Pelvic Floor Health
Did you know that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 9 men will experience urinary incontinence at some point during their life?
Many of us are unaware that the pelvic floor muscles have a substantial role in keeping our core strong and our backs healthy and consequently do very little to keep the pelvic floor muscles healthy and use them properly.
It has unfortunately become all too common for people to think it is normal to pee a little when they exercise, dance, cough, or before they to make it to the bathroom. Research supports the role that physiotherapists provide in the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor. The Cochrane Collaboration (2010) concluded that physiotherapy should be the first line of defence for individuals suffering from stress, urge and mixed incontinence.
Who Should Attend Pelvic Floor Health?
While pregnancy is one of the most common reasons for pelvic floor issues, rehabilitation can be indicated for the pelvic floor to aid in the recovery of many disorders. Anybody experiencing any form of pelvic floor dysfunction should come for an assessment.
Common examples of pelvic floor dysfunction include (but are not limited to)
Leaking when coughing/sneezing or even laughing
Pelvic organ prolapse
Constipation, straining, or pain with bowel movements
Unexplained pain in your pelvic region, lower back, hips or genital area, or any forms of muscle spasms in the pelvic region
Role of The Pelvic Floor Muscles
The pelvic floor muscles resemble a bowl and act as a sphincter to prevent urinary and fecal incontinence. They also play a vital role in holding and supporting some of our internal organs, while also stabilizing our back and pelvic girdle. The muscles that make up the entire pelvic floor must be able to contract to prevent leaking and relax to allow urination and bowel movements. If the muscles of the pelvic floor get too tight, issues such as frequent urination, urgency, or even constipation may occur. If the muscles become too weak, we may again see incontinence or even pelvic organ prolapse.
What Can I Expect At My First Visit?
One of the essential parts of your pelvic floor treatment will be education. Our goal is that you understand your own health and give you the tools you need to take back control. Besides, specific exercises, manual techniques, modalities such as Biofeedback and functional movements and return to sport guidelines may be used as part of your personalized treatment plan. Please note that an internal exam is a vital part of what we do.
Why Do We Do An Internal Exam?
The muscles of the pelvic floor are, in fact, internal muscles. We cannot feel them from the outside. Research has shown that doing an internal exam is the best way to assess the pelvic floor muscles and ensure that strengthening exercises are being done correctly. If you are uncomfortable having an internal exam or are not suitable for an internal exam for any reason, please speak to us and we can find an approach that works best for you.
What If I Have My Period?
No worries at all! We can still do the same exam.
What is Biofeedback?
Our dedicated Pelvic Floor Health team utilizes a painless specialized biofeedback machine used on the outside of the body. This technology allows for much more comfortable, effective, and less invasive treatment options. Please read the full article Pelvic Floor Health to learn more about how we use this technology.