PELVIC FLOOR PHYSIOTHERAPY
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a specialized type of physiotherapy treatment dedicated to the assessment and treatment of conditions associated with pelvic floor dysfunction.
What is your Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located between the tailbone (coccyx) and the pubic bone providing support to our internal organs including: the bladder, bowel, and the reproductive organs in women (i.e. uterus, vagina). Pelvic floor dysfunction is one of the largest unaddressed issues in women’s health; however, men can also be affected.
Pelvic floor dysfunction may include the following conditions: urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, lower urinary tract symptoms, defecatory dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and chronic pain syndromes, and peri-natal related pelvic pain/weakness.
What is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist (PFP)?
A pelvic floor physiotherapist (PFP) is a specialized physiotherapist, registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, trained to assess and treat pelvic floor dysfunction conditions.
In simple terms, a pelvic floor physiotherapist, such as our own Lindsay Bays, provides patients with pelvic floor exercises and education based on their individual needs uncovered through a thorough assessment and diagnosis.
Steps in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy:
Step 1: Intake Form
Prior to your initial assessment you will be required to complete an intake form outlining your current health status and primary/secondary complaints.
Step 2: Initial Assessment
The initial assessment will begin with a thorough medical history taking, reviewing your intake form and your current treatment goals. The PFP will then obtain your consent to assess the function of the pelvic floor with visual observation, palpation, and measurement of muscle activity.
Step 3: Diagnosis
The PFP will communicate their diagnosis as it relates to the findings from your history and physical examination. In some cases, the PFP may need to obtain additional information from other healthcare professionals (e.g. diagnostic imaging – ultrasound, MRI) in order to deliver the most appropriate diagnosis. In this case, the PFP may refer you to your family physician for continuation of collaborative care.
Step 4: Treatment Plan
Both you (the patient) and the PFP will develop an evidence-based plan of care to best accommodate your current needs and future goals. The treatment plan can include: patient education, supervised pelvic floor muscle rehabilitative exercises, home exercise program, connective tissue mobilization, myofascial trigger point release, bowel/bladder diary, guided relaxation techniques, biofeedback, electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, and manual therapy to the surrounding pelvic region (i.e. lumbar spine, hips, pelvis). Subsequent treatments are typically 30 minutes, however can be lengthened depending on your needs. The average patient will typically have a treatment plan of 6-8 visits; however, this can vary based case complexity. To maximize recovery potential, adherence to the proposed treatment plan is a key factor.
Pregnancy and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic floor dysfunction is common during the pre- and post-partum periods. Childbearing can stretch and subsequently weaken the pelvic floor muscles, however PFP can help strengthen the muscle group through a variety of techniques. It is recommended that women see a PFP prior to delivery for pelvic floor assessment, education, rehabilitative exercise, and manual therapy. Post-delivery, women should work with their PFP over a course of 6-8 weeks to increase strength and improve function.
Men and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Urinary incontinence is a major issue in the male population and is most commonly associated prostate surgery. Current research and clinical practice guidelines demonstrate the evidence for PFP in treating male incontinence, especially for pre- and post- prostate surgery.
Children and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Urinary incontinence in children is most often associated with underlying overactivity (over active bladder – OAB). Children with urinary incontinence require a multidisciplinary (team of practitioners) approach which includes PFP. The PFP will help educate both parent and child on normal bladder behaviours, pelvic floor muscle awareness, and bladder voiding mechanics/posture.
Older Adults and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
The presence of urinary incontinence increasing with age affecting overall quality of life and independence. In older adults, urinary incontinence may be associated with reversible factors which your PFP may be able to identify and refer you to proper resources (e.g. medical doctor).
Interested in booking an initial assessment with Lindsay to determine if pelvic floor physiotherapy is right for you or your partner?
At the Oshawa Wellness Centre, our Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist will work with you towards your specific goals to help improve your function and quality of life.
Click the button below or contact our team at (289) 274 – 7880 today!