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Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an evidence-based approach to treat pelvic floor dysfunctions. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Incontinence (leakage, urine or fecal)
- Urinary frequency
- Urinary urgency
- Bowel dysfunction including constipation
- Unexplained pain in the low back or pelvic region
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Organ prolapse
- Pelvic pain
- Pre and post pregnancy issues including weakness, pain, tearing, scarring or leakage
Lets start from the beginning…
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that are often described as bowl shaped and sit at the bottom of your pelvis. The pelvic floor plays a role in emptying our bowel and bladder, supporting our internal organs, and is also involved in sexual function. Further more, the pelvic floor is considered one of our key core muscles and contributes to back and core strength.
So What Can a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Do?
Just like you would see a physiotherapist for a knee or a back injury, one can also see a physiotherapist for pelvic floor dysfunctions. Because these muscles are not seen and are in an intimate area of the body they are often forgotten or not spoken of. Just like muscles anywhere else in your body, the muscles of the pelvic floor can become weak, tight, scarred and more! A pelvic floor physiotherapist is a specially trained professional who is able to assess the pelvic floor internally both vaginally and rectally. Yes, this may sound quite scary and uncomfortable, but pelvic floor physiotherapists are highly trained and sensitive to the intimate issues you may bring to the table. Your therapist will explain the internal exam thoroughly prior to beginning with you.
During an internal exam your therapist will be looking for areas of tenderness or tightness as well as scar tissue. They will also evaluate the strength of the pelvic floor and assess for organ prolapse. Based on their findings they will work on releasing the pelvic floor and then move on to strengthening. In addition to working on the tissues themselves, a pelvic floor physiotherapist can provide you with ample education about how the brain processes pain. Understanding pain and how it works has been shown to be an effective means of managing chronic pelvic pain.
Book Your Appointment!
If you suffer from any of the dysfunctions mentioned above you may benefit from a pelvic floor assessment. Research has demonstrated that physical therapy for the pelvic floor is highly effective and should be used as a first line of defense before surgery or medication.