Women’s Health Physiotherapy
At Goulburn Physiotherapy Centre we have female therapists whom are extensively trained in the assessment and management of women’s health issues. Our female therapists understand the importance of seeking caring, professional and discreet help when it comes to issues which are sometimes sensitive and embarrassing.
What health issues can our therapists assist women with?
Our therapists can assist women with many “women’s health issues” which occur during stages of life, work and/or family demands. However, some of the more common reasons we see women at our clinic:
Incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine from the bladder or faeces or wind from the bowel. You don’t have to be pregnant or have had a baby to suffer with urinary or faecal incontinence.
Urinary Incontinence can be classified by the following:
‘Stress Incontinence’ – when the pelvic floor muscles, which control the passing of urine, do not work well enough to limit leakage. Triggers may include coughing, sneezing, laughing, shouting, lifting, bending, walking or standing from a chair.
‘Urge Incontinence’ – a sudden and strong need to urinate. Urge incontinence may occur as a result of constipation, a weak pelvic floor or as the result of a long history of poor bladder habits.
‘Incontinence associated with chronic retention’ – when the bladder is unable to empty properly and frequent leakage of small amounts of urine occurs as a result
‘Functional Incontinence’ – physical, intellectual or environmental issues that can be a contributing cause of incontinence in a person with normal bladder function.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
A prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs (the bladder, uterus and rectum) become weak or loose. This causes the organ/s to drop/bulge down into, or out of, the vagina. This can result in a heavy/dragging internal sensation and/or feeling a lump at the opening of the vagina.
The same as with incontinence, you don’t need to be pregnant/have had a baby to develop a pelvic organ prolapse.
Ante-natal and post-natal pain and dysfunction
Many women experience certain types of pain and associated loss of function during and after pregnancy. Pain and dysfunction during pregnancy can be influenced by weight gain, hormonal level changes, foetal position, fluid retention, level of activity before and during pregnancy to name a few contributing factors. Some specific pain presentations during and after pregnancy can be:
- Lower back pain
- Sciatic/leg pain
- Pubic symphysis pain (pain at the pubic hair/pelvic connection area)
- Wrist pain/carpal tunnel symptoms
Following pregnancy; pain can persist due to abdominal separation and associated muscular weakness, trauma to the perineum during vaginal births (particularly forceps assisted births with episiotomies or tears), scar tissue following a c-section as well as the increased demand on our bodies with extended periods of sitting to feed a new born baby as well as all the lifting and carrying associated with a new baby and all their (much needed) accessories. Not to mention many mothers often having young toddlers to manage as well.
Pelvic pain and discomfort may be experienced for many reasons such as stress, anxiety, local pelvic trauma and associated increased muscle tone in the pelvic floor region; often associated with excessive exercise, constipation and poor toileting habits.
Pelvic pain can lead to difficulties starting the flow of urine, painful sexual intercourse and difficulties and/or pain when using tampons.
How can our therapists help with women’s health specific issues?
With a very thorough assessment and detailed questions, our therapists can determine, with your help, what you key problems are and what may be contributing to these problems.
Our therapists are also specifically trained to conduct internal vaginal and/or rectal exams if required and consented to by you. We then look at what types of treatment will be best be suited to addressing and managing your main concerns. Treatments can include one or more of the following strategies:
- Pelvic floor muscle strengthening
- Pelvic floor muscle down training and relaxation
- Pregnancy and recovery shorts, belts and braces
- Postural correction techniques and exercises
- Massage, dry needling, taping, joint mobilising
- Pelvic floor safe exercise prescription for during and after pregnancy
- Core muscle retraining after abdominal separation
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