Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a specialized form of physical therapy that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain. This is an effective treatment during the peri and postnatal phases of pregnancy. It is an important part of a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of these conditions, as it can help to reduce pelvic floor dysfunction and improve overall quality of life. In this article, we will discuss the basics of pelvic floor physiotherapy and how it can benefit patients.
What Is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy (PFP) is a form of physical therapy that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of pelvic floor disorders. These include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence, and chronic pelvic pain, among others. PFP therapists utilize a variety of techniques to assess and treat the pelvic floor muscles, which are responsible for supporting the organs in the pelvis, controlling urine and feces, and contributing to sexual function.
PFP therapists use a combination of manual techniques and exercises to assess pelvic floor muscle tone and strength, restore normal function and reduce symptoms associated with pelvic floor disorders. Techniques used may include myofascial release, abdominal massage, trigger point release, joint mobilization, functional movement analysis, posture correction, therapeutic exercise, and dry needling. Techniques such as dry needling can be integral to physiotherapy practices; explore our detailed guide on how physiotherapists can help with intramuscular stimulation/dry needling.
While pelvic floor physiotherapy specifically addresses issues within the pelvic region, it’s important to understand how it differs from other practices such as chiropractic care. Learn more about the difference between physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments to see how they complement each other.
What Conditions Does Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Treat?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help to treat a wide range of conditions, including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence, and chronic pelvic pain. Other conditions that can be managed with pelvic floor physiotherapy include postpartum prolapse, diastasis recti, chronic constipation, pudendal neuralgia, and sexual dysfunction.
In addition to pelvic floor physiotherapy, aquatic exercise can be beneficial for managing symptoms related to pelvic health, such as chronic pelvic pain.
What Exercises/Techniques Are Used in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
The goal of PFP is to improve pelvic floor function through exercises, lifestyle modifications, education and hands-on treatment to decrease and eliminate symptoms. Depending on the condition being treated, the therapist may use a combination of exercises and techniques to rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles.
- Kegels: Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help with conditions such as urinary and fecal incontinence as well as pelvic organ prolapse. The therapist will instruct the patient to repeatedly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles in order to increase their strength and endurance.
- Hypopressive Exercises: Hypopressive exercises, also known as lumbar stabilization exercises, are designed to strengthen the core muscles and promote better posture and stabilization of the lumbar spine. Hypopressives can help with conditions such as urinary incontinence, postural imbalances, and hernias.
- Transverse Abdominis Activation: Transverse abdominis activation (TVA) exercises are designed to strengthen the core muscles and promote stability of the spine and pelvis. TVA exercises can help with conditions such as low back pain, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence.
What Kind of Assessment Is Required at the Beginning of Treatment?
At the beginning of treatment, the therapist will perform an assessment to determine the best course of treatment for the patient. This includes observation of posture and positioning, movement assessment of the spine, breathing pattern and hip and leg movements, as well as hands-on palpation for points of tension through the glutes, hips, abdomen, and low back. The therapist may also perform an internal assessment either vaginally or rectally to assess the function of the pelvic floor.
Understanding the initial assessment process in pelvic floor physiotherapy also begs the question of how it compares to other therapies, such as athletic therapy. Delve into the differences between physiotherapy and athletic therapy for more clarity.
How Effective Is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy and How Long Does it Take to See Results?
Research has shown that pelvic floor physiotherapy is an effective treatment for the disorders listed previously. Strengthening exercises can target specific muscles in the area and improve your sexual response. The time needed to see benefits from PFP varies depending on the person, but most people can expect to see results within 8 to 16 weeks.
The effectiveness of pelvic floor physiotherapy is a testament to the broader scope of work that physiotherapists perform. For more insight, discover what a physiotherapist does in their practice.
What Is the Cost of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Initial physiotherapy assessment is $140, while follow-up physiotherapy treatments are $95.
Are There Any Potential Risks or Side Effects Associated With Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
There are no major risks or side effects associated with pelvic floor physiotherapy, although there is always a risk of aggravating existing injuries when performing any type of physical therapy. It is important to talk to your doctor before beginning any type of physical therapy program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an effective treatment option for a variety of pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence, and chronic pelvic pain. It involves a combination of manual techniques and exercises to assess and treat the pelvic floor muscles, and can provide relief from symptoms associated with these conditions. While exploring the advantages of pelvic floor physiotherapy, one might also consider the benefits of chiropractic care as a complementary approach to a holistic health plan. It is important to note that the cost and time needed to see results vary depending on the individual, and that potential risks and side effects should be discussed with your doctor prior to starting treatment.
Are you looking to take control of your pelvic health? Look no further than the specialized care offered at Physiotherapy Cloverdale. Our expert team is dedicated to providing personalized pelvic floor physiotherapy, tailoring treatments to your unique needs and health goals. Whether you’re dealing with urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, chronic pelvic pain, or seeking postnatal recovery support, our physiotherapists are here to guide you every step of the way. With a focus on holistic health and recovery, we utilize the latest techniques and a compassionate approach to ensure the best outcomes for our patients. Don’t let pelvic floor disorders hold you back any longer. Click here to schedule your consultation at Physiotherapy Cloverdale and embark on a journey to a healthier, more comfortable life.