WOMENS HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY
What is Women's Health Physiotherapy?
Women's health physiotherapy is a unique speciality which involves treatment of pain and dysfunction related to gynaecological or pelvic floor issues. We treat women of all ages who may suffer from women's health related symptoms. These can include pelvic floor weakness, urinary or bowel incontinence, pregnancy related pelvic or back pain (pre-natal and post-natal), post-natal rectus diastasis (abdominal muscle separation) and pain and dysfunction following obstetric and gynaecological surgery.
Common problems treated by a Women's health Physiotherapist
Pelvic floor dysfunction – this can be weak, underactive, overactive or tight and lead to any of the below problems
Urinary frequency – this can feel like you need the toilet often or very urgently, and involve some leaking
Stress urinary incontinence – this can involve leaking of urine with strenuous activity
Prolapse – this refers to one of the pelvic organs bulging out or down into the vagina, and can cause a “heavy” sensation or discomfort during sexual intercourse
Rectus diastasis – this is the separation of abdominal muscles to allow room for the growing foetus during pregnancy
Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain – previously called Symphysis pubis dysfunction, this is pelvic pain which can occur during or after pregnancy
Chronic pelvic pain – Pelvic pain which has lasted more than 3 months (this can often be years of recurrence) which may or may not be related to pregnancy
Pudendal neuralgia – compressed or irritated nerve in the pelvic region, which can cause weakness, numbness or pain into the lower leg
Post surgery rehabilitation – gynaecological or abdominal surgery which may or may not be related to pregnancy
Women's health at Physiolistic
Here at Physiolistic our women's health specialist physio, Sasha Wood is trained and has a breadth of experience to support this unique speciality which involves treatment of pain and dysfunction related to gynaecological or pelvic floor issues. She treats women of all ages who may suffer from women’s health related symptoms. These can include pelvic floor weakness, urinary or bowel incontinence, pregnancy related pelvic or back pain (pre-natal and post-natal), rectus diastasis (abdominal muscle separation) post-natal, and pain and dysfunction following obstetric and gynaecological surgery.
Some women may have been putting up with these kinds of problems for years before seeking advice. For example, a third of women suffer from some sort of incontinence (leaking bladder) and some will go their entire lives without addressing the problem. Many assume that this is “normal”, and part of the ageing process. Although it is common, it most certainly is not normal. But it can be helped with specialist physiotherapy input.
Pregnancy is an incredible experience for many women. However, 80% of women will experience some sort of pelvic or back pain during their pregnancy. And 85% of these women will not seek treatment and accept it as “normal”. With new stresses placed on the body as the baby grows, the spine will curve, the muscles and ligaments will lengthen, and the pelvis will change shape to prepare for delivery. Although the human body is designed to withstand these changes, it is not uncommon to experience some pain and discomfort. In an ideal world, all women would see a specialist physiotherapist before and after labour in order to optimise pelvic floor function and reduce the risk of pain and complications post-natally.
Although pregnancy related issues make up a large part of the work we do, there is also a place for women’s health physiotherapy in those without such problems. For active individuals who enjoy high impact sports or exercise, (running, jumping, sprinting, weight lifting) or those with a particularly physically demanding job (with lots of pushing, pulling, lifting), a strong and healthy pelvic floor is essential. These kinds of activities place high demands on the abdominal region, and the pelvic floor muscles will absorb that force and provide support if working correctly. This can help to relieve any signs of leaking, reduce pelvic and back pain, and even reduce the risk of a prolapse.
As we know, prevention is always better than cure – and we encourage anyone with any of the above symptoms to contact Sasha at Physiolistic for an assessment and for an individualised pelvic floor strengthening program.
We look forward to welcoming you soon!