Pelvic health physiotherapy (also called women’s health or pelvic floor physiotherapy) is a specialized area that focuses on the pelvis and all surrounding areas. This can include assessment and treatment of the bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs. It also includes treatment of the muscles of the pelvis, back, abdominals, and hips.
This includes a wide range of areas including (but not limited to):
So many of these concerns can be labeled as “just a normal part of being a female”. While many of these concerns are common, they are not normal and can have a huge impact on daily living. Pelvic physiotherapy strives to provide education, hands-on treatment and a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate these concerns and get you back to optimal function.
There can be a lot of uncertainty around this first visit, so here is some information on what to expect. The first session is an hour-long and focuses on gathering information about you, your history, symptoms, and the main reasons you are seeking therapy. This is done in a one-on-one setting in a private treatment room. You will be sent a questionnaire prior to your assessment which will allow you to make note of the concerns most important to you.
The therapist then completes an assessment which can include evaluation of posture, the low back and hips, the abdominal muscles and pelvic alignment, how you move, an external pelvic assessment, and then an internal pelvic assessment. The internal pelvic assessment looks at muscle strength, muscle tone, and how your pelvic floor is functioning. It can also assess for pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic pain. The internal vaginal and/or rectal assessment is explained in detail and only performed if you are comfortable and with your written and verbal consent. If this is something that you are not comfortable with, that is completely fine! We want you to leave your assessment feeling empowered and armed with a better understanding of your body and strategies that can be used to help you reach your goals.
Absolutely! Online sessions are consultative in nature and do not involve a physical examination or hands-on treatment. We are able to go through a detailed history where we discuss specific concerns regarding your bladder, bowel, sexual function, childbirth history (if applicable), pelvic pain or any other area of concern. We are then able to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for you to begin at home. This includes exercises, education, recommended routine changes and activity modifications. This can be a great way for anyone to access pelvic floor therapy and begin to make positive changes, even if they are not able to make it into the clinic.
We recommend waiting for 6 weeks after delivery before your first treatment. This allows your body the time it needs to heal and gives you some time to settle in with your new baby. Postpartum therapy is not only recommended for women who have had a vaginal birth, but also for those who have had a c-section. If you are having concerns earlier, please contact us! Our therapist would be happy to answer questions and help determine the best course of action for your individual circumstance.