All women have some unique health issues due to our anatomy. The pelvic floor muscles form a sling running from the bridge of the bone at the front of the pelvis (pubic symphysis) to the tailbone (sacrum) at the back.
The role of the pelvic floor muscles is to support the abdominal organs (bladder, uterus and intestines) and to provide muscular closure of the anus and vagina. In this way strong pelvic floor muscles are essential for continence.
Pregnancy places a significant load through the pelvic floor muscles due to added abdominal weight. Release of the hormone Relaxin in the later stages of pregnancy increases the laxity (flexibility) of the pelvic floor ligaments, often leading to low back, pelvic and referred pain.
The abdominal muscles are markedly stretched during pregnancy. The pelvic floor muscles are often stretched, torn or cut (episiotomy) during childbirth. All reasons why we provide quality care for women during pregnancy and beyond through all stages of life.
Pre and Post – Natal Care
Keperra Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic provides treatment and advice for women during and following pregnancy.
- Core stability (abdominal) and pelvic floor strengthening.
- Treatment techniques to relieve low back and pelvic pain including mobilizations, massage, exercise therapy and use of a lumbo-pelvic (SIJ) stability belt.
- Advice regarding posture, sleeping position, breast-feeding positions, lifting and other manual tasks.
- Treatment of incontinence, prolapse and diastasis recti.
- Graduated exercise programmes and advice for return to exercise and lifestyle activities.
Incontinence and Prolapse
Incontinence is unfortunately a common issue affecting both women and men. Though more common in later life and following childbirth, incontinence can occur in any age group.
Stress Incontinence involves the involuntary passage of urine when the pelvic floor is subjected to a stress such as coughing, sneezing or heavy physical activity.
Urge Incontinence describes the inability to ‘hold on’ when needing urinate. Women with urge incontinence are often very careful to ensure that they can always access a toilet quickly.
Faecal Incontinence can involve the inability to control the passage of faeces or difficulty in passing faeces (constipation, faecal impaction). Uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating and excess wind often accompany this condition.
Wondering if you have a continence problem?
- Do you sometimes have to rush to the toilet?
- Do you wake up more than once during the night to go to the toilet?
- Do you sometimes not ‘make it’ to the toilet before passing urine?
- Do you sometimes pass some urine when you cough or sneeze, lift something heavy or during sport?
- Do you strain to empty your bowel?
- Do you sometimes soil your underwear?
If you answered ‘YES’ to any of the above questions you may have a continence problem. Please call Chris Cameron, Practice Principal, Keperra Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic to discuss treatment options.
Physiotherapy Treatment for Incontinence involves:-
- Retraining of the pelvic floor muscles to regain required strength and endurance.
- Advice regarding adequate water intake, dietary factors and avoidance of aggravatory activities.
- Exercise and lifestyle advice.