How Physiotherapy Can Improve Women’s Pelvic Health
Pelvic health directly affects a woman’s comfort and function within daily life, sexual activity, and childbirth, making it an essential part of women’s health. Physiotherapists can help with pelvic issues the same way they help with muscles issues in other parts of the body. There are specific stretches and exercises that can help these muscles, in turn having a positive effect on the other tissues, joints and bones in the area. Discover more about the importance of pelvic health, and how physiotherapy can help you to feel your best.
The Pelvic Floor Muscles
The pelvic floor muscles are part of your core muscles. They control bladder and bowel functions, support the internal organs, and the pelvis. They are also involved in sexual response, contracting and relaxing during sexual intercourse. If you encounter any health issues in this area of the body, the pelvic muscles may be involved. That might include:
- Urinary issues: Urgency, increased frequency of urination, and leaking may all be related to weak or overactive pelvic floor muscles.
- Organ prolapse: These muscles support the bladder, uterus, and other organs in the area. When they are weak, they may allow the organs to move out of their normal place in the body. This is called pelvic organ prolapse.
- Pelvic pain: Pain during sex, discomfort while walking, and other pelvic pain may involve the pelvic muscles.
These conditions can be caused by trauma to the pelvic muscles during childbirth, accidents, surgery, and other injuries. Or, they can be the results of losing muscle mass in the pelvis from lack of use. Other conditions may contribute the weakening or over-activity of these muscles, as well. These conditions are not the natural result of aging, although this is a common misconception.
How Can Physiotherapy Help?
Physiotherapy can be a highly effective treatment for pelvic conditions, along with any treatments that your doctor prescribes. In fact, sometimes physiotherapy can prevent the need for surgery or medication for these conditions altogether. For example, if strengthening your pelvic muscles reduces the pelvic pain that you feel, then you may be able to forgo pain medication.
What if you do need surgery or invasive treatments for your pelvic condition? Physiotherapy is an excellent option to help you get the best results from surgery, and to help you reach full recovery more quickly afterwards. After your surgery, a physiotherapist can make an individualized plan to help you recover. Using evidence-based exercises and movements, and by tracking your progress towards your post-surgery goals, we can help to guide you through a smooth recovery.
These exercises may involve long and short squeezes of your pelvic muscles, for a set period of time, with repetitions according to your abilities. The specific type of exercise that is best for you will depend upon your condition and your goals.
Pilates can also help to support your physiotherapy efforts, as many of the muscles targeted in Pilates support the pelvis and the pelvic muscles. As you strengthen your core muscles they can take the strain off of other muscles in the area, including your pelvic muscles.
At Meadowlands Physiotherapy, we can guide you through physiotherapy exercises to improve your quality of life and protect your overall strength and flexibility, as you navigate pelvic floor conditions. Contact us today to set up a consultation!