Pelvic Health concerns are way too common but rarely talked about. Many women suffer silently without realizing that there are effective, evidence-based treatment solutions. Pelvic Floor physiotherapy is becoming more established in the research as a first line of defense in the treatment for incontinence and pelvic pain.
What is the function of the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor muscles are voluntary muscles; these are muscles that we have direct control over. Their functions include:
- maintaining continence of the bladder and bowel
- allowing sexual function and pleasure
- providing support to the bladder, uterus, and bowel so that they stay supported in the abdominal cavity
- providing support for the low back so that we can function without pain
When the pelvic floor muscles are unhealthy, they can contribute to problems such as incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain.
What causes pelvic floor problems?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by an imbalance of pelvic floor muscles that are either too weak or too tight.
- Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
- Tight pelvic floor muscles can contribute to urinary and fecal urgency, urge incontinence, painful intercourse, pudendal neuralgia, interstitial cystitis, and chronic pelvic pain.
Learning how to connect with our pelvic floor muscles is important throughout our life span. Knowing how to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong, yet relaxed, is a skill we need to support us in all our activities and exercise.
Incontinence is NOT normal
Any involuntary loss of urine or feces is not normal and can be helped. Although one in four women experience urinary incontinence, it is not a normal part of aging or pregnancy. Sufferers often find themselves unable to control when their bladder empties, which can be embarrassing and have a long term effect on quality of life.
What is pelvic health physiotherapy?
As physiotherapists trained specifically to assess and treat the pelvic floor muscles, we can help uncover the cause of your incontinence or pelvic pain issues. We can work with you to change your habits and regain control of your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor muscle training has been proven (2014 Cochrane Collaboration review) effective for women with stress or urge incontinence and is recommended as the first line of defense before surgical interventions. There are ongoing new research findings demonstrating the benefits of physiotherapy for management of pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, and associated conditions.
We offer specialized treatments for women with:
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary urgency
- Bowel incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Post pelvic surgery
- Chronic constipation
- Overactive bladder
- Sexual pain
- Pelvic pain
What to expect at your first appointment?
Because pelvic floor issues can be so different for each person, it’s important to have a treatment approach designed for you.
Your initial appointment will be a time to understand your concerns and discover how your pelvic floor functions. You will be asked detailed questions related to the function of your pelvic floor and the assessment will usually include an internal examination. You will be seen in a private treatment room and every effort will be made to keep you comfortable.