Pelvic Floor aka Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of various conditions that involve the pelvic floor or symptoms that manifest in this area. The pelvic floor includes muscles, ligaments, nerves and connective tissue. It plays an important role in the body by providing support for the bladder, genitals, uterus and anus.
Our specially trained Pelvic Floor therapists will assess your ability to contract and relax these muscles and their synergy with the other core muscles. They will also assess the joints and muscles of your lower back, hips and sacroiliac (SI) joints since problems here can stress your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor therapists can treat the following conditions;
CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN
Can affect women and men. It is pain which has been present for 6 months or more. It may be felt at the entrance to the vagina, in the rectum, penis, testicles, pelvis or abdomen. Pain may be felt constantly during the day or only during certain activities. Pain may be increased with intercourse and can prevent any penetration into the vagina.
A loss of urine (whether a few drops or enough to run down your legs) is known as urinary incontinence. Both men and women, young and old can have problems. Urine loss may happen with a cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, or following a strong urge to empty the bladder. It is often due to weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Sometimes there is difficulty in starting the flow of urine, or fully emptying the bladder. It’s not unusual to have more than one of these problems at the same time, and they may also result in an increased frequency of going to the washroom, both during the day and at night.
A leakage of bowel contents (whether gas or stool) is known as fecal incontinence. There can be problems with constipation and straining, with getting to the washroom in time, or with a feeling of incomplete emptying.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are unable to support the pelvic organs, and other supporting ligaments become weakened and stretched. The uterus (womb) can drop down into the vagina, the bladder and bowel can slip and bulge up against the vaginal walls.
These problems can affect anyone, women and men, at any age . Many people find these subjects difficult to discuss and often suffer in silence for many years before seeking help. Evidence-based guidelines recommend physiotherapy to be the initial treatment of choice as it is the least invasive with no side effects and has a high success rate of 80% cure.
What conditions can a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist treat? Just about any women's health issue:
Pre and Post natal aches and pains
Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA)
leaking when you cough , laugh or jump or not getting to the bathroom in time
Urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, stopping and starting of the urine stream, painful urination, or incomplete emptying
Pelvic organ prolapseConstipation, straining, pain with bowel movements
Pain in your low back, pelvic region, hips, genital area, or rectum
Pain during or after intercourse, orgasm, or sexual stimulation
Uncoordinated muscle contractions causing the pelvic floor muscles to spasm
How long is the assessment and subsequent treatment sessions?
Your initial assessment is one on one in a private room. It will be approximately 60 minutes with your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Follow up visits will be determined during your assessment, as they are catered to your particular needs but approximately 45 minutes per session. We highly recommend booking your appointments ahead to ensure your preferred time.
How do Physiotherapists assess? A physiotherapist will assess you using detailed history-taking as well as specific physical tests and measures, such as flexibility or range of motion. Then analyze the assessment findings and use clinical reasoning to establish a diagnosis. Together, your abilities and functional needs will be evaluated and treatment plans established.
Will I need an internal exam and why is it necessary? An internal pelvic assessment is the best way to properly acess what is happening with the muscles, organs and connective tissue in the pelvis. We can acess tone ,strength, pelvic floor muscle coordination and function. It may be highly recommended for your particular problem. However, if you are uncomfortable with this, speak with your Physiotherapist about the pros and cons for you, and together you can decide if it is something that can wait, something that really should be done sooner, or if you can be successfully treated with the many external treatment options we have available. You can always grant or remove consent at any time during your treatments.
What if I have my period? Should I cancel my appointment?
Our therapists are able to assess and treat the pelvic floor even if you currently have your period. It can actually be beneficial as the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs can be affected by the hormonal fluctuations, especially if you notice a cyclical relationship to your problem. If you feel uncomfortable having your assessment during your period the therapist can either proceed with the assessment or treatment externally or you can reschedule your appointment.
Can I bring my baby with me? Yes! We welcome you to bring your baby with you for your appointment.
Will my extended health insurance cover pelvic floor physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy falls under the domain of physiotherapy, regardless of the area being treated. If you have insurance coverage for physiotherapy then pelvic floor physiotherapy will be included. But we encourage you to follow up with your insurance provider to confirm coverage. Please note that some insurance plans require a physician prescription in order to be reimbursed for physiotherapy services, even though you do not need a referral to see the Physiotherapist.
Did you Know?
1 in 3 women experience urinary incontinence
Over 30% of women perform Kegel exercises incorrectly
30-50% of women have a minor pelvic organ prolapse after a vaginal delivery
All women in France are given access to pelvic floor physiotherapy after having a baby
80% can be cured or greatly improved with an individualized physiotherapy program
Physiotherapy is the least invasive treatment for pelvic floor issues