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The Role of Physiotherapist in Pregnancy and Child Birth

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is a condition that affects muscles in the lower pelvic area. The pelvic floor consists of muscles that surround the pelvic bone and support the weight of organs in that area such as the bladder, rectum, prostate and uterus. When there is too much tension in the muscles of the pelvic floor (or too little), the condition is known as Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. This condition manifests itself in incontinence, difficulty to urinate and the need to bear down or forward while urinating. Physiotherapy can be very helpful in treating many pelvic floor dysfunctions.

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Some of the symptoms patients experience include frequent and urgent urination, constipation, pain in the lower back or pelvic region and muscle spasm.

Diagnosis

The physiotherapist will check for problems in the pelvic area such as muscle spasms, muscle knots, weakness or misalignment. Alternatively the practitioner can use electrodes in the perineum area (located between the sexual organ and rectum) to measure your muscles’ ability to contract and relax.

Treatment

Treatment for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can consist of self-care, medication and physical therapy. Physical therapy can be very effective in treating this condition. The treatment consists of external and internal manual therapy. Manual therapy is usually the first form of therapy used before other treatments are done.

Internal Therapy

For internal treatments, the physiotherapist inserts a finger into the vagina or rectum and gently massages the muscles. A common manual therapy technique employed is “Thiele striping” where the physiotherapist feels for a trigger point in the muscle. The therapist then performs a circular motion and applies pressure to help the muscle relax. The physiotherapist repeats the procedure until there is a noticeable release in muscle tension.

External Therapy

In the event that the patient experiences too much discomfort in the process, alternative treatments will be used. These include: skin rolling, deep tissue massage, nerve release, trigger point therapy and joint mobilization.

In addition to manual therapy techniques, various forms of electric stimulation are applied to the muscles. Many of the devices can be inserted directly into the body (through the vagina or rectum).The patient is usually given exercises to relax and strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

It is only in consultation with a trained physiotherapist that you can learn about treatment options to make an informed decision as what the most appropriate form of treatment would benefit you. At Physiomobility we have modern state-of-the-art equipment and trained staff to diagnose and treat your condition.

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