The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles essential to your body’s well-being. They play an important part in your core stability and assist with your bladder, bowel, lower back and sexual function.
Like other muscles in your body, this group of muscles can sometimes be under too much or too little tension. When your pelvic floor muscles are under too much tension it can cause pelvic pain or urgency/frequency of your bladder and bowels. On the other hand, when they are not under enough tension this can lead to stress incontinence and organ prolapse. Having a combination of muscles under too much tension and too little tension is not unheard of.
This is where a pelvic physiotherapist comes in. They have specific training in the assessment and treatment of pelvic conditions in both males and females. This includes:
- Urinary incontinence (stress or urge)
- Pain during or after intercourse
- Pain with orgasm or stimulation
- Ejaculation problems
- Prolapse of pelvic organs (bladder, rectum or uterus)
- Urinary urgency/frequency
- Bowel dysfunction (constipation, straining, pain or fecal/flatus incontinence)
- Pain in the lower back, tailbone, genitals or rectum
- Painful menstruation
- Pelvic conditions such as endometriosis, prostatitis, and interstitial cystitis
- Pregnancy and postpartum issues including pain, leakage, pelvic pressure, diastasis rectus or scarring from tearing, episiotomy or C-sections
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy/Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Assessments
Assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles are done using both external and internal exams. Research has shown that when the muscles are assessed using both of these methods the treatments completed by a pelvic physiotherapist are more successful. According to the Cochrane Collaboration 2010, a pelvic physiotherapist (using internal examination to teach the exercises) should always be considered before surgical consultation for stress, urge and mixed incontinence in women.
“A pelvic physiotherapist should always be considered before surgical consultation…”
Pelvic Physiotherapy Around the World
Around the world, pelvic physiotherapy plays an important role in prenatal and postpartum care. In Europe, every woman receives pelvic floor assessment and treatment (if necessary) from a trained pelvic floor physiotherapist after giving birth. This prevents potential weakness that can lead to incontinence, prolapse or tightness as a result of pregnancy.
If you have any questions regarding the information above or would like to schedule a consultation, call us at (519) 579-6000 or stop by the clinic at 493 Lancaster Street West, Kitchener, ON.