6 ways everyone can benefit from pelvic health physiotherapyOct 18, 2023
From guest blogger, pelvic health physiotherapist Agnes Budyn of Frame Fidelity
When it comes to pelvic health physiotherapy, there is no such thing as TMI [too much information]! Pelvic health, also known as pelvic floor physiotherapy, is a specialized branch of physiotherapy that focuses on assessing and treating conditions related to the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles, ligaments and connective tissues that extend from the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis to the tailbone at the back. These also connect side to side, from one sitz bone to the other, forming a “bowl” at the base of the trunk. These muscles play a crucial role in various bodily functions, including bladder and bowel control, sexual function and support for the pelvic organs.
There are many reasons for getting your pelvic floor assessed, and since we all have one, it is important to make sure that it is functioning well to keep you pain—and worry—free!
So what are the benefits of pelvic health physiotherapy, and how do we keep our pelvic floors healthy and functional? Here are six reasons:
Connecting to your pelvic floor
We all have pelvic floors, but it’s surprising how little most people know about this part of their body. Pelvic physiotherapists educate clients about the normal functioning of this area of the body and what can happen if things don’t work as they should. Understanding and being educated on how your pelvic floor works is the first step to connecting with it.
Improved muscle function
Pelvic physiotherapy involves exercises and techniques designed to strengthen, release and improve the coordination of pelvic floor muscles. This can benefit individuals experiencing issues like urinary or fecal incontinence because if the muscles are identified as weak or tense, proper treatment can address the dysfunction and provide better control over these bodily functions.
Chronic pelvic pain can significantly impact one's quality of life. Pelvic physiotherapy aims to address the underlying causes of this pain through targeted exercises, manual therapy and relaxation techniques. By identifying and addressing muscle imbalances or tension, individuals can experience reduced discomfort and often get rid of their pain without invasive tools or surgery.
Preparation for pregnancy and childbirth
Pelvic physiotherapy is especially valuable during pregnancy and childbirth. Learning to connect to these muscles as the body goes through changes during pregnancy can help with maintaining better control over bowel and bladder symptoms as well as alleviate any symptoms in the lower back and pelvic girdle. Additionally, pelvic physiotherapists work with patients to prepare for childbirth by teaching them breathing strategies and pelvic floor lengthening to prepare for a smooth delivery and recovery.
Postoperative and postpartum rehabilitation
Individuals who have undergone pelvic surgeries, such as hysterectomies, abdominal surgeries or childbirth via cesarean can benefit from pelvic physiotherapy as part of their rehabilitation process. Pelvic physiotherapy can help to restore muscle function, reduce scar tissue and improve overall mobility in the pelvic floor and abdominal region. Improving core strength and diastasis (abdominal separation commonly seen after birth) is a crucial component of optimal pelvic floor function and can also be addressed with pelvic health.
Enhanced sexual health
Pelvic physiotherapy can contribute to improved sexual health by addressing issues such as pain during intercourse, muscle tightness or discomfort. By promoting relaxation and control of pelvic muscles, individuals may also experience a more satisfying and pain-free sexual experience.
In summary, pelvic physiotherapy offers a holistic and non-invasive approach to addressing various pelvic health concerns. By focusing on muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination in the pelvic region, individuals can experience improved quality of life, reduced pain, and better control over bodily functions. If you're experiencing any pelvic health issues, consulting a pelvic physiotherapist could be a crucial step toward a healthier and more comfortable life.
Agnes is a registered physiotherapist with a special interest in pelvic health. Agnes sees patients in Toronto at Frame Fidelity and from her home office in East York. Check out her website at Agnesbpt.com. You can follow her on Instagram @agnesbpt and Frame Fidelity clinic @framefidelity.
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