The majority of men and women diagnosed with pelvic health issues such as endometriosis or chronic prostatitis, do not know that there are treatment options beyond medications and surgeries.
In addition to the general population knowing little about alternative or supplementary treatment options, there are many healthcare practitioners that also do not know this. This means that there are many people who are not offered care that will likely make a large impact in their lives. That pelvic health physiotherapy can help with pain and function in these pelvic conditions is still undiscovered territory.
When To See a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
3 common reasons people access a pelvic health physiotherapist in our Oakville clinic:
1. Pre & Post Natal Health
Did you know that in France it is protocol to provide a post-natal woman a full-course of pelvic floor physio treatment? A pelvic floor physiotherapist can help a woman recover from pregnancy-related pain, a traumatic or complicated birth, and prevent possible future pelvic surgeries. They will ensure that a woman’s recovery is facilitated and that they are educated adequately in safe return to activity, sport and exercise. this is based on tissue healing time, strength, whether there is pelvic organ prolapse present etc.
A pelvic health physiotherapist can also be helpful in the prenatal period with pelvic pain and low back pain. They are also able to help with labour preparation to ensure that you are able to relax your pelvic floor.
1/3 women experience incontinence throughout their lives. Physiotherapy has been shown to help a person who experiences different types of incontinence, such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and urgency incontinence. Incontinence does not have to be a normal part of the aging process.
Incontinence is most commonly due to weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Women and men who experience incontinence and bladder dysfunction are helped the most when a pelvic health physiotherapist helps them strengthen their pelvic floor and insure they are doing the exercises properly.
3. Pelvic Pain
1/3 women and men will experience pelvic pain at some point in their lives. Men may experience pain in their testicles or penis, while women may experience vulvar or clitoral pain. Both men and women may experience bladder pain, tailbone pain or pressure in the rectum.
To the relief of their patients, pelvic floor physiotherapists can often find soft tissue dysfunctions that contribute to the patient’s pain.
Injury to the lower body, repeated infections and stress can cause reflexive muscle guarding of the pelvic floor muscles. Occasionally these tissues retain the memory of the injury and stay contracted, leading to trigger points and referred pelvic pain.
Pelvic health physiotherapists often find that muscular trigger points inside the pelvic floor contribute to the pain associated with endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, constipation, hemorrhoids, itching and burning that tests negative for yeast, pain with sexual activity, testicular pain and chronic prostatitis. Some women continue to experience symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI), as the tissues around the urethra stay contracted.
Accessing pelvic health physiotherapy can impact a persons quality of life substantially in the above cases.