Pelvic physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat a wide range of conditions that affect the pelvic region, including:
- Pelvic pain: This can include pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, or genital area, as well as pain during sex or bowel movements.
- Urinary incontinence: This is the involuntary loss of urine, which can be caused by weak or overactive pelvic floor muscles.
- Prolapse: This is a condition where the organs in the pelvic area, such as the bladder or uterus, bulge into the vaginal canal due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.
- Pregnancy and postpartum concerns: Pelvic physiotherapy can help prepare the pelvic floor for childbirth, as well as address issues such as diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles) and pelvic pain after delivery.
- Sexual dysfunction: Pelvic physiotherapy can help address sexual pain, decreased sensation, or other concerns related to sexual function.
Although common, such disorders are seldom discussed and often assumed to be something that you ‘just have to live with’.
If you are experiencing any issues or symptoms in the pelvic region, it may be worth considering pelvic physiotherapy. Common symptoms and conditions that may benefit from pelvic physiotherapy include:
- Pelvic pain, including pain during sex or bowel movements
- Urinary incontinence, or the loss of urine control
- Prolapse, or a feeling of pressure or bulging in the pelvic area
- Pain or discomfort during pregnancy or postpartum
- Pain or discomfort during or after gynecological surgery
- Chronic constipation or bowel issues
- Sexual dysfunction or pain during intercourse
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, our pelvic physiotherapist will be able to assess your pelvic function and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your specific concerns.
During a pelvic physiotherapy session, you can expect a thorough assessment of your pelvic floor muscles and surrounding areas. Here are some common steps that may occur during a pelvic physiotherapy session:
- Initial consultation: Your physiotherapist will take a detailed medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms, concerns, and goals for treatment.
- Physical examination: Your physiotherapist may perform an internal exam to assess the strength, tone, and flexibility of your pelvic floor muscles. They may also assess the alignment and mobility of your hips, spine, and other areas that may be contributing to your symptoms.
- Education: Your physiotherapist may teach you exercises and techniques to help you manage your symptoms at home, such as pelvic floor muscle exercises, breathing techniques, or stretching.
- Treatment: Your physiotherapist may use various techniques to help improve your pelvic function, such as manual therapy, biofeedback, or electrical stimulation.
- Follow-up: Your physiotherapist will likely recommend a series of sessions to address your specific concerns, and will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.
During the session, it is important to communicate openly with your physiotherapist and ask any questions you may have. They will work with you to ensure that you feel comfortable throughout the exam and treatment, and will make adjustments as needed to accommodate your needs and preferences.
Pelvic physiotherapy may use a variety of exercises and techniques to help improve pelvic function and manage symptoms. Here are some examples:
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises: These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. This can help improve muscle strength, tone, and coordination.
- Breathing techniques: Deep breathing and relaxation exercises can help improve blood flow and reduce tension in the pelvic area.
- Stretching and mobilization: Your physiotherapist may use manual therapy techniques to stretch and mobilize tight or stiff muscles in the pelvic area, hips, or lower back.
- Biofeedback: This technique involves using sensors to provide visual or auditory feedback about muscle activity, which can help you learn to control your pelvic muscles more effectively.
- Electrical stimulation: This technique involves using low-level electrical currents to stimulate muscle contractions in the pelvic area, which can help improve muscle strength and tone.
- Education and lifestyle modifications: Your physiotherapist may provide education about posture, body mechanics, and lifestyle modifications that can help manage your symptoms.
Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and concerns. They will also provide guidance and support throughout the treatment process, and may make adjustments to your treatment plan as needed to ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.
Pelvic physiotherapy may involve some discomfort or mild pain, particularly during internal assessments or treatment of tender or tight muscles. However, your physiotherapist will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable throughout the session, and will communicate with you about any discomfort you may experience.
It is important to remember that any discomfort you experience should be temporary and should improve over time as your muscles become stronger and more flexible. If you have concerns about pain or discomfort during pelvic physiotherapy, you should discuss them with your physiotherapist. They can provide guidance on ways to manage any discomfort and help ensure that your treatment is as comfortable as possible.
Insurance coverage for pelvic physiotherapy can vary depending on the insurance provider and the type of plan you have. Some insurance plans do cover pelvic physiotherapy, while others may not.
It is recommended that you check with your insurance provider prior to booking an appointment to confirm if pelvic physiotherapy is covered under your plan. If it is not covered, you may still be able to receive treatment, but you will need to pay out-of-pocket.
It is also important to note that some physiotherapists may require a physician referral in order for insurance to cover the cost of treatment. Be sure to check with your physiotherapist and insurance provider for any specific requirements.