What is a pelvic floor Physical Therapist (PT)?
A professional specifically trained to assess and treat men and women with dysfunction to their pelvic floor, more generally: pain, incontinence or weakness in the pelvic muscles which could cause other pelvic challenges.
What’s going on down there?
The pelvic floor can be classified into two categories, either weak or tight (or a mix of both). If someone is presenting with a weak pelvic floor, they can be at risk for stress and/or urge incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. On the other hand, a tight pelvic floor can cause a variety of pelvic pain disorders and also cause urinary and fecal urgency.
It is unfortunate that women often believe that these dysfunctions are a normal part of aging or their new reality postpartum. A regimen of Kegel exercises is often suggested in order to address a pelvic floor dysfunction, when in fact Kegels are NOT for everyone. Some women have pelvic floors that are actually too tight and cannot relax, and doing repetitive Kegels can exacerbate the problem. Meanwhile, when Kegels are the proper course of treatment, they are often performed incorrectly.
When should I consult a physiotherapist with an expertise in pelvic health?
A physiotherapist consult is recommended if you are presenting with any of these issues:
- Urinary frequency
- Urinary urgency
- Accidental leaking with exercise/laughing/coughing/sneezing
- Painful urination or bowel movement
- Finding it difficult to fully empty the bladder or bowels
- Pelvic, hip, or back pain
- Pain with intercourse and orgasm
- Accidentally passing gas
- A feeling of heaviness or pulling to the pelvic floor, or seeing/feeling a bulge
I am Postpartum, but not feeling discomfort / issues.
Being postpartum, immediately after giving birth, or in the years that follow, a proactive assessment is advised at least once postnatally even without presenting with the above issues. Many postpartum issues can present themselves 2-3 decades after your first vaginal delivery if left unattended.
I may be uncomfortable with the whole process.
We understand. Creating individualized care and treatment plans to address any issues and concerns that are found during the assessment are key to comfort. Our goal is to empower our clients and encourage them to take an active role in their treatment to help them reclaim their health and address any uncomfortable changes that have taken place. The treatments may including but not limited to: education, postural correction, stretching, strengthening, manual therapy and massage.
I do not have a referral from a doctor.
You will not need to have a doctors’ referral to consult a pelvic health physiotherapist. In addition, pelvic floor physiotherapy is covered by most Canadian private insurance plans.