Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are trained in assessing and treating dysfunctions of the pelvic floor, such as urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, painful intercourse, pre and post partum concerns, painful menstruation and prolapse. Assessments and treatments involve internal and external techniques, which focus on the muscles, nerves, connective tissue, joints, ligaments, and tendons of the pelvic girdle, low back and hips. Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have received advanced training in pelvic floor dysfunction in order to perform internal assessments. Treatment techniques often include manual therapy techniques, exercises, connective tissue release, massage and education.
**Please note: Internal examination for the purpose of pelvic floor physiotherapy involves digital examination only. Digital examination is ONLY completed with the client’s consent, and patients will never be coerced to complete any part of the examination that they are uncomfortable or unprepared for.
However, digital internal examination does provide the best picture of pelvic floor muscle function. When performed, digital examination is more likely to lead to appropriate physiotherapy interventions (and greater success rates with treatment).
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch!
We offer pelvic floor physiotherapy at our Dufferin clinic.
PELVIC FLOOR SPECIALTY
The Pelvic Floor has 5 main roles:
1. Sphincteric (maintain continence)
3. Support of your organs
5. Sump Pump (help move lymphatic and venous fluid back up your body).
Men have pelvic floors, women have pelvic floors, kids have pelvic floors, we all have pelvic floors! When your pelvic floor muscles are not working effectively, you can notice issues in one or all of these areas.
Changes happen to your body during your lifespan. Pregnancy, aging, lifestyle, menopause, chronic constipation and surgeries (like a hysterectomy or prostatectomy) can impact the health of your pelvic floor and it's ability to provide you with proper bladder and bowel control.
We treat men and women of all ages, who may be experiencing:
Urinary or fecal incontinence and urgency
Persistent pelvic pain, low back pain or hip pain
Prepartum women – if experiencing pelvic, low back or hip pain and/or incontinence, but also to help prevent prolapse and/or incontinence after pregnancy
Postpartum women – if experiencing pelvic, low back or hip pain, incontinence or prolapse. They can also benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy to prevent incontinence and prolapse from occurring in the future as well as post partum episiotomy tear rehabilitation
Painful Bladder Syndrome and Interstitial Cystitis
Painful menstruation or cramping
Vulvar pain or Vestibulodynia
If your symptoms are not found above, please don’t hesitate to follow up with the clinic, as this list is not exhaustive.
Treatment techniques often include manual therapy, exercises, connective tissue release, massage, modalities and education. By performing an internal examination in the initial assessment, and in subsequent treatment sessions, the therapists are able to provide feedback to ensure proper performance of the pelvic floor exercises for relaxation and strengthening.
Incontinence is a natural part of aging
Incontinence after childbirth is normal
Nothing can be done to change incontinence
Waking up to urinate every night is normal
It is normal for intercourse to be painful
All of these common misperceptions are false! Incontinence is not a natural part of aging; it is common but it is not normal to have incontinence. Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help reduce and prevent incontinence of the bladder and bowel, restore pain free intercourse and reduce nocturia (waking up at night to urinate)!
A Cochrane Review in 2014 found high quality evidence to support pelvic floor muscle training as the first line treatment for stress and mixed urinary incontinence in women.
A pelvic floor contraction, or a “Kegel” is an exercise we can use to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor but it is also important to know how to relax and lengthen this same group of muscles. Achieving full range of motion, coordination, and balance of the system can make a world of difference for a patient who is experiencing symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. Sometimes treatment involves a “Kegel” and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always involves awareness of what these muscles are doing.
Remember, not everyone is the same and there are many factors that can contribute to symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. However, the “Kegel” is not always the answer – your pelvis is about so much more!