PREGNANCY, POST-NATAL AND WOMEN'S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY
What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?
Women’s Health Physiotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of all disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. From incontinence to pelvic pain, there is growing evidence that physiotherapy can alleviate, and in many cases cure these symptoms. Most women don’t know that help is available and it can be an embarrassing topic.
Women’s health physiotherapy can improve the quality of women’s lives by empowering them to take control of their problems. In fact research-based evidence and government health guidelines recommend supervised pelvic floor muscle training as a first-line course of action to treat urinary incontinence.
What do specialist women’s health physiotherapists do?
The answer is, they can do a lot!
They treat pelvic girdle pain ante-natally and post-natally
Can make a big difference post-natally to your tummy gap (rectus diastasis)
Can help you return to sport and exercise post natally
Work with female athletes who may have a pelvic problem i.e. triathlete, CrossFit and running
Assess and treat urinary incontinence (urinary leak) successfully
See patients with bowel problems maybe post surgery or post-natally
Can I have treatment even though I am pregnant?
Yes!! We see a lot of women in the clinic and we get really great results with them. Treatment consists of very gentle joint techniques around your pelvis and spine, gentle soft tissue techniques to relax some of the muscles in spasm. Specialist taping to give you more confidence in moving and reduce some of the apprehension. Specialist pregnancy exercises that are safe to do.
What treatments should I expect?
Specialist Women's Health physiotherapy treatment options may vary from case to case but may consist of the following:
Exercises - many women only need an intensive programme of pelvic floor muscle training to see a noticeable improvement with their symptoms. Learning to contract these muscles correctly with the lower abdominal muscles is really important.
Bladder training - there are specific techniques that can be taught to train the bladder to hold more urine and therefore need emptying less often.
Biofeedback - equipment can be used to teach us how to use the pelvic floor muscle correctly and effectively. It can also be used to assess if there is any improvement in the strength and endurance of the muscle.
Muscle stimulation - in cases where the pelvic floor muscle is very weak and unable to contract independently, equipment can be used to remind the muscle how to work. The equipment stimulates the pelvic floor muscle and as the muscle remembers how to contract. Exercises can then be added into the treatment program.
Relaxation techniques - anxiety and tension can make bladder problems worse. Specific relaxation techniques can help to gain control over your bladder.