PELVIC FLOOR PHYSIOTHERAPYWe assess and treat your pelvic floor region to create an individually tailored, evidence-based exercise program to help manage your symptoms and find the best pelvic health solutions for you.
What is Pelvic Floor (Pelvic Health) Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a specially trained postgraduate area of physiotherapy that can be used to help manage and treat a wide range of pelvic conditions. As part of your health professional team, your pelvic floor physiotherapist is a specialized health professional that will assess your pelvic floor muscles to help determine the appropriate exercise programming and physiotherapy treatments. The goal is to create an individually tailored, evidence-based exercise program to help manage your symptoms and find the best pelvic health solutions for you.
What can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy help with?
Evidence has shown that pelvic floor physiotherapy is highly effective as a first-line, conservative management strategy for the following:
- Urinary incontinence (including stress incontinence), overactive bladder (and bowels), increased urinary frequency (any urine leakage is not considered normal and can be treated!)
- Pelvic health disorders such as Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic pain management (this includes any pain in any area below the belly button and above the legs)
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Prenatal and Postnatal concerns or treatment
- Persistent low back or sacroiliac joint pain
- Chronic constipation or problems regarding bowel movements
- Post-surgery rehabilitation (hysterectomy, c-section, prostatectomy)
- General Women’s health
- Pelvic floor dysfunction (muscle weakness)
- Pelvic health solutions
- Pre and postpartum women’s health
- Exercise programming
- Chronic or persistent pelvic pain
What does a session look like?
Your first initial assessment will typically be 1 hour in length and will begin with a thorough relevant medical history and questions regarding your symptoms. To ensure your clinician has a good understanding of all the factors involved, they will ask you questions about your past medical history including: obstetric history, previous surgeries, medications, and in-depth questions about your symptoms and future goals.
Your physiotherapist will then perform an external assessment focused on the strength and movement in your hips, pelvis and spine.
Lastly, an internal examination (vaginal and/or rectal) can be performed to determine the strength and tension of the pelvic floor muscles to further understand how they may be contributing to your symptoms.
Upon completion of the initial assessment, your pelvic floor physical therapist will discuss their findings with you and work together with you to propose a physiotherapy treatment plan.
Your pelvic floor physiotherapist realizes that both talking about pelvic health and undergoing the exam may be uncomfortable and a vulnerable experience. At Westcoast SCI, our therapists are trained to be sensitive regarding trauma and informed to make sure that your experience is as comfortable as possible. If that means skipping different parts of your assessment on your first visit, that is totally ok!
What types of treatment can you expect?
We offer a wide range of pelvic floor physiotherapy treatments. Your session will be as unique as you are and may include some or all of the following:
- Individually tailored strengthening exercises (and breathing exercises)
- Patient education
- Manual therapy (both internal and/or external) including soft tissue techniques
- Activity modification strategies
- Pain management techniques
- Safe progression and return to exercise and activities (exercise programming)
Physiotherapists Specializing in Pelvic Health
Frequently Asked Questions
Who would benefit from Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is appropriate for both women and men experiencing any of the symptoms or conditions listed above. There is no upper age limit on who may benefit from receiving pelvic floor physiotherapy, although our therapists do not currently work with children experiencing pelvic floor issues.
There is a wide range of health topics that fall under the specialty of pelvic floor physiotherapy. Many people think they need to have pelvic pain in order to benefit from working with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Although pelvic pain is something that can definitely be treated, we see a wide range of symptoms and treat pelvic conditions including difficulties with sexual intercourse, bladder and bowel issues, urinary incontinence, a tight pelvic floor, postpartum women, sexual function, women’s health, muscle weakness, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, chronic pelvic pain, exercise programming (including kegel exercises and other strengthening exercises), pelvic floor dysfunction, and many more. You can also expect to get a home exercise program delivered to your inbox at the end each session.
Is pelvic floor physiotherapy safe during pregnancy?
Yes! As long as you are cleared by your doctor (OB Gyn) to still engage in sexual intercourse it is safe to have pelvic floor physiotherapy during pregnancy. For safety, it is typically recommended to wait until after the first trimester in pregnancy before starting pelvic floor physiotherapy.
How soon can a postpartum woman see a pelvic floor physiotherapist?
For postpartum women it is recommended to wait 6 weeks (or until cleared by GP/obstetrician) before doing an internal exam, however there are pelvic floor exercises, (and other strengthening exercises such as kegel exercises) and advice that your physiotherapist can provide for you if you do schedule your visit within the first 6 weeks postpartum.
Can I still come if I am on my period?
Yes! Your pelvic floor physiotherapist can still treat you while you are on your period. They may modify how they conduct your pelvic exam and treat your pelvic condition based on your comfort level and symptoms.
I only have symptoms with running or exercise, will I still benefit from pelvic health physiotherapy?
Yes! A wide range of women’s health conditions would benefit from working with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Our clinicians can work with you to create an individualized program to help with symptoms during exercise to help get you back to the activities you love, whether that be running, weight-lifting, or just playing with your kids at the park. Our pelvic floor physiotherapists can also help with planning a safe return to exercise program for postpartum women.
How do I book an appointment?
There are 2 options to book an appointment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist at Westcoast SCI Physiotherapy.
Attention: As of October 31, 2022 our Vancouver location will be located at 1762 W. 8th Ave
Note: Our Port Coquitlam location has moved to: #111-2331 Marpole Ave.