role of pelvic health physiotherapy

A specialized area of physical therapy focusing on the muscles that surround and support your pelvic organs (i.e., bladder, bowel, vulva and rectus abdominis). Pelvic floor physiotherapy is an effective treatment option for women and men suffering from urinary or fecal incontinence, voiding dysfunction, pain during sexual activity, and other issues related to the pelvic organs and their surrounding muscles. It is often a necessary complement to other health care professionals such as your primary physician or gynecologist.

During your initial consultation, your Pelvic Health Physiotherapy East Sheen will evaluate your symptoms and history of pain, addressing all areas affecting your daily activities and quality of life. You will be examined in a private setting, with your comfort and privacy always being a priority. The physical exam may include a thorough orthopedic examination of the hips, spine and bony pelvis, as well as an internal evaluation of your pelvic muscles.

The internal evaluation of your pelvic muscles can be a little intimidating, as it involves an examination with a vaginal probe and/or a rectal exam (depending on your age and health). Your physiotherapist will be very gentle and walk you through this portion of the assessment. They will also take the time to listen to your concerns and answer all of your questions.

What is the role of pelvic health physiotherapy in post-surgical recovery?

Once the therapist has completed their subjective and objective assessments, they will create your short and long-term goals. Typically, this will involve a combination of exercise, manual therapy and education about the core muscles to improve your pelvic floor function and reduce your pain. Other elements of your plan could include self-management techniques such as a bladder or bowel diary, or questionnaires and screening tools that may assist in understanding the causes of your symptoms.

A pelvic health physical therapist can help you improve your symptoms and decrease your pain by teaching you to strengthen and relax the muscles that support the pelvic organs. They will provide you with a safe, effective and evidence-based approach to your care.

Your physiotherapist will provide you with an individualized treatment plan and educate you on ways to maintain your improvements. They will use the latest research in pelvic floor physiotherapy and combine it with a holistic approach to your recovery.

Having access to pelvic health physiotherapy is crucial for postpartum women, but many PTs aren’t trained in this specialty. Enacting the Optimizing Postpartum Outcomes Act would ensure more women receive this vital health care. Click here to learn more and take action. APTA’s Action Center is free for members to join and provides resources, advocacy tools, legislative updates and more. You can also sign up to receive emails about pelvic health news and events from APTA. We encourage you to join today!

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