Complete Pediatric, Family, and Athletic Health Centre

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

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What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is an important sling of muscles in the ‘saddle’ area of the pelvis. It is attached at the front of the pelvis on the pubic bone, at the back of the pelvis on the tailbone, and at the sides of the pelvis on your ‘sitz’ bones. It stretches from hip to hip.

These muscles play an essential role in:

  • Controlling your bladder and bowel movements
  • Supporting your pelvic organs
  • Stabilizing your hips, pelvis and lumbar spine
  • Enhancing sexual function

What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Proper strength, length, and coordination of these muscles are required to maintain the above functions. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by:

  • HYPOTONICITY – Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles
  • HYPERTONICITY – Tightness in the pelvic floor muscles
  • IN-COORDINATION – Poor timing or control of the pelvic floor muscles

How can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Help?

Physiotherapists are experts in assessing how the brain, bones, joints, muscles, and fascia interact to produce functional movement. Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have undergone specialized training to assess and treat the pelvic floor muscles using internal and external manual therapy techniques. As such, a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can help you identify individual components that may be contributing to your pelvic floor dysfunction, and provide strategies to address these issues.

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What Should I Expect During my Visits?

Assessment: Pelvic floor physiotherapy sessions are conducted in a quiet, comfortable, professional environment. On your first visit, your physiotherapist will conduct an assessment that includes:

  • Review of your health history
  • Internal evaluation of your pelvic floor muscles (vaginal and/or rectal)
  • Screening of the bones, muscles, and joints in your lower back, hips, and SI-joints

Treatment: Based on your individual assessment findings, clinical diagnoses, and goals, a treatment plan will be developed for you, and may include a combination of the following:

  • Manual therapy to mobilize scar tissue and release myofascial restrictions
  • Therapeutic exercise to address weak or uncoordinated muscles in the pelvic floor and core
  • Relaxation and breath training techniques
  • Cognitive and behavioural strategies
  • Education regarding persistent pain, bowel/bladder routines, and much more

Are There Any Risks?

We are very careful to create a private and sterile environment during assessment and treatment. We utilize a private treatment room, non-latex gloves and hypoallergenic gel, and wash or dispose of equipment properly. Your dignity and comfort is our highest priority. There is a risk that you might feel discomfort in the pelvic area after a treatment, particularly if it has involved stretching or trigger point massage to tight or tender muscles; however, this discomfort should be temporary.

What Conditions Can Be Helped?

Dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles may occur at any age, in both men and women, and is a key driver in many of the following conditions. These problems can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life and sense of wellbeing:

Pelvic Physiotherapy for Men and Women:

  • Urinary Incontinence (stress, urge, mixed)
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Interstitial Cystitis, also called Painful Bladder Syndrome (IC/PBS)
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain
  • Pudendal Neuralgia
  • Chronic Prostatitis
  • Dyspareunia
  • Vaginismus
  • Vulvodynia
  • Endometriosis
  • Post-Surgical (abdominal, gynecological, urological)

Pre- and Post-Natal Pelvic Physiotherapy:

  • Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Girdle Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominus (DRA)
  • Perineal/Episiotomy & Abdominal Scarring
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Education for safe exercise during pregnancy, and return to exercise post-partum

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