Personalized Treatment Plan with Women’s Health Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or other conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or low back pain may be associated with impaired bladder or bowel control, known as incontinence. Twice as many women experience urinary incontinence as opposed to men, partially because there are a variety of reproductive health incidents specific to women.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy is a therapeutic treatment developed to treat all disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. Physiotherapists in this field deeply understand the symptoms and are accustomed to discussing these issues, with the factor of confidentiality greatly upheld. They’ll make sure to create an accurate diagnosis for your condition and a personalized physiotherapy treatment plan that will help you best.
The Pelvic Floor
Your pelvic floor refers to the muscles that protect the reproductive and urinary tract. This covers the bladder, uterus, and rectum in females, and even wraps around the vagina and urethra. Your pelvis, tailbone, and sacrum are attached to the muscles. They serve the purpose of providing support and helping you regulate the function of the bladder and intestines.
When these muscles are not operating as they should, pain and other symptoms that interfere with everyday functioning occur. Physical therapy can be used to help relieve the pain and related symptoms by bringing you back to normal life.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to the inability to adequately relax and move your pelvic floor muscles in order to provide bowel movement or regulate your bladder. This can be caused by a number factors such as:
- Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles (Hypotonicity): contributes to Stress and Urge incontinence, Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Tight Pelvic Floor Muscles (Hypertonicity): contributes to Urinary and Fecal Urgency, Urge Incontinence, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Dyspareunia, Vaginismus, Vulvodynia, Pudendal Neuralgia, Interstitial Cystitis and Chronic Prostatitis
The muscles of the pelvic floor must be able to contract to preserve continence and to relax in order to facilitate urination, bowel movements, and sexual intercourse in women. Pelvic floor dysfunction, more precisely, muscles that are too rigid or hypertonic muscles, may be associated with people with pelvic pain.
Pelvic discomfort or pressure and frequency of the bladder and bowels can also be caused by muscles with too much stress. On the other hand, they can lead to stress incontinence and organ prolapse when they are low-toned. There are also times where a mixture of those who are too nervous and those who are too relaxed maybe the muscles.
Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The main cause of pelvic floor dysfunction cannot be fully determined. However, there are a few known factors that contribute to this condition. This may include the following:
- Traumatic Injuries (to pelvic area, i.e. accidents)
- Overusing the Pelvic Muscles
- Pelvic Surgery
- BMI Condition (being overweight or obese)
- Advancing Age
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a type of treatment that can speed up the recovery of pelvic floor related problems. Myofascial pelvic pain may be decreased and relieved during Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. Furthermore, symptoms of other disorders triggered by pelvic floor issues, including urinary and bowel incontinence, painful intercourse, and sexual dysfunction, can also be minimized.
TA specially trained physical therapist performs manual therapy in the treatment of myofascial pain by performing external and internal manipulations of the pelvic floor muscles, which are accessed via the vagina or rectum of the woman. Pain can be alleviated in the pelvic floor by relaxing contracted and shortened muscles, much as it does in other muscles in the body.
How does Physiotherapy for Women’s Pelvic Floor Health Work?
Pelvic Floor Therapy Techniques: Physical Therapy
In addressing your pelvic floor problems, your physical therapist will perform an assessment and decide which type of therapy will suit you best. The assessment will include an evaluation of both the external and internal pelvic floor muscles. The therapist may also ask you to stand, walk, and sit to check whether your posture or joints may have underlying issues that are affecting your pelvic floor muscles.
Hands-on physical therapy
Via hands-on approaches, both internal and external physical therapy typically treats pelvic floor disorder and pain. Since internal physical therapy can be challenging and painful for certain people, it is only when the patient is ready that therapists ensure that they fulfil the needs of each client and conduct this type of therapy.
These are the techniques included in External Physical Therapy:
- Nerve release
- Trigger point therapy
- Myofascial release, also called deep tissue massage
- Skin rolling
- Joint mobilization
These are the techniques included in Internal Physical Therapy:
Trigger point therapy is done by applying pressure at a particular position or by administering anesthesia into the trigger points. In order to ensure protection and precision, these injections are often performed by a doctor or nurse practitioner rather than a physical therapist. Additionally, depending on your situation, your therapist can also recommend Kegel exercises designed to strengthen your muscles.
Pelvic Floor Therapy Techniques: Equipments Used
During pelvic floor physical therapy, there are a variety of techniques used to help relieve pelvic floor dysfunction. The main purpose of the instruments is to help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and learn to relax them. The machines can also be used to help ease the pain that you are feeling. In this therapy, some instruments used can include:
- Electrical stimulation. This is used to help reduce pain and muscle spasms. This may be done in the office or at home with your personal electrical stimulation unit. In the office, your therapist can conduct treatments or give you an electric stimulation unit to use at home.
- Interferential therapy. This is another type of electrical stimulation. It is used to help reduce pain and spasms. This is a device that can also be used at home. Dilators. To help stretch tight tissues, these are progressively sized tools inserted into your vagina.
- Biofeedback. This is a device that uses electrical impulses to help you show the affected muscles how to relax. Electrodes can either be attached to the body or you can insert a probe into the vagina or rectum.
- The attached units (either electrodes or probes) are designed to feel the stress or relaxation of the muscles of your pelvic floor and will show their findings on the reading of the system. Your therapist will then describe the conclusions, along with what your reading target would be and how you will exercise your muscles to achieve this goal.
- Therapeutic ultrasound. This device uses sound to do a number of benefits in treating your condition. This involves creating a warmth that can help to minimize the spasms of the muscles and allow blood flow to increase and improve. In addition to that, it can also help reduce inflammation. Some ultrasound devices can be used at home, which is both efficient and beneficial for you.
Some other important parts of treatment are self-care, prescribed medication, and persistent pain education. These will help reduce your stress and will contribute greatly to your recovery. Your therapist will also be including this on your treatment plan and will discuss it with you better if ever your condition deems it necessary.
Want to book an appointment at Evergreen Rehab and Wellness Clinic? Call us at 604-449-5859 to find the best solution. We will help you to enjoy a painless and healthy lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your presenting condition will serve as the basis for assessment and treatment. The physiotherapist will begin the appointment by taking your confidential and detailed history. This will involve identifying the emergence of your symptoms and how they affect your everyday life. The evaluation of your abdominal muscles, pelvis, and lumbar spine then starts with your physical assessment.
You will also be receiving an internal examination. This is to determine the tone, strength, and control of the muscles in your pelvic floor. The test will involve finger palpation that will determine damage or scarring, pelvic organ prolapse signs, muscle tone, tenderness, muscles of the pelvic floor and feeling of connective tissue and neural sensitivity. The measure for the strength and endurance of the muscles of the pelvic floor will be next. This is to evaluate whether or not the muscles of the left and right, superficial and deep pelvic floor are working together.
The findings of the assessments carried out will be discussed with you and will serve as the basis of your treatment plan.
In most cases, physiotherapists will often allocate an hour for the first appointment in treating incontinence. This time frame allows them to acquire a thorough history related to your problem and ask you about all concerns that would also relate to this. For the next appointments, there is usually an allocation of 30-45 minutes.