Pelvic Floor Health

What is pelvic floor physiotherapy?

Pelvic floor physio involves the assessment and treatment of various types of dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles and the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, prostate, rectum). It is a low risk alternative or adjunct to other types of treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, such as surgery. Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can occur in men and women, but can often be improved with pelvic floor physiotherapy.

Note: Here at Gastown Physio and Pilates we are currently only treating women for pelvic floor physiotherapy, but are happy to refer men to another clinic.

What type of conditions do you treat?

  • stress incontinence
  • urge incontinence
  • overactive bladder/cystitis/urgency – the feeling of always having to pee, without accompanying leakage
  • coccydynia (tailbone pain)
  • pelvic organ prolapse
    • anterior vaginal wall prolapse (also known as cystocele or bladder prolapse)
    • uterine prolapse
    • vault prolapse/enterocele
    • posterior vaginal wall prolapse/rectocele
    • rectal prolapse

What can I expect from a pelvic floor exam?

Your therapist will ask you questions about your specific symptoms, and will assess your posture, and spinal and pelvic movements. An internal exam (vaginal and/or rectal) is the best way to directly assess the pelvic floor. You may be asked to complete a bladder diary (a log of your fluid intake in relation to your symptoms) in order to provide more information for your treatment. Treatment is individualized to each person’s case, and often begins with education. We want our patients to have an active role in their treatment and understand what is happening in their bodies, so that they can play a part in managing their symptoms. Pelvic floor retraining exercises are often provided to optimize control of the pelvic floor muscles.

Biofeedback Machine

  • Who is this ideal for? Biofeedback is useful for anyone who needs to retrain their pelvic floor muscles. It is often used with women who have urinary leakage, pelvic organ prolapse or pain with sexual intercourse. It is also safe for pregnant women to use!
  • What am I going to experience while using it? You will not feel anything! The biofeedback is a “one way” system, in that it only picks up on your muscle activity. The only thing you will feel are the electrodes that are stuck on the skin in order to pick up the muscle signal.
  • How do you use it? Your therapist will place the sticky electrodes on your skin. There are wires (leads) connected to these electrodes, which then send the signal to the biofeedback machine and display a graph of your muscle activity on a computer screen so that you can see how your muscles are working.
  • What are its benefits? Biofeedback is a useful way for patients to get real-time visual feedback on how their muscles are working and how strongly they are contracting, and how well they are able to perform their therapeutic exercises.

Resources

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

Vaginal Pain Conditions