Women’s Health Physical Therapy addresses the unique musculoskeletal problems of the pelvic region that can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life.Millions of women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction which can lead to urinary and/or bowel incontinence and pelvic pain. Pregnancy, childbirth, chronic constipation, chronic coughing, surgery, trauma and aging can cause pelvic floor muscle tension, incoordination and weakness.From incontinence to prolapse, pelvic pain or constipation, there is growing evidence that physiotherapy can alleviate, and in many cases cure these symptoms. Most women don’t know that help is available and it can be an embarrassing topic.
At Progressive Care, we understand the intimacy of these issues. Our experienced healthcare professionals are devoted to treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions by providing one-on-one care and customized treatment programs in a discreet and comfortable environment.Our goal is to provide you with excellent care in a comfortable atmosphere with plenty of patient education We offer Women’s Health services and specialized therapy for pelvic health and obstetrical care. Treatment can often address the cause of issues and improve your quality of life.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy during pregnancy
Pelvic girdle pain and stress urinary incontinence are common amongst pregnant women. These symptoms often occur due to hormonal changes and the ever increasing weight of your baby and uterus.
The mounting pressure of the uterus on your bladder ,giving less room to store urine just when it’s becoming more difficult to stop the flow. One may leak urine when sneezeing or find it harder to hold your urine when one needs to ‘go’. Urinary incontinence in pregnancy should not be ignored as research suggests that if stress urinary incontinence is developed during your pregnancy, or within 6 weeks following the birth of the baby, it is more likely to suffer from incontinence 5 years later.
An assessment with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist is often all you need to prevent this. Making sure that you are doing the right pelvic floor exercises; activating the correct muscles for a suitable length of time is important in maintaining a strong pelvic floor through your pregnancy and beyond.
Pelvic stability exercises are also valuable through pregnancy to strengthen the supporting muscles of the pelvis and ease the pressure on the pelvic floor. An internal assessment may not be appropriate whilst you are pregnant and therefore an assessment of the muscles of your abdomen and pelvis is often an efficient way of pelvic floor re-training in pregnancy.
1 in 3 women experience low back pain during pregnancy whilst 1 in 5 experience pelvic girdle pain. This is often a result of the hormones Relaxin and Oestrogen relaxing the ligaments which support the pelvis. The Pelvis bones and sacrum slot together like a loose puzzle relying on the ligaments and muscles to provide joint stability. In pregnancy the extra strain on these ligaments can cause pain and movement dysfunction. In such conditions the muscles supporting these ligaments become extra important in providing stability and control. There is much evidence to support physiotherapy for pelvic pain in pregnancy and the treatments you may be offered include
Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and continues to change post-natally. It is important to address any issues that occur at this time so as to prevent problems later in life. Childbirth can lead to pelvic floor trauma, perineal tears and pudendal nerve injury (the nerve which supplies your bladder and pelvic floor). Consequently the pelvic floor can become dysfunctional and you may experience urinary or bowel urgency and/or incontinence, urinary frequency, incomplete emptying, pain on urination/defeacation and pain or discomfort with sexual intercourse.
Following your assessment appropriate treatment can be provided which may include
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease characterized by compromised bone strength. Physical therapy can assist in improving bone mass, reducing your risk for fracture and reducing your risk for falls. This can be achieved through an individualized exercise program, balance training, and education on fall risk reduction, proper posture, and proper body mechanics. With physical therapy, you can work towards improved functional mobility and an improved quality of life.
A Physiotherapist can also help with advice on return to exercise and healing of separated abdominal muscles (Diastasis Recti). Diastasis Recti often occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy when the abdominal muscles are at their greatest stretch. The linea alba normally joins the left and right hand rectus abdominal muscles. When the linea alba is overstretched a separation can occur between the left and right sides. Diastasis recti may make it harder for you to regain your tummy tone and return to your normal exercise routine. It is important to have an assessment to determine if your muscles are stretched; “Divarification Recti” or separated “Diastasis Recti” as this will determine which exercises are suitable for you. An assessment can be carried out from 6 weeks if you had a vaginal delivery or 8 weeks if you have had a c-section
Women who are pregnant or who have given birth and are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms are good candidates for rehabilitation.
Cancer treatment can result in pain, loss of mobility and loss of function. Some women experience difficulty with job-related, recreational and other daily activities. With these challenges often comes an overall decreased sense of well-being.
A range of rehabilitation treatment options exist to address many possible needs at any point during and after cancer treatment.
Vulvodynia—sharp, burning pain limited to the vulvar vestibule—contributes to both dyspareunia and chronic pelvic pain. Therapists will assess posture, tension in the pelvic floor, pelvic girdle, associated pelvic structures, and bowel/bladder function; testing digitally the pelvic floor; assessing hip, sacroiliac joints, and spine mobility; and strength testing abdominal and lower extremity musculature. Common treatment modalities included exercise for the pelvic girdle and pelvic floor; soft tissue mobilization/myofascial release of the pelvic girdle, pelvic floor, and associated structures; and joint mobilization/manipulation. Many physical therapists also counsel patients regarding behavioral therapeutic interventions including bowel/bladder retraining, help with contact irritants, dietary changes, and sexual function.
In the pelvis, trigger points can develop from trauma, post-surgical healing, interstitial cystitis, and inflammation. Myofascial trigger points are taut bands or tender nodules that evoke twitch responses or reproduce the character and location of symptoms during palpation.Research has shown that these painful nodules improve with manual physical therapy in patients with painful bladder syndrome.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that causes enlarged ovaries and can be responsible for infertility. The condition affects between 8 and 20% of women worldwide.
In a 10-year study that examined nearly 1400 patients and 28 patients with PCOS, the authors found that physical therapy was effective in leading to pregnancy for 54% of patients. With only 20 hours of manual physical therapy, more than half of PCOS patients were able to get pregnant, significantly better than the results from surgery and similar to the best oral medications
PCOS is a serious disease with greater effects than infertility, so medical management of the condition is very important, but physical therapy can be a very important adjunct to treatment that improves the chances of pregnancy, without the risks of surgery.