Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a specialised area of physiotherapy that focuses on the muscles, ligaments and tissues that support the pelvic organs: the bladder, bowel and the reproductive organs (uterus and prostate). Pelvic Floor Muscles play a vital role in maintaining bladder and bowel control, sexual function and core stability. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can occur when the pelvic floor muscles have weakened, stretched or are too tight. Some symptoms you may feel if you have pelvic floor dysfunction are: involuntary urine loss, constipation or variable bowels, pain during intercourse or the feeling of heaviness around the perineal area. These symptoms can appear as mild or severe and can have a significant impact in a person's quality of life. It is often a 'hidden' condition as the pelvic floor muscles are internal muscles, hence it is important to know that help is available.
A pelvic floor physiotherapy assessment can be of benefit at any stage of your life. Pelvic floor physiotherapists have undergone additional training to provide thorough assessments and treatment options including internal examinations and real-time ultrasound imaging to provide you with a detailed understanding of your condition and effective treatment plan which may include modalities such as exercise, biofeedback or e-stimulations. Continue to read below about various conditions that pelvic floor physiotherapy sees:
If you have been suffering with involuntary urine loss while laughing, coughing, sneezing or are constantly finding yourself running to the toilet due to urgency, you may be experiencing weakness in your pelvic floor muscles. It is often thought that leaking urine is a normal part of aging, but while this is very COMMON it is not "normal". Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy has been proven to be an effective way to significantly improve or resolve your symptoms. Some strategies pelvic floor physiotherapy may use to treat urinary incontinence include pelvic floor exercises, biofeedback, bladder retraining strategies and nerve stimulation.
Are you expecting, or have you had a baby? Your Pelvic Floor muscles are in high demand during pregnancy and childbirth. Optimise your health by booking in with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist will teach you to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles correctly and assist with optimising your labour and recovery.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic Organ Prolapse refers to when the tissues of the pelvic floor are unable to support the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, uterus and vagina). This may result in feeling heavy or pressure in the perineum, or may result in a lump or bulge being present at the entrance of the vagina. Prolapse can also affect the bladder and the bowel, and be the cause of pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is the first-line treatment for pelvic organ prolapse.
Yes, Men have pelvic floors too! Although less common in men than women, men also experience pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can often occur secondary to a prostatectomy, or due to constant constipation, Symptoms may include urinary incontinence, urgency, or pain around the testes/ perineal area. It is important to know that men can also seek pelvic floor physiotherapy to be provided with strategies that will assist in their symptoms.
Pelvic Girdle Related Pain
Pelvic Girdle Pain refers to pain around the pelvis which may also encompass the lower back or lower abdominals. Pelvic Girdle pain is often associated with lower back pain during pregnancy and can be well managed with the help of a physiotherapist. The tail bone or the coccyx is a part of the pelvic area and can often be tender during pregnancy or well long after an injury (such as a fall on your backside). The pelvic floor muscles attach to the coccyx bone and may have a role in contributing to the pain. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can assess and treat this pain.
Pelvic Pain & Dyspareunia
If you are experiencing heavy periods, or have been diagnosed with a pelvis related condition such as endometriosis or adenomyosis, your pelvic floor muscles are often holding tension and find relaxation difficult causing pain to lower abdominals without true explanation. Painful intercourse (dyspareunia) or the inability to have intercourse may also be a symptom that occurs when there is high tone or tension in the pelvic floor. Pelvic Floor physiotherapy can help with a thorough assessment, and pelvic floor relaxation strategies and rehabilitation can help guide you to having more control surrounding your pelvic pain.
Still have questions? Head to our blog to read about what to expect on your first appointment with your pelvic floor physiotherapist, or call us for further information.