What to expect:
Pelvic floor conditions are very personal, and often sensitive issues to talk about. For some, there can be physical or emotional trauma associated with the condition. Your therapist will always create a safe, caring, and professional environment. Your therapist will respect your journey to health, and invite good communication with you to ensure any physical or emotional difficulties with your therapy are being addressed.
Your physio will walk through a thorough history, and discuss your issues, and your goals. The assessment typically involves an internal vaginal exam (if you are comfortable with this) as it enables your physio to thoroughly assess your pelvic floor muscle tone, reflexes, strength, and ability to contract and relax your pelvic floor. Your physio may also assess the alignment and stability of your pelvis, spine and core muscles. Your assessment may feel somewhat similar to a visit to your obstetrician or gynecologist, but is typically more comfortable, as no apparatus is used.
At Langley Physio and Massage Clinic, our Women’s Health Physio treatments are performed only by licensed, female physiotherapists who have specialized training in this field.
What is Women’s Health Physio? Women’s Health Physio (also known as pelvic floor physio) treats the group of muscles deep in your pelvis that support your internal organs including the bowel, bladder, small intestine, uterus and vagina. Like any muscle group, the pelvic floor is connected to bones, and controlled by the brain and nerves. The pelvic floor can become injured, tight, weak, or poorly controlled, resulting in pain and dysfunction. While many cases of pelvic floor dysfunction are related to pregnancy and childbirth, various issues can arise at any time in life, and should always be treated conservatively first with physio, before considering medication or surgery. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for pelvic floor issues, and can result in a significant improvement in pain, function, emotional health and overall improvement in quality of life!
Your physio will guide you through detailed education of your condition and muscles. They will give you a personalized exercise program (more detailed than just “Kegels”), and use hands-on techniques such as joint mobilization of the spine, pelvis, or related joints, and massage to encourage correct alignment and muscle balance. You will be left with a comprehensive plan for managing and improving your condition, based on your lifestyle and goals.
Types of Conditions Women’s Health Physio can effectively treat:
Pregnancy associated pain and dysfunction: We advise that pregnant women have a pre-natal physio visit to assess the pelvic floor, and learn how to do correct exercises to facilitate a healthy birth and quick recovery. Following childbirth, we believe that pelvic floor physiotherapy is absolutely necessary for every woman, particularly for those with 2nd degree tears or higher. By having a physiotherapy assessment and treatment 6-8 weeks post partum, we can prevent many ongoing conditions such as incontinence, prolapse, and diastasis, that otherwise would continue to slowly worsen over time. We can also treat many other pre/post-natal conditions including low back pain, pelvic girdle pain, and pubic symphysis/SI joint pain.
Incontinence: Defined as an involuntary loss of urine or stool, often when sneezing, coughing, laughing, running, or lifting. Research tells us that 1 in 3 women suffer from incontinence, and that physio can cure 8/10 of those cases! Incontinence is not a normal result of ageing or childbirth and can be changed!
Pelvic organ prolapse: Occurs when the pelvic organs drop downward due to the force of gravity, and lack of support from the necessary muscles and ligaments. Pelvic organ prolapse can result in incontinence, constipation, poor sexual sensation, and low back pain. Physiotherapy can help you avoid surgery, and if surgery is necessary, is essential to help you fully recover from surgery.
Over-active bladder/Interstitial cystitis: Occurs when the bladder muscle squeezes before it is full, resulting in a frequent, unbearable urge to pee.
Pelvic and vaginal pain syndromes: Pelvic and vaginal pain syndromes can result in severe pain with sexual activity, sports, and other activities of daily life. Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, many women suffer in silence, and depression is a common side-effect. Most women with vaginal pain syndromes have increased tension or spasm of the pelvic floor muscles. Physiotherapy can help you to identify the problem, relax tight painful muscles, and desensitize hypersensitive tissue. Our goal is to help you gain control of your condition, and work towards a pain free, socially and sexually active life again.
SI Joint dysfunctions: A common cause of low back pain, your SI joints are found where the pelvis and low back meet. They are stabilized by numerous muscles including the deep core muscles and can become painful or unstable during pregnancy, or due to a fall or impact.
And much more!