When to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Waterloo

By: Jessica Pollice, Registered Physiotherapist, Orthopedic and Pelvic Health

Have you heard the buzz about Pelvic Health Physiotherapists!? Wondering what this field of physiotherapy is all about, or if you’d benefit from seeing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist?

Did you know that in France, every single women post-partum is referred to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist for an evaluation and to assist in postpartum care? Seeing a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist after childbirth isn’t standardized in Canada, but it absolutely should be!

Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are becoming an integral part in women’s health! Women throughout their lifespan can benefit from seeing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Whether you’re prenatal or postpartum, five or twenty years post-pregnancy, or post-menopausal, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help you!

Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are trained to perform internal assessment on patients in order to appropriately assess the muscles, connective tissue and nerves that make up the pelvic floor. In order to perform an internal assessment, these Physiotherapists must be trained and registered with the College of Physiotherapists.

Here are the top 5 reason to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist:

1. Incontinence:

Do you pee when you laugh, or have to cross your legs before you sneeze? Does the thought of jumping on a trampoline terrify you? About 1 in 4 women are incontinent, so keep in mind you’re not alone!

The strongest level of research has shown that Pelvic Floor physiotherapy should be the first line of defense for urge and stress (leakage with coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping etc.) incontinence. Pelvic floor strengthening and relaxation exercises can help to get rid of your urinary leakage. So throw away those liners and pads, and come see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist today!

2. Prenatal:

Pelvic Health Physiotherapists can help by addressing pelvic pain, including pain that occurs during sexual intercourse to make penetration tolerable and sex more enjoyable.

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists also aid in prevention and healing of hip and low back pain by working on proper recruitment, activation and contraction of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

3. During Pregnancy:

Strengthening the pelvic floor and core muscles can help in both preventing and healing pelvic floor dysfunction during pregnancy, which can include incontinence, low back pain, hip pain, pubis symphysis dysfunction and more.

During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles are put under great strain which can cause the muscles to become both lengthened and weakened.  Hormonal changes also occur during pregnancy, which can cause both muscles and ligaments to become lax. By working on pelvic floor strengthening exercises during pregnancy, can help to avoid or reduce the chances of stress incontinence after pregnancy. 

4. Post-Partum:

It’s no surprise that pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on a woman's body. During pregnancy the female body rapidly gains weight, internal organs are pushed aside, the uterus grows rapidly, our center of gravity shifts outward, and our muscles and ligaments are lengthened and weakened.  Performing pelvic floor strengthening exercises can help to heal and strengthen the muscles to pre-pregnancy levels. Having a strong pelvic floor can help to prevent/reduce incontinence and to help keep the internal organs supported to help prevent/reduce a prolapse from occurring.

5. Prolapse:

Women of various ages can experience a heaviness/pressure sensation in the pelvic area which may be caused from a prolapse of the bladder, uterus and/or rectum. A prolapse occurs when the internal organs drop down from their normal resting position. About 50% of women post-pregnancy develop a prolapse. Women who are post-menopausal may also start to experience prolapse-like symptoms due to weakness in the pelvic floor muscles that occurs from a decrease in estrogen levels. Weight-lifters may also experience similar symptoms due to an increase in pressure in the abdomen and pelvic area. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles helps to keep the internal organs supported, which can help to reduce the grade of the prolapse, prevent a prolapse from occurring and to decrease the pressure/heaviness sensation in the pelvic area. 

Interested in booking an appointment with our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist? Click here to book an appointment or call us at 519-208-0333 if you have any questions.