'Why should I visit a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist?'
Pelvic Health Rehab & Common Conditions Explained
1 in 3 women experience pelvic health problems in their lifestime. Often these occur during transitional points in our lives such as pregnancy & postnatal and menopause.
In the past pelvic health conditions may have been labelled as 'normal' especially after child birth. Fortunately, awareness is growing and it is becoming wider known that these conditions may be common but they are not normal. The vast majority of conditions can be treated effectively with physiotherapy.
My hope is that women will feel able to reach out for a check-up post birth, feel supported throughout their rehabilitation, seek out education and feel empowered and strong to not only cope with Motherhood and all the other things life has but to thrive now and in the years to come.
Please see the the links in the text below and also keep an eye on the blog section.
This, I believe, is what every women should have! I have a particular interest in postnatal recovery and feel passionately (like already offered in some others countries) all post-natal women should have access to a pelvic health physiotherapist to assist with rehabilitation and achieve a safe and effective return to exercise.
The Mummy MOT is a postnatal check from head to toe! The Mummy MOT®️ is suitable from 6 weeks post delivery and many years after – once postnatal always postnatal!
The appointment includes an 1 hour postnatal asssessment with a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist to assess:
Full postural screen
Pelvic floor muscle assessment.
Abdominal muscle exam to check for any separation.
Screening for bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction that may have occured from pregnancy and birth.
An effective postnatal recovery programme looking at posture, breathing and core activation.
Written report to summarise the findings.
Training and treating the female runner & athlete.
If you are used to being physically active and fit you will be used to pushing your body. Having a baby is a truely magical time and your body will adapt and change in ways it hasn't before, even with each pregnancy. Prevention is better than cure so being proactive to ensure you are taking care of your body during pregnancy, postnatal or years afterwards can be useful to optimise performance whether it be a 5km to elite competition. We regularly take our cars in for a MOT so why wouldn't you do the same for yourself?!
To view the return to running postnatal guidelines published in March 2019 download it here.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
A prolapse occurs when one or more of the organs in the pelvis move from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. There are several types of pelvic organ prolapse and also 4 grades of severity. Symptoms include a heaviness, a dragging sensation, low back pain, urinary or bowel changes, changes with sexual intercourse and difficulty retaining a tampon. There is a lot that can be done to reduce your symptoms and optimise your well-being. Treatment can include:
- Education on strengthening the core cylinder and managing intra abdominal pressure in everyday and sporting activities.
- Pelvic floor exercises and core training
- Graded rehab
- Lifestyle changes
- Soft tissue therapy/myofascial release.
- Healthy bowel habits to prevent constipation
- Internal support via vaginal pessaries or external support via specialised garments e.g. EVBSport.
The aim is to allow you to participate in the exercise you love and achieve a fitness level you desire.
Diastasis Recti Abdominis (the tummy gap)
Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA) is an excessive prolonged widening and thinning of the midline connective tissue (linea alba). DRA is often experienced by women during and after pregnancy. In fact, research has shown that all pregnanct women have a diastasis recti (abdominal separation) at 35 weeks. Whilst it is normal to experience some degree of separation it should generally resolve naturally postnatally in the first 2-3 months. However, one third of women have been shown to have continued excessive widening months or years afterwards which can impact abdominal wall function and appearance. Many factors influence this so individual assessment to include detailed screening, education and a variety of treatment methods can really help to manage DRA and improve both function and appearance of the abdominal wall. Individual programming is often required to achieve an individuals goals.
This is the unintentional passing of urine. There are several types:
Stress urinary incontinence
You may know this as the 'oops moment'. Stress urinary incontinence describes the loss of urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing and any other movements that put pressure on the bladder. There are many factors which contribute to this problem, including childbirth, weak or overactive pelvic floor muscles, high impact exercise, constipation and obesity. The good news is that treatment often works!
In your appointment you be educated on how your pelvic floor and 'core system' is working and how to specify your rehab to help resolve your symptoms.
This is when urine leakage is associated with an sudden urge to go to the toilet which is often triggered by going to the toilet, running a tap or turning the key in the door. Urge incontinence often occurs with frequency (known as overactive bladder, OAB) and nocturia (the interruption of sleep one or more times because of the need to urinate). Again several factors can influence these symptoms, including the synergy of the whole 'core' system, constipation or simply the food/drink that you are consuming.
Mixed urinary incontinence
This is a combination of both stress urinary incontinence and urge incontinence.
Musculoskeletal aches & pains including pelvic girdle and lower back pain.
Experiencing aches and pains is very common in pregnancy and postnatal. Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain, low back pain, carpel tunnel syndrome and nausea and vomiting are all common symptoms. Niki's approach using massage, alignment, advice and exercise prescription should help your body feel much more comfortable again.
Pelvic Pain Conditions
There are many pelvic pain conditions that are rarely discussed openly. Some of these include:
Persistent pelvic pain
Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
Bladder pain syndrome (BPS) also know as Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Hyper-recruited / hyper-tonic pelvic floors
Painful sexual intercourse (or dyspareunia) is one of the most common and can be caused by several factors including the pelvic floor muscles becoming overactive and/or restrictions in scar tissue. Hormones and anxiety may also play a role in how things feel. Through careful questioning and screening we can assess, treat and problem solve with you in order to gain improvement in your symptoms.