Women’s health physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of all pelvic health related disorders, this can include:
- Incontinence or the bladder or bowel (stress and urge incontinence)
- Pelvic organ prolapse (reduced pelvic floor support for internal organs)
- Pelvic Girdle pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pain during intercourse
- Difficulty going to the toilet
- Abdominal separation
What are our pelvic floor muscles and why are they so important?
The pelvic floor muscles support the uterus, bladder and bowel, forming a ‘sling’ from the pubic bone to the tailbone. If these muscles are weak, this can affect bladder and bowel control, resulting in incontinence or prolapse.
Things such as childbirth, surgery, heavy lifting, constipation, menopause and even being overweight can cause your pelvic floor to be weakened. This is known as an underactive pelvic floor, for other’s their pelvic floor might be overactive, that is, they can switch on involuntarily when they should be relaxing. Overactivity can cause difficulty with sexual intercourse, emptying their bladder or bowels or even using tampons.
With proper pelvic floor muscle training, women are sometimes able to avoid surgical intervention. Here at Caboolture Physical Therapy centre, our highly trained physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can assess, treat, educate and manage your pelvic floor related conditions.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can help rehabilitate and retrain the pelvic floor muscles, they can assist with exercises to strengthen weakened muscles and use techniques that will help relax the overactive ones. Your therapist will work with you to identify any other concerns which may affect your pelvic floor function, such as any back, hip or abdominal injuries.
Trained physiotherapists have a range of tools which can help regain function, pelvic floor control and increased confidence to get you back doing the things you love.
What can I expect?
Every case and every individual is unique, so there is no one size fits all model with physiotherapy. We provide a private room for your consultations and a safe environment for you to express your concerns. Your initial assessment will take about 1.5hours, where your therapist will take a thorough history, assess your symptoms and pelvic function and establish an individual treatment plan that is designed around your personal goals.
Some of the things you can expect throughout your treatment include;
- Pain education and pelvic floor examination
- Muscle retraining, stretching and neural mobilisations
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- Provision of pelvic floor exercises
- Guided imagery and progressive desensitisation
- Relaxation and breathing techniques
- Training on good bladder and bowel habits, with advice on toileting and position modifications (you may be asked to complete a bladder diary)
- Sexual health advice and surgical recovery support
- Any necessary surgical education and recovery support
- Assessment and treatment of any unresolved lower back, hip or pelvic pain
How can women’s health physiotherapy help during pregnancy?
Lower back pain, stress urinary incontinence and pelvic girdle pain are common amongst pregnant women, which can occur due to a shift in hormones and the ever increasing weight of your baby. An assessment with a physiotherapist can help to prevent this. Your therapist will ensure that you are doing the appropriate exercises, perform gentle mobilisations and check that you are activating the correct muscles to keep you as functional and as pain free as possible.
What are some other conditions that your Physiotherapists can assist me with?
- Back and neck pain
- Wrist and hand pain, Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lower limb dysfunction
- Pelvic floor muscle strengthening and prevention of urinary incontinence
- Muscle cramps and lowerlimb swelling
- Abdominal instability and muscle separation
- Birth preparation
- Guidance for appropriate exercise and return to sport advice.
What does an Exercise Physiologist do?
Our Exercise Physiologists will work alongside your Physiotherapist to create an individualised exercise program that is pelvic floor safe and tailored to you. What our Exercise Physiology team can provide;
- Muscle strengthening and stretching programs
- Graded exercise programs to get you back to work, sport or leisure activities
- Pelvic safe gym exercise programs
- Pilates classes and education
- Lifestyle and activity advice
- Pain education
Our Women’s Health Team
For assessment and recommendation – Kaye Kerr (Physiotherapist)
If you are experiencing Women’s health related issues, book an appointment with Kaye Kerr our womens health Physiotherapist. She can provide you with a thorough assessment and recommendations about the best treatment plan for you.
Want to get back to functional activities – Emma Perry (Exercise Physiologist)
If you are looking to progress from your initial strength or stretching exercises and want to get back to the activities you love, book an appointment with Emma Perry, our Women’s health Exercise Physiologist.