Pelvic Health Physiotherapy

Who can benefit?

Women of all ages have seen great success with pelvic floor physiotherapy. Do you ever experience leakage? It could happen with an action (cough, sneeze, jump), or as you’re rushing to get to the bathroom. Do you have pain or discomfort sitting for periods of time? Is intercourse painful? Do you have persistent back or hip pain that just doesn’t seem to get better with everything else you have tried? Are you pregnant or given birth? These are just a few examples of people who likely have pelvic floor dysfunction and will benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy.

 

What is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?

Pelvic health physiotherapists have specialized training in treating the pelvic floor. This is a group of muscles, joints, and nerves that contribute to bowel and bladder function, sexual function and stability of the pelvis, hips and back. Assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor is done externally as well as internally (vaginally and/or rectally), as many of these muscles cannot be felt from the outside. 

Just like muscles else where in the body, these muscles can be tight, weak, over-worked, under-worked, not coordinated well, disconnected from your brain and awareness, or upregulated by the nervous system. All of these things can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction and/or pain. Physiotherapy helps to identify which variables are contributing to the dysfunction and helps you get everything back on track and working together again. 

 

Can I just do Kegel Exercises instead?

Kegels are not for everyone and in some cases can cause more discomfort. Your pelvic dysfunction could be because your pelvic floor is already too tight and doing Kegels may worsen your symptoms. If pelvic floor weakness is the problem, Kegels may be an important part of your treatment. The only way to know when and how to properly perform a Kegel is to have a pelvic floor physiotherapist do an internal assessment.

 

Pelvic Health at GRSM

Your appointments are held in a private room. Assessment and treatment involves both external and internal techniques, based on your symptoms and comfort level. You will work one-on-one with a physiotherapist to meet your individual goals, whether that means being able to exercise without leaking, not having to stop the car every hour to use the bathroom, being able to have pain free intercourse, or being able to sit without tailbone pain. Pelvic health physiotherapy may be the answer for a problem you thought had no solution!

 

What does treatment involve?

  • Manual (hands on) therapy internally to the pelvic muscles and joints, as well as externally to the back, hips, and abdomen
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Relaxation and breathing
  • Education about bowel and bladder function
  • Brain retraining/connection/proprioception
 
Senior Woman Tying the Laces of Her Walking Boots in Woodland During a Hike

Pre- and Post-Partum Care

During pregnancy, those who see a pelvic floor physiotherapist have been reported to have less pelvic and low back pain and a lower risk of incontinence during their pregnancy and post-partum. Common complaints post-partum include incontinence, painful intercourse, and C-section and episiotomy scar pain; all of which can be addressed with pelvic physiotherapy. In Europe, pelvic floor physiotherapy is more widespread and well known. In France, every woman is allotted a number of visits with a pelvic floor physiotherapist as part of her post-partum care.

 

Misconceptions

  • “Common” = “Normal”– NOT true! Leakage of any kind, at ANY age is common but NOT normal. Physiotherapy can help address this.
  • Kegels are good for everyone- NOT Most people are hypertonic (or too tight) and therefore need to work on relaxation of tissues before strengthening occurs.
  • Pelvic Physiotherapy only treats incontinence- NOT We can address a number of pelvic issues, see below for a more comprehensive list.
  • People don’t want to talk about this area- NOT The prevalence and impact on quality of life is so high, it is crucial that we as health care professionals make discussions around these issues comfortable and normalized.
 

COMMON CONDITIONS WE TREAT

Our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists

For more information, please contact by email at pelvichealth@grsm.ca or by phone at our Cambridge or Kitchener-South clinics.

Services

SPORTS MEDICINE

Our physicians specialize in sports medicine and are certified with the Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine (CASEM). They provide expert medical care for high performance athletes, recreational athletes and active individuals.

PHYSIOTHERAPY

Our physiotherapists focus on sport- and activity-specific rehabilitation. Our goal is to return you to your activity as soon and as safely as possible.

CHIROPRACTIC

Our chiropractors utilize functional assessments to diagnose and determine the appropriate treatment plan and therapeutic methods. These techniques include Active Release Technique (ART), Athletic Movement Assessment (AMA), Diversified chiropractic Manipulation technique.

MASSAGE THERAPY

Our Registered Massage Therapists use preventative and restorative therapies to help you maintain, rehabilitate and improve physical function or relieve your pain.

ATHLETIC THERAPY

Our Certified Athletic Therapists use a full range of treatments to rehabilitate, prevent injury and help you return safely to your sports and other activities.

FOOT ORTHOTICS

Our pedorthists are trained in assessing, casting, design and fitting of foot appliances (orthotics) and in fitting of footwear to reduce painful and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet.

BRACING

Our bracing professionals help fit you with a stocked or custom brace so that you may be able to return to sports or recreational activities sooner and safer.

DIETITIAN & NUTRITION

Our Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist helps to promote good nutrition habits that can help you maintain your energy levels, weight and muscle mass and can lower your risk of certain diseases.

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