Women’s Health & Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
What is Women’s health & pelvic floor Physiotherapy?
Women’s Health is a specialized area of rehabilitation where it is specific to Women’s health in particular, more so, after birth. Many women at some point in their lives after birth will suffer from unresolved Low Back Pain, sciatica, incontinence, abdomen muscle separation, painful intercourse, etc. Thus it is vital that they are assessed differently and thoroughly by women’s health specialist keeping the woman’s body structure, pregnancy, and birthing process in mind and then treating them accordingly.
What is Pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor, situated at the end opening of the sacrum, is a group of muscles and ligaments that supports the pelvic organs and prevent them from falling out. It is like a trampoline with its attachments to the pubic bone, sacrum, ilium, and ischium. Thus providing a supportive floor for the organs to remain in their position while performing their functions.
The floor is made of superficial layer and a deep layer . The superficial layers consists of the sphincters that control urine and defecation as well as perineal body. The deep layer consists of muscles named as pubococcygeus, ileococcygeuys, coccygeus and puborectalis muscles.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
It is a condition where a person is unable to use appropriately the muscles for the functions it is supposed to do. If a person is a woman, she may also feel pain during sex, and if it is a man he may experience problems in his erection knows as erectile dysfunction or ED.
What is the function of Pelvic floor Muscles?
Your first appointment will include a very sensitised thorough assessment with our Physiotherapist that has been trained well with the required skill set by the Mummy MOT, which is a specialist centre for Women’s health physiotherapy. The rehab program will be catering to all the concerns that affects the mum’s quality of life. Rest assured that all information is completely confidential.
It’s a strong set of muscles that not only supports the organs but helps carry out functions such as;
- Carrying the expanding pregnant uterus
- Helps with moving bowels out as well as expel urine
- Holds the bowel and urine from leaking out
- And last but not least, helps in bearing down during normal Vaginal Delivery.
What are the causes of Weak Pelvic floor Muscle?
Any factor that puts stress on the Pelvic floor will lead to dysfunction. Causes such as below are some of the most common ones seen to have a direct effect on the Pelvic floor.
- Complications during Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD) – such as the use of assistance during delivery like vacuum suctioning or forceps, large baby, pushing for too long, episiotomies.
- Being overweight can put a load on the pelvic floor as it has to bear the weight of the core torso against gravity.
- Constipation or Haemorrhoids usually happens when the technique used to empty bowels is incorrect and puts undue pressure on the pelvic floor.
- Heavy lifting causes the Valsalva manoeuvre’ which is holding the breath, pushing the diaphragm down thus straining on the pelvic floor.
- Chronic Cough or coughing too much
- Menopause (changes in levels of hormones)
Pelvic Organ prolapse is in simple terms movement or slipping of pelvic organs from their original position. This could happen due to immense pressure of bearing down during vaginal delivery or due to chronic constipation. This could happen due to reduced muscle strength or due to scarring internally. Either way it is a treatable condition and it is very crucial to see a trained physiotherapist to address the problem.
It is the leaking of urine due to any abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing, laughing. This leaking could happen due to reduced muscle strength of pelvic floor. You don’t have to suffer in silence. This problem is also treatable. It is imperative that you see a physiotherapist to improve your quality of life as well as avoid future problem.
Recurring problem with regards to arousal, decreased libido due to pain or fear of being intimate is all termed Sexual Dysfunction. A careful assessment with a trained physiotherapist can solve the root of the problem and bring back the quality of your life.
The pelvic Floor is part of normal human anatomy. It is present in men and women. The only difference is the type of organs its supports and thus the functionality. As with Women, Men also do suffer from Pelvic floor Dysfunction and needs to be seen by an expert pelvic floor Physiotherapist that deals with men’s problems.
You can tell if you are suffering from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction if you have the following symptoms:
- Increase in the frequency of using the toilet. The is a feeling of incomplete emptying by itself so you might use the force or there may be a lack of fluency in the normal process of emptying, stopping, and starting many times.
- Constipation or incorrect straining causing pain. Some figures suggest half of the people suffering from constipation chronically also have pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Straining hard to evacuate a bowel movement or the need to change positions on the toilet for bowel evacuation or using hand to help evacuate stool.
- Incontinence (urine and stool).
- Pain while emptying the bladder (urinating).
- Feeling of urgency in going to the toilet.
- Unresolved Low back pain and the cause is unknown.
- Consistent pain in your pelvic girdle, private areas, or rectum
- Pain during sex.
These are just a few symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from a Pelvic Dysfunction and need to see a specialist.
Symptoms vary in both genders and are unique to their respective genders. The pelvic floor in its basic nature helps in reproductive, excretion, micturition functions. In dysfunction, apart from facing problems in basic function men may experience the following;
-Male Urine incontinence and dysfunction.
In women they may also experience the following;
-Incomplete emptying of bladder and bowels.
They both are two different conditions. Pelvic Organ Prolapse is due to weakened and overstretched pelvic floor that the pelvic organs are not able to stay in their positions and drop either in the vagina or rectum. They have to be physically pushed back in. Pelvic floor Dysfunction is the inability of the pelvic floor to carry out its functions normally due to weakness.
What is a Mummy MOT?
The Mummy MOT is a very thorough post-natal physiotherapy assessment. It is highly recommended to every woman that has given birth specially to help new mums, to address any issues they might most likely face since giving birth and help them get back to their functional health and fitness.
Why is a Mummy MOT so important?
