Frequently Asked Questions About Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
What is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Pelvic health, or pelvic floor physiotherapy, is a branch of physiotherapy that is concerned with the health and wellbeing of the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs. Pelvic floor physiotherapists receive specialized training and education to assess and treat the pelvic floor.
What is a “Pelvic Floor”?
Your pelvic floor is like a sling of muscles, nerves, and fascia at the bottom of your pelvis. These muscles support the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, bowel, uterus, vagina, small bowel, and rectum. These muscles also affect how these organs function, such as by controlling urination, defecation and sexual function.
Can Pelvic Health Physiotherapy help me?
All genders with the following concerns may benefit from seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist:
- pelvic pain,
- weak or tight pelvic floor,
- stress incontinence – of the bowel or bladder,
- urge incontinence – of the bowel or bladder,
- overactive bladder,
- increased urinary frequency/urgency,
- dyspareunia - pain during sex, and/or
- pelvic organ prolapse – when pelvic organs drop down into the vaginal canal or anus.
Those who are pre- or postpartum are also likely to benefit from pelvic health physiotherapy. In fact, a postpartum checkup is recommended to prevent or address any pelvic floor conditions associated with pregnancy, delivery and recovery.
Read more about pelvic health conditions in our Pelvic Health Guide here.
So I don’t have to just live with leakage?
Urinary leakage is not a normal occurrence and you can do something about it. There is good scientific evidence to suggest that a health professional taught and supervised pelvic floor training program should be the first-line management for stress and mixed urinary incontinence as well as pelvic organ prolapse.
What’s involved in a pelvic health physiotherapy session?
During the initial assessment, your physiotherapist will ask you questions to better understand your medical history, your pelvic health condition, how it’s affecting your life, and your goals for physiotherapy. They’ll answer your questions and concerns about your condition, and explain the risks and benefits to you of proceeding with physiotherapy.
Your physiotherapist will also do a physical assessment, which may involve:
- assessing your movement,
- assessing your core and pelvic floor muscle control and strength,
- an internal assessment, meaning a vaginal or rectal exam.
Finally, they’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan, designed to achieve your goals.
Your physiotherapist’s assessment and treatment will be based on the best scientific evidence for treating pelvic symptoms.
I’m nervous about having my pelvic floor assessed
Like all physiotherapy, you may remove your consent at any time during your assessment or treatment, for any reason. It’s your physiotherapist’s job to give you the information you need to make decisions about your health, and your physiotherapy treatment plan.
Many people are uncomfortable discussing their pelvic health, and your physiotherapist is trained to ensure you’re in control and as comfortable as possible. Good physiotherapy requires good communication, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask questions, seek clarification, and share your story with your physiotherapist.
Which physiotherapist will I be seeing?
Julia McDaniels, BMR-PT, leads our pelvic health physiotherapy practice, and has completed post-graduate training to assess and treat a wide range of pelvic health conditions. She has over a decade of experience as a physiotherapist, and is skilled at integrating your pelvic health treatment with your overall health and well-being.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, a referral is not required for physiotherapy, including pelvic health physiotherapy.
Is pelvic health physiotherapy covered by insurance?
Most insurance providers cover physiotherapy – including pelvic health physiotherapy. However, check with your insurance provider before your appointment to ensure your particular plan does indeed cover physiotherapy.
I’m still not sure whether pelvic health physiotherapy is for me.
Call us at 204-982-9191 to arrange a free 15-minute phone consultation with Julia McDaniels, a pelvic health physiotherapist, to ensure this type of physiotherapy is right for you.