Are You One of the One in Four Women Who This Affects?
Women’s Health: What is it?
The subject of women’s health encompasses a range of issues that can be treated by physiotherapy. There are certain health problems that can affect women at different times in their lives which require specialized physiotherapy treatment.
From pregnancy, back and leg pain, to incontinence problems, a specialized physiotherapist is here to help you.
What to Expect From Your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Assessment
Pelvic floor issues are incredibly common. In fact, recent statistics suggest that 1 in 4 women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. Living with chronic pelvic and back pain is draining, and can interfere with sexual intercourse, good sleep and daily functioning. There variety of conditions treated by a pelvic rehabilitation therapist include:
- Musculoskeletal aches and pains (involving the back, hips, sacroiliac joint, groin, abdomen and sometimes limbs)
- Bladder and bowel issues
- Painful sex or an inability to have penetrative sex
- Pregnancy & postpartum recovery
- And much more
The pelvis is composed of three large bones plus the coccyx. The pelvis is the section between the legs and the torso that connects the spine (backbone) to the thigh bones. The pelvis is made up of three bones which join together and form a ring. Three joints are part of this pelvic ring: the symphysis pubis joint at the front and two sacroiliac joints at the back.
There are many muscles in the pelvis which work together to either stabilize the knee, hip or provide support for the spine and maintain disc space. The gluteus muscles work together to stabilize the pelvis onto the femur, the piriformis muscle and the obterator internus both help with external rotation of the hip.
The Causes of Pelvic Imbalances
Many women who suffer from any of the symptoms discussed may be affected for a variety of reasons. For example, pregnancy can cause muscular and structural changes in a woman’s body, leading to various levels of discomfort. A slip and fall or motor vehicle accident can cause various injuries to the pelvic region, requiring physiotherapy attention. Any surgery experienced in the pelvic region, such as a hysterectomy or laparoscopy leaves abdominal may cause weakening of the muscles as well.
History: Just like any other physiotherapy assessment, we’ll go through a history of your symptoms, so we know exactly what your goals are, and to guide the rest of our exam. These conversations may include topics that aren’t easy to talk about – your bowel and bladder habits and sexual health and history are of particular importance in order to get a complete picture of your pelvic health. Rest assured, we do all of our assessments in a private room, and have ample time to chat about those less comfortable topics.
External Exam: We take a look at your posture, the health of your low back and hips, as well as the muscles around the abdomen/pelvic region. The muscles in your pelvic floor are just like any other in your body – they can be tight or weak, causing pain and dysfunction. Be sure to ask any questions you may have, and be certain to tell your physiotherapist if you have any pain or discomfort during the session. No internal examination is required after consultation with your gynaecologist. Our main focus is to make you feel confident, strong and overall feeling better again!
Education: We will review the key findings of your assessment so that you have a thorough understanding of your condition. Knowing what is going on is crutial to feeling in control of your body. We use pictures, models and whatever else is needed to ensure your understanding.
Homework: You didn’t expect to leave a physiotherapy session without homework did you? Based on our findings you will be prescribed some home exercises to help improve your condition. During your session we will have determined the strategies that allow you to best connect with your pelvic floor, and you will go home with these exercises to practice.
Follow Up: The frequency of your treatments will depend on the assessment findings and severity of your symptoms.
If you have any more questions about this service before booking your first appointment, please contact us at your convenience.