What is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are registered physiotherapists who are trained to assess and treat the structures inside the pelvis and trunk that primarily regulate bowel, bladder and sexual function, as well as postural support and pelvic organ support. These structures include muscles, ligaments, nerves, joints and connective tissue or fascia. Dysfunction of these tissues can present as any combination of symptoms affecting bowel, bladder, sexual, hip and back function or wellness.
Our pelvic health physiotherapist has extensive post-graduate training in how to comprehensively assess and treat your symptoms and concerns. She will conduct a thorough evaluation of all the physical, psychological and/or social factors that may be contributing to your symptoms. Based on her assessment, she will develop an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs.
What can Pelvic Health Physiotherapy help with?
Pelvic pain, including but not limited to:
- Pudendal neuralgia
- Levator Ani Syndrome
- Pelvic trauma
- Persistent or chronic low back pain
- Gastrointestinal disorders including constipation and bowel leakage
- Rectus Diastasis
- Proctalgia Fugax
- Interstitial Cystitis and Over Active Bladder
- Pre- and Post-operative care for pelvic and abdominal surgery, including transition-related surgery
- Urinary frequency and nocturia and retention
- Sacroiliac Dysfunction
- Chronic Prostatitis
- Pelvic and Breast Cancer – related dysfunction
- Perinatal care
- Penile and testicular pain
- Sexual dysfunction, including but not limited to pain, with intercourse or intimacy, arousal, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation
Paediatric: incontinence, constipation, bedwetting, pelvic pain, withholding of urine or stool, overactive bladder
What to expect from a visit?
When booking your initial visit, you will be provided with a comprehensive intake package to complete, typically before your first visit. Your pelvic health physiotherapist will review your intake forms prior to seeing you.
Some patients may be apprehensive about various aspects of a physical exam. All options and alternative methods of assessment and treatment will be discussed with each patient. Your pelvic health physiotherapist will only proceed with those that you are comfortable with. With informed consent, a physical exam may include any of the following:
- Assessment of the back and hips, including movement and strength testing
- Assessment of the abdomen and ribs, including observation and/or palpation
- External exam of the pelvis, including observation and/or palpation of the perineum, groin, external genitals
- Internal exam of the pelvic floor muscles, typically a vaginal and rectal exam for people who have a vagina, and rectal exam only for those who don’t have a vagina or cannot have an internal vaginal exam of the pelvic floor muscles.
Each session with a pelvic health physiotherapist is unique because it depends on the client’s health issues, needs and comfort. A visit to a pelvic health physiotherapist may include, but is not limited to:
- Discussion about the patient’s history
- Physical assessment or re-assessment
- Manual therapy
- Exercise instruction and practice
- Education on the patient’s condition and treatment options
- Goal setting
- Bowel or bladder tracking
- Toileting strategies
- Education on hydration and/or nutrition
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation) or EMS (electrical muscle stimulation)