Do you pee a little when you laugh?
Did you know that isn’t a normal response?
Pelvic floor issues are incredibly common. In fact, recent statistics suggest that 1 in 4 women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. Some conditions treated by a pelvic rehabilitation therapist include:
- Musculoskeletal aches and pains (involving the back, hips, sacroiliac joint, groin, abdomen and sometimes limbs)
- Bladder and bowel issues
- Painful sex or an inability to have penetrative sex
- Pregnancy & postpartum recovery
- And much, much more
So, you’ve been referred for a Pelvic Health Assessment. Here’s an overview of how your first session will go:
History: Just like any other Physiotherapy assessment, we’ll go through a history of your symptoms, so we know exactly what your goals are, and to guide the rest of our exam. These conversations may include topics that aren’t easy to talk about – your bowel and bladder habits and sexual health and history are of particular importance in order to get a complete picture of your pelvic health. Rest assured, we do all of our assessments in a private room, and have ample time to chat about those less comfortable topics.
External Exam: We take a look at your posture, the health of your low back and hips, as well as the muscles around the abdomen/pelvic region.
Internal Exam: The muscles in your pelvic floor are just like any other in your body – they can be tight or weak, causing pain and dysfunction. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to assess as we can’t see/feel them outside of the body – therefore, we need to assess internally. This is not a gynecological exam – a speculum is not used for assessment. All steps will be explained throughout the exam – typically we are assessing the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, tone/tightness, coordination of the muscles, and tenderness or soft tissue restriction. Be sure to ask any questions you may have, and be certain to tell your Physiotherapist if you have any pain or discomfort during the session.
Education: We will review the key findings of your assessment so that you have a thorough understanding of your condition. Knowing what is going on is key to feeling in control of your body. We use pictures, models and whatever else is needed to ensure your understanding.
Homework: You didn’t expect to leave a Physiotherapy session without homework did you?? Based on our findings you will be prescribed some home exercises to help improve your condition. During your session we will have determined the strategies that allow you to best connect with your pelvic floor, and you will go home with these exercises to practice.
Follow Up: The frequency of your treatments will depend on the assessment findings and severity of your symptoms.
For more information, please contact our Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, Denine Ellis.