Normal deliveries and C-section are a life-changing, overwhelming experiences, but at the same time it also causes several significant changes in your body that can lead to long-term issues if ignored. The changes include;
• Changes in posture
• Chronic pelvic girdle pain
• Muscle imbalances
• Sexual dysfunction
• Compromised core strength
• Bladder and bowel incontinence
Pregnancy, most definitely, is one reason to cause weak Pelvic floor and thus Pelvic floor dysfunction due to 40 (average) weeks of increasing load of expanding uterus and foetus and then the bearing down during the 2nd stage of labour. All these add to the immense strain on the pelvic floor. It becomes even more problematic if there were any complications involved during the birthing process. For all these reasons it is extremely crucial that any mum, even if she has no symptoms, should get herself evaluated by a Pelvic floor therapist.
Every woman and man must know and understand their muscles of the pelvic floor so that they can better perform their kegel. The way to make you aware is two ways;
1: while urinating, stopping the urine mid-flow. Concentrate on those muscles used
2: Contract your buttocks as if you are stopping the wind. Make note of those muscles
3: Imagine a wire hanging from the vagina. Now imagine you have to pull that wire inside.
While doing so, concentrate on the muscles used.
4: Now that you have made note of the muscles individually, it’s time to contact them all together as 1 unit.
The idea that “weak pelvic floor is a normal side effect of pregnancy so let it be” is extremely ignorant, and worrisome as the problems of the weak pelvic floor get worse by age and decreases the quality of life. Seeking help with the right profession is the key.
Kegels are specific exercises for the pelvic floor. As easy as it may sound, they are very tricky and most of the time women do it wrong. Instead of pulling up, they bear down.
This exercise is done with the coordination of breathing and relaxation exercises. You have to completely relax, breathe several times thru your stomach and then pull up your pelvic floor. A sound easy but it’s difficult to incorporate all together. Try it!
As mentioned before these exercises as easy as it sounds, are not so easy to perform. If you are doing it wrong, chances are, you might worsen your problems. Also sometimes it might not be the case of weak pelvic floor muscles. It could be the case of hyper toned muscles which is the cause of pain. In this case, the treatment protocols changes. Thus it is important to show yourself to a pelvic floor Physiotherapist to get the correct assessment and guidance.
Why to see a Women's Health specialist when you can do this pelvic floor toning exercises at home?
As mentioned before these exercises as easy as it sounds, are not so easy to perform. If you are doing it wrong, chances are, you might worsen your problems. Also sometimes it might not be the case of weak pelvic floor muscles. It could be the case of hyper toned muscles which is the cause of pain. In this case, the treatment protocols changes. Thus it is important to show yourself to a pelvic floor Physiotherapist or women’s health specialist is important to get the correct assessment and guidance.
Why to see a women's Health Physio?
Professional help is sought especially when you are encountering problems with bowel and bladder. They may show as following symptoms.
- The urgency in going to the toilet for bowel or bladder
- Increased frequency in going to the toilet.
- Unexpected leaking with urine or bowels.
- Struggling in emptying the bowels or bladder.
- Feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen or a bulge down there.
- Pain during intercourse
- Unexplained and unresolved back pain
- Experiencing pain in your bladder, bowel, or back area near your pelvic floor while performing exercises.
All these problems are complex and it is not a necessary indication that it is due to a weak pelvic floor but it is very important to immediately check them out by the proper specialist.
Just like in musculoskeletal rehab every exercise is tailored and monitored, similarly, the results are optimum if the Pelvic floor exercises are tailored and monitored by a pelvic floor or women’s health trainer. As mentioned earlier, pelvic floor exercises can be performed at home to tone the pelvic floor BUT you don’t need to achieve the desired results like that. Most of the time, it gets worse if matters are taken into your own hands. It is best to consult the pelvic floor trainer to achieve your goals correctly. You don’t need to be sick to be seen by specific health professional.
Incontinence is a complex issue and its causes are many. It should be assessed individually and thoroughly before starting pelvic floor muscle rehab training. Toning or strengthening pelvic floor muscles might not be the treatment needed.
Women's Health physio or Gynaecologist?
Pelvic floor physiotherapist or Continence and women’s health physiotherapists specialize in pelvic floor muscle assessment exercises. Not only that, but they are also experts in assessing your core body functions in relation to the pelvis after giving birth. They assess your pelvic floor function and then devise an exercise program to meet your specific needs. If necessary they can also guide and prescribe other treatments such as relevant changes to your lifestyle that suit both the mama and baby.
We at Prime Physio Care a Musculoskeletal, Sports Injuries, Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy clinic. We have a certified Mummy MOT specialists. That means that you can expect each mum patient to be taken up very confidentially, assessed thoroughly, and then treated holistically with lots of empathy and understanding.
Not only that, our clients build confidence in us from the very first meeting and we are very grateful for that. We are also humbled by being part of so many success stories. We not only offer face to face treatment but also provide video consults and treatment. Our approach to treatment is to not view the problem in the body but viewing the body as a whole in that problem so that other compensatory changes that body undertakes due to a disease , is also treated. Unlike other treatment approaches where time is counted for every patient , at PPC we treat case by case .
You can expect for some cases to go more than an hour while some less then half hour. We believe each patient is different as well as their conditions and their goals. Our physios are trained to take each patient with the care they deserve and they are treated truly holistically.
It is necessary that your post-natal problems is seen by a certified physio that is trained in women’s health issues because only they can assess and see what needs to be assessed and seen. It is done with utmost care to your privacy .
How can you book an appointment?
We aim to see you within 24 hours so contact us to make an appointment or to find out more information on how we can help you, please call us on 07515280990 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org