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy can have a wide range of complaints that prompt them to initiate treatment. This can include one or a multitude of the following symptoms:
- Leaking urine
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Pain with intercourse
- Pressure in the vaginal area
- Frequent trips to the bathroom
- Poor ability to control strong urges to urinate
What can I expect during my first visit?
During your first visit your physiotherapist will take an extensive history. They will ask many questions that are relevant to the pelvic floor to get a true picture of the issues that you are dealing with. After the history the physiotherapist will perform the assessment. The assessment will be tailored to your specific situation and comfort level. This will look different in each case, it could be completely external or there may be an internal component where a vaginal assessment is done. There will then be a discussion regarding what is causing your issues and treatment will be discussed and initiated.
What does Women’s Health Treatment look like?
The treatment will ultimately be tailored to suit your individual needs and comfort level. A key part of any women’s health treatment will be education and home exercises. The in clinic sessions may also involve internal (vaginal) treatment to increase muscle strength or decrease muscular tension, joint mobilization, postural correction, discussion on fluid intake and activity modification.