This is a specialized form of physiotherapy that assesses and treats pelvic floor dysfunctions. Pelvic floor dysfunction can result from weak, tight or overactive pelvic floor muscles that can lead to a host of symptoms such as urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, pain with sexual intercourse, organ prolapse and constipation.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists use internal manual techniques in addition to external orthopaedic techniques to assess the function of these muscles and their contribution to your symptoms.
What can pelvic floor physiotherapy be used to treat?
- Incontinence (stress, urgency)
- Pre- and Post-pregnancy
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Pelvic pain
- Painful intercourse
Assessment & Treatment
At LIFT Physiotherapy, providing exceptional customer service is our number one priority. When you have an assessment with one of our pelvic floor physiotherapists, you will be seen for a 1 hour initial consultation. During this time, your concerns will be discussed, a thorough history will be taken and a treatment plan will be developed to help you reach your goals.
Part of your initial assessment will include an internal examination. The purpose of this exam is to help our therapists gain a thorough understanding of how the muscles of the pelvic floor may be contributing to the discomfort or dysfunction you are experiencing. Education is an essential part of our assessment and treatment.
To ensure adequate time is spent with all clients, our follow-up sessions are 45 – 60 minutes in length.
About the pelvic floor
The pelvic floor is a very important area of the body that has many critical functions.
The pelvic floor muscles form a “bowl” of muscles that support our bladder, uterus, prostate and rectum against gravity and helps to resist rises in intra-abdominal pressure. Whenever we sneeze, cough, exercise or hold our breath there is a rise in intra-abdominal pressure and our pelvic floor muscles act like a trampoline and help resist that pressure so that nothing leaks out of our bladder or rectum. Weakness in the pelvic floor can also lead to pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help address the issues around a faulty support system.
The pelvic floor muscles wrap around the urethra, rectum, and vagina (in women) and thus they help control the opening of these organs, helping to maintain urinary and fecal continence.
Pelvic floor muscles help to provide tone for the vaginal and rectal canals and help promote blood flow for orgasms in females and erections in males. Alterations in muscle function could result in pain during sexual intercourse.
There is a high concentration of lymph nodes near the pelvis and thus the pelvic floor muscle activity acts as a venous and lymphatic pump for the pelvis, helping to move blood and lymphatic fluid through the body.
Our pelvic floor muscles along with our other deep core muscles work to unload the spine and stabilize the lumbar
spine, sacroiliac joint and hip joint.
We are excited to announce that we now offer treatment geared towards new and expecting mothers!
During pregnancy, there are changes to many systems in our body. As a result, women can experience lower back pain, incontinence, constipation, pubic pain, sacrum/tailbone pain and carpal tunnel. Women do not have to experience this pain because they are pregnant – there is a lot that can be done from a physiotherapy and physical activity perspective that can change this!
In addition to pain management, the following can be done during pregnancy:
**Labour Preparation: a toned and coordinated pelvic floor is more elastic which can help ease the birthing process and recovery.
**Perineum Stretching: to help decrease the risk of tearing or need for episiotomy. An episiotomy is a surgical cut of the “perineum,” which is the tissue between the vaginal and anal opening, during childbirth to aid in delivery.
**Core Strengthening & Education: to help establish a well coordinated pelvic floor contraction. This can aid in treating incontinence, along with common discomfort experienced in pregnancy.
In addition to pain management, the following can be done post-partum:
**Cesarean / Episiotomy Scar Care: We will work on making your scar less sensitive and more mobile.
**Pelvic floor strengthening & lengthening : We will address any strength deficits or concerns you may have regarding incontinence or leaking post-patrum. We will also help to identify when it is appropriate to stretch and release the tone of the pelvic floor that may be causing some new symptoms since giving birth.
**Education on safe return to physical activity (& fitness) and activities of daily living
Pregnancy & Exercise
Pregnant & Post-Natal women are a specialized group of people and thus should be seen by a Certified Personal Trainer with pre & post natal training.
New and expecting moms experience the following changes that increase the demand on their bodies: heavier breasts, feeding baby, carrying baby and car seats, hormone changes and much more. Your exercise program should be tailored to prepare you for the demands of these tasks in order to prevent injury and pain.
Along with offering pelvic floor physiotherapy, we also provide customized pre/post-natal personal training packages to provide a well rounded program for our new and expecting moms. Give us a call to speak to our therapists about the details!