Many people assume that pelvic floor physiotherapy is only ever about doing daily Kegel exercises, which is not the whole truth. In fact, there are many cases where doing Kegel exercises can be more damaging to the pelvic floor and, even when they are required, are not performed properly.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a specific form of manual therapy that often involves internal and external, hands-on techniques to evaluate and treat pelvic floor muscle functioning and its interaction with other deep core muscles. As I mentioned before, this form of therapy must also include the assessment and treatment of the joints and muscles in the low back, hips, and thighs.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can be used as the first line of defense against many issues, such as:
- Rectus diastasis or “Mummy Tummy”
- Piriformis syndrome
- Incontinence or leakage
- Pain during intercourse
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Low back or pelvic pain
- Pudendal nerve irritation
- Constipation or retention
- Erectile dysfunction
And the list goes on and on…
Pelvic floor physiotherapy has some of the highest quality research evidence to support its use in practice. In 2010, for example, researchers found that internal techniques for pelvic floor muscle training were paramount in the treatment and prevention of stress and urge incontinence. In 2012, experts saw that internal pelvic floor myofascial therapy was more effective than generalized massage therapy in treating chronic bladder / pelvic pain.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy has also proven to be vital in pre- and post-partum care. In France, women are encouraged to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist for post-partum recovery in order to prevent muscle imbalance and weakness; which can eventually lead to other functional issues. In Britain, any patient with prolapse or incontinence must first undergo several weeks of internal pelvic floor physiotherapy prior to becoming a surgical candidate.
It really can be a life-changing form of therapy. Many people who experience issues with the pelvic floor have reported huge improvements and even elimination of their symptoms after only a few sessions of pelvic floor physiotherapy! If you have any specific questions related to pelvic floor physiotherapy, please feel free to contact us here at Darou Wellness.
ABOUT NABILA JUTHA, MSc.PT, Hon.BKin
Working as an orthopedic physiotherapist for the last few years, Nabila developed a special interest in pelvic floor rehabilitation, working with prenatal and postpartum women in particular. She pursued specialized training in pelvic rehabilitation through Pelvic Health Solutions, and has continued taking courses in pregnancy and pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic girdle pain, etc.