Women’s Health is a highly specialised area of physiotherapy which focusses on the pelvic area of the female body. The female pelvic anatomy is different to the male pelvic anatomy and although there are some similarities with the conditions treated, the assessment techniques and subsequent treatments are different. Our clinic is led by highly specialised Women’s Health Physiotherapists who are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of various conditions relating to Women’s Health and how they may affect you.
We can assist with a wide range of conditions, which include, but are not limited to:
– Diastasis Rectus abdominis (DRA)
– Pain in and around the pelvis / pelvic girdle (PGP/PPGP) related to pregnancy
– Symptoms related to menopause and perimenopause
– Incontinence (bladder and/or bowel)
– Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
– Pelvic floor muscle weakness and/or overactivity
– Sexual dysfunction
– Conditions associated with menstruation (including PCOS, amenorrhea, menorrhagia)
Women’s Health During Pregnancy
Women’s health for pregnancy-related conditions covers any aches and pains which develop over the course of pregnancy. These can start anywhere from 8 weeks and develop over the gestation period right up until the baby is delivered. Aches and pains can present anywhere in the body from the shoulders and upper back due to an increase in breast size, to the lower back and pelvis due to the growth of the baby. Other pregnancy-related conditions include neural pain such as sciatica, as well as pelvic floor muscle weakness which can lead to incontinence.
A Women’s Health Physiotherapist can help identify the source of your pain and/or weakness and help you address these conditions appropriately, whilst keeping you at the focal point of each treatment session.
Women’s Health and Postpartum Care
Having a baby can lead to many changes in the body and it is highly recommended to have a postnatal assessment. These assessments are carried out by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist at 6 weeks postpartum after a vaginal delivery and at 8 weeks postpartum after a caesarean section. During the assessment the therapist will ask a series of questions to ascertain what changes have occurred and how they are impacting your daily activities.
They will be able to assess for:
– Abdominal separation also known as Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA)
– Musculoskeletal pain as a result of carrying and feeding your baby
– Muscle weakness around the pelvic floor which can cause leaking and/or incontinence.
Women’s Health and Menopause
Menopause typically occurs 12 months after periods stop. This is usually due to changing hormonal levels or medical reasons such as a hysterectomy or breast cancer treatment. Bodily changes can occur during the perimenopausal stage, when periods are about to, but have not, stopped. These changes include muscle aches and joint pain, weight gain, vaginal dryness, itching and pain, hot flushes, sleeping difficulty, anxiety, headaches, brain fog and many more.
A Women’s Health physiotherapist can help you understand menopause better and treat some of the symptoms mentioned above. They can also help guide and refer you in the right direction to appropriate services when needed.
There are various treatment methods covered within Women’s Health and your physiotherapist will always discuss and explain what is appropriate for you as an individual.
Treatments can include:
– Hands on soft tissue release work
– Joint mobilisation
– Exercise rehabilitation
We usually use a combination of these modalities to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What to Expect at Your Initial Appointment:
The Physiotherapist will ask questions to gain a better insight to your problem before assessing the pelvic area. The assessment process will be explained in more detail and discussed before being carried out during the appointment. Assessments can include both internal and external examinations. Treatment will be tailored to you depending on the findings in the assessment.
Will I Need an Internal Assessment?
Internal assessments are a more effective method to assess the pelvic floor muscles, but not all conditions require an internal assessment. Assessment options are discussed prior to being carried out and are not compulsory. All clients are involved in the decision-making process.
Do I Need to Be Referred?
You can self-refer or be referred by healthcare professionals or your insurance company if you are experiencing any pelvic problems.
Still Not Sure?
Give us a call to book in a free 15-minute chat to with one of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists to see how we could support you.