Pelvic health physiotherapy can only be performed by a specially trained physiotherapist who has undergone post-secondary education and is registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. Pelvic health physiotherapy can help to retrain the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor to improve its strength and function.
Who would benefit from Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms or have been referred by another health care professional you may be a candidate for pelvic health physiotherapy.
Urinary Incontinence – unable to control the leakage of urine (with coughing, physical activity etc)
Urgency – having a strong urge to urinate or defecate that is difficult to control
Frequency – having to urinate very frequently and disrupting your everyday routine
Pain during or after intercourse or with any sexual stimulation
Constipation, straining or pain with bowel movements
Bowel issues including constipation, straining or pain
Unexplained pain in the low back, the pelvic region, the genital area or the rectum
Pelvic pain associated with endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and prostatitis just to name a few
Pre and post pregnancy issues including pain, leakage, bulging and scarring from C-sections, tearing or episiotomy
What to expect from Pelvic Therapy
During your pelvic health physiotherapy assessment your therapist will take a detailed medical history and perform both an external and internal examination of the pelvic floor. This will help to determine the state of the pelvic floor, its ability to contract and relax.
Your therapist may also assess your low back, sacro-iliac joints, hips and surrounding musculature as they can influence your pelvic floor. Once your therapist has determined the appropriate plan of action, treatment may include any of the following:
Education: understanding your diagnosis and how your lifestyle choices may be impacting your condition is the first step to improving the function of your pelvic floor and managing your symptoms. Controlling your diet, monitoring your bowel and bladder habits and postural awareness can all contribute to your pelvic health.
Manual therapy: hands on techniques may be used to stretch, mobilize and release tension in the soft tissue of the pelvic floor and surrounding tissue of the low back, abdomen and lower extremities.
Exercise: exercises to strengthen, lengthen and improve the coordination of the pelvic floor and surrounding musculature to improve its function. Internal examination and retraining of the pelvic floor is considered the gold standard in pelvic health.
Acupuncture: used to alleviate pain and improve neuromuscular function, your therapist can further discuss this during your treatment if they feel it is appropriate for you.