Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a special interest field of Physiotherapy, aimed at assisting those with pelvic floor dysfunction back to optimal pelvic health and continence. Physiotherapists use evidence-based practice and individualised assessment and treatment to help women, men and children. A Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can help correctly identify the pelvic floor muscles and make sure exercises are performed correctly to rehabilitate the integrated core and continence system. Pelvic floor exercises can also be very beneficial for both treating and preventing future problems. When these muscles and systems are strong we have more control over our bladder and bowels.
Many people with pelvic floor problems don’t seek help as they think nothing can be done or they are too embarrassed to talk about their ‘private' issues. Many women / mothers believe they are doomed to a life of painful sex, leaking bladders, and feelings of self-doubt. It's also common for men to experience urinary and bowel issues that may or may not be related to the prostate. The therapists also see's men before and after prostectomy surgery. There are many treatment options available so it’s important to seek assistance.
Wanaka, Queenstown, Cromwell and Central Otago-based patients interested in consulting with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist can visit the Pelvic Solutions Clinic in Wanaka.
Incontinence is a common problem for an estimated 1.1 million New Zealanders. That's women and men. The two main types of incontinence are:
1. Stress – where small amounts of urine leak during activities/effort
2. Urge – a sudden strong urge to pass urine which can lead to a loss of urine
Women that have had a baby are more likely to experience incontinence. Research has shown that Physiotherapy is effective in treating stress incontinence in up to 80% of cases.
Urinary Incontinence: stress, urge or mixed incontinence, dysuria (painful passing of urine), overactive bladder, overflow incontinence. Weak pelvic floor muscles contributing to stress incontinence, urinary urge incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and have high tone.
Pregnancy: Birth preparation, incontinence, pelvic girdle pain, pregnancy pain, pubic symphysis pain, rib and upper back pain, swollen legs, anorectal pain, posture and back care.
Post natal: Abdominal and pelvic muscles, scars (c-section, episiotomy, 3rd and 4th-degree perineal tears from instrumental delivery), diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation), strength endurance and function of the pelvic floor, skeletal alignment, diaphragm and breathing, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, incontinence (stress and urge), trapped air in the vagina and mastitis.
Bowel Problems: Faecal (poo) and flatal (wind) incontinence/soiling, difficulty emptying (including obstructive defaecation) and urgency.
Pelvic organ prolapse: bowel, bladder and uterine.
Pre and post gynaecology surgery: hysterectomy and surgery for pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic pain: Persistent pelvic pain conditions, ano-rectal pain, sacral, coccyx thoraco-lumbar, abdominal-pelvic, perineum pains, Pudendal nerve pain, scarring, dyspareunia (difficult or painful sex), vaginismus (involuntary tightening of the muscles around the vagina). For men, pain in the testes, scrotum and genitals.
Constipation: pregnancy, scaring, haemorrhoids, overactive pelvic floor.
Sexual dysfunction: erectile dysfunction, decreased sensation, vaginal dryness, painful sexual intercourse or intimacy.
Post-prostectomy: urinary incontinence or bowel issues after surgery.
Treatment may include, but are not be limited to the following:
Pelvic floor muscle training
Pelvic floor relaxation
Core system rehabilitation
Healthy toilet habits
Use of vaginal weights
Vaginal or rectal sensors for biofeedback and/or electrical stimulation
Stretching and strengthening exercises
Soft tissue and/or joint mobilisation
To evaluate the condition it may be necessary initially and periodically, for the therapist to perform an internal pelvic floor muscle examination. This examination is performed by observing and /or palpating the perineal region including the vagina and /or rectum. This evaluation will assess skin condition, reflexes, muscle tone, length, strength and endurance, scar mobility and function of the pelvic floor region.
Physiotherapists are ACC accredited. No referral is required for an appointment. You can use an existing claim or lodge a new claim during your appointment (eg. Instrumental birthing injuries, traumatic pelvic fractures).
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