Pelvic floor physiotherapy is offered at out clinic in downtown Toronto on the PATH. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is the assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor, a series of muscles, ligaments and fascia that sit like a basin at the bottom of your pelvis. They work together to support the organs of the abdomen, to stabilize the pelvis and hip joints, and play a role in maintaining urinary continence and sexual function. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can only be performed by a specially trained physiotherapist who has undergone post-secondary education and is registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help to retrain the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor to improve its strength and function.
Who would benefit from Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms or have been referred by another health care professional you may be a candidate for pelvic floor physiotherapy.
- Urinary Incontinence – unable to control the leakage of urine (with coughing, physical activity etc)
- Urgency – having a strong urge to urinate or defecate that is difficult to control
- Frequency – having to urinate very frequently and disrupting your everyday routine
- Pain during or after intercourse or with any sexual stimulation
- Diastasis recti
- Constipation, straining or pain with bowel movements
What to expect from Pelvic Therapy
During your pelvic floor physiotherapy assessment your therapist will take a detailed medical history and perform both an external and internal examination of the pelvic floor. This will help to determine the state of the pelvic floor, its ability to contract and relax. Your therapist may also assess your low back, sacro-iliac joints, hips and surrounding musculature as they can influence your pelvic floor. Once your therapist has determined the appropriate plan of action, treatment may include any of the following:
- Education: understanding your diagnosis and the how your lifestyle choices may be influencing your condition is the first step to improving the function of your pelvic floor and managing your symptoms. Controlling your diet, monitoring your bowel and bladder habits and postural awareness can all contribute to your pelvic health.
- Manual therapy: hands on techniques may be used to stretch, mobilize and release tension in the soft tissue of the pelvic floor and surrounding tissue of the low back, abdomen and lower extremities.
- Exercise: exercises to strengthen, lengthen and improve the coordination of the pelvic floor and surrounding musculature to improve its function. Internal examination and retraining of the pelvic floor is considered the gold standard in pelvic health.
- Acupuncture: used to alleviate pain and improve neuromuscular function, your therapist can further discuss this during your treatment if they feel it is appropriate for you.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is offered by registered physiotherapists and is covered by most extended health benefit plans.