What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy (PFPT) is a specialized field of physiotherapy that involves the assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles. If you’ve been pregnant or have experienced childbirth, you may have heard of PFPT from your OB-GYN or midwife. While seeing a pelvic floor therapist during pregnancy or after childbirth is a great idea, there are a lot of other conditions that can be treated with PFPT as well.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly PFPT is and how it can help with a variety of issues – not just pregnancy!
Your pelvic floor is a group of bowl-shaped muscles that sit on the underside of the pelvis, providing support to your pelvic organs (like your uterus, bladder, and colon). You might picture the pelvic floor as a flexible trampoline that holds these organs and moves as we move. When you see a pelvic floor therapist, they will assess the movement and strength of your whole body, similar to a regular physiotherapy assessment.
Then they will also assess the pelvic floor muscles themselves, getting a better idea of how the muscles contract and relax and respond to various forces. This assessment will be helpful in determining whether there is a dysfunction within the pelvic floor, as well as how to best resolve the issue.
What are some signs that I should book a Pelvic Floor assessment?
Pelvic floor dysfunction is typically divided into two main categories – hypertonicity and hypotonicity. Hypertonicity refers to an excess of tone or tension in the pelvic floor. Hypotonicity refers to a lack of tone or tension.
Both conditions can result in dysfunction such as:
- urinary or fecal leakage
- urgency (intense and sudden need to pee and difficulty getting there in time)
- overactive bladder/frequency (peeing very often even when the bladder may not be full)
- pain with insertion/sex
- pelvic organ prolapse.
Having any of these issues may signal that it’s time to see a PF therapist. Finally, having long-standing hip or low back pain that is not responding to other forms of treatment might indicate that your pelvic floor is not functioning optimally, and a PFPT assessment should be considered.
Why and when is it important to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist?
It is recommended for women who are pregnant to start seeing a pelvic floor therapist during the 2nd trimester of their pregnancy, whether they are experiencing dysfunction or not. Your body undergoes such drastic changes during pregnancy that it is important to keep up with new demands in order to prevent any future issues. PFPT not only helps to correct dysfunction but will allow you to better prepare your pelvic floor for childbirth.
After birth, you can start pelvic floor therapy right away, but any internal work will be held off until you are 6-weeks postpartum. Whether you had a C-section or vaginal birth, you want to start repairing and strengthening the core and pelvic floor right away to prevent future issues and function optimally with your new baby. If you are not pregnant or recently postpartum but are experiencing any of the signs of dysfunction listed above, see a PF Physiotherapist immediately.
They can help you correct the issue with a combination of manual techniques and exercise.
Why is MSK Clinics my best option for Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
MSK fosters a private and comfortable clinic environment with ample equipment so that you feel at ease during your treatment sessions. Whether you are preparing for birth or working to correct an existing dysfunction, your program will be unique and specific to your needs and level of function. At MSK, we emphasize education so that you have all the tools and knowledge necessary to best achieve your goals and feel empowered.
Book your appointment today.