Treating the common concerns and conditions women may experience at different stages and ages throughout their lives.
Looking for a women’s health professional but don’t know where to start? As women, our bodies go through a lot, pre/post baby, the ups and downs of ageing, and the stresses of a modern daily routine of work, exercise and family. During these stages we can start to experience changes with our bodies. These changes may make you feel embarrassed to seek help in the hope that they will resolve themselves, often creating other uncomfortable situations caused by the condition. Or more often, women simply don’t know where to get help. At SPHC we specialise in the treatment of common concerns/conditions women may experience at different stages and ages throughout their lives.
What is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have undergone specific training in assessing and treating a wide variety of pelvic health conditions including incontinence, overactive bladder syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse, bowel dysfunction, pre & postnatal care including mastitis, pelvic pain and post-surgical recovery.
Meet our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
At Sandgate Physical Health Clinic, we have our very own Physiotherapist, Jessica, who has a special interest in treating continence, pelvic and women’s health related issues. Jess completed her undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy in 2010 and has undergone additional training in the assessment and treatment of a variety of pelvic health conditions and issues related to Women’s Health. With Jess’s additional training and commitment to women’s health we are successfully helping women in the Sandgate area treat these common health concerns.
Common Women’s Health conditions we can help-
- Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction – Just as you can have pelvic floor weakness, you can have pelvic floor overactivity. Each presenting differing symptoms and problems. Jess will be able to assess your pelvic floor muscle strength and function and give you a tailored exercise program to get these important muscles functioning at their best.
- Urinary incontinence- Did you know that 37% of women and 13% of men can be affected by urinary incontinence, but the majority of these people do not seek help for it? This common and embarrassing condition can often be successfully lessened or cured with a customised treatment program.
- Overactive bladder- The symptoms of an overactive bladder include needing to pass urine frequently and urgently. This can also result in urinary leakage when you ‘don’t make it’ on time. Overactive bladder symptoms also responds very well to physiotherapy treatment strategies.
- Prolapse (bladder, bowel and/or uterus)- Prolapse is a very common condition especially in women who have had children. The symptoms can include ‘heaviness’ in the vagina, feeling or seeing a lump or bulge in the vagina. Prolapse can be successfully treated by improving the strength of the pelvic floor muscles under the guidance of your physio. We also offer a vaginal pessary fitting service if required. Pessaries are a low-cost, minimally invasive approach for symptom management and reducing prolapse progression. A successfully inserted vaginal pessary can help improve your condition no matter what the stage.
- Painful sexual intercourse – Dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse) can have many causes including overactive/tight pelvic floor muscles, scar tissue after vaginal childbirth and hormonal changes through your different life phases. Jess can assess and treat the factors causing your pain and work with you to manage the problem.
- Vulvodynia/Vaginismus- Conditions in which sufferers have moderate to severe pain and or spasms in the vulvar/vaginal area. Jess can help by carrying out a thorough assessment and working with you to manage and treat your symptoms.
- Pelvic Pain/Pudendal Neuralgia- Men and women can complain of pain in the pelvis area and find that despite many investigations and medical consults, that the cause is unknown. This pain can affect sitting, standing, toilet habits and affect the person’s quality of life. A women’s and men’s health physiotherapist can complete a thorough assessment of the pelvic structures and possibly identify the cause. Then the appropriate treatment, exercises and lifestyle advice can be provided.
- Bowel Issues (incontinence or constipation)- Constipation is a very common problem and is one of the main factors contributing to pelvic floor weakness and prolapse. Bowel incontinence is estimated to affect 5-10% of the population. Both constipation and bowel incontinence can be successfully treated with physiotherapy.
What To Expect From An Assessment
During your initial consultation, the physio will take a detailed history of your bladder and bowel function, sexual function, obstetric history as well as your medical and surgical history. They will also be interested in your fitness activities and treatment goals. Your physical assessment may include an examination of your abdominal muscles, pelvis and lumbar spine. You will also be offered an internal examination. This is an important part of your examination and necessary in identifying the tone, strength and control of your pelvic floor muscles. Using finger palpation, the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue will be assessed for injury or scarring, signs of pelvic organ prolapse, muscle tone, tenderness, sensation and neural sensitivity. Following this, the pelvic floor muscle will be tested for strength and endurance. It is important to determine if the left and right, superficial and deep pelvic floor muscles are working together, and if not, why not. Once we establish your baseline of pelvic floor muscle control, we can then develop a specific and individualised exercise programme. The assessment findings and treatment options will be discussed with you.
Time to Get Help?
Many people suffer these conditions in silence, unaware that Pelvic Health Physio’s can help improve or resolve their symptoms. You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. However, if a doctor refers you with a chronic disease management plan, you may be eligible to get a Medicare rebate for up to five sessions.