Fizzio for Life can help you with your women’s health needs. Your care team includes Julie (Senior physio and member of theWomen’s, Men’s & Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Group (WMPHPG)), Joy, (Physiotherapist), Rachael (Senior Exercise Physiologist) and Eve (Myotherapist/Remedial Massage Therapist). Together our team can provide the majority of your women’s health needs from adolescence and beyond Menopause. These needs may cover issues as diverse as pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, prenatal and postnatal care, pregnancy massage, to exercise during pregnancy and menopause, and muscle, joint and bone health for all ages.
How can physiotherapy help?
Our women’s health physiotherapy team have undertaken intensive training and we are able to help you with the following issues and more:
- Urinary incontinence, urinary frequency and nocturia (frequent night time urination)
- Vaginal Prolapse (including pessary insertion)
- Pelvic floor care
- Ante-natal and post-natal musculoskeletal and pelvic pain (back, sciatica, hip, pelvis, SIJ)
- Menopausal bone loss
What is the pelvic floor?
The floor of the pelvis is made up of layers of muscle and other tissue. These muscles stretch like a hammock from the tail bone at the back, to the pubic bone in the front. A woman’s pelvic floor muscles support her bladder, womb (uterus) and bowel (colon). The urine tube (front passage), the vagina and the back passage all pass through the pelvic floor muscles.
When the pelvic floor is strong, it supports the pelvic organs to prevent problems such as:
- Incontinence (the involuntary loss of urine or faeces) – one in three Australian women suffer from urinary incontinence.
- Prolapse (lack of support) of the bladder, uterus and bowel.
What causes poor pelvic floor muscles?
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Continual straining to empty your bowels (constipation)
- Persistent heavy lifting
- A chronic cough (such as smoker’s cough or chronic bronchitis and asthma)
- Being overweight
- Changes in hormone levels at menopause (change of life)
- Lack of general fitness
How can physiotherapy help?
Incontinence – Our physiotherapist undertakes a thorough medical history, investigation and assessment of your pelvic floor (including internal exam if indicated) and may ask you to complete a 48 hour bladder diary or other tests depending on your symptoms/issues. The results are used to determine your individualised treatment plan to help you regain control of your bladder.
Pelvic floor – Women of all ages need to have strong pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor exercises may improve the tone and function of the pelvic floor muscles, which is of particular benefit for women who suffer from urinary incontinence. In addition to preventing or diminishing leakage it may improve vaginal laxity, and consequent diminished sexual sensation.
As women grow older it is important to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong because at menopause the muscles change and may weaken. A pelvic floor exercise routine helps to minimise the effects of menopause on pelvic support and bladder control.
The muscles of your pelvic floor are critical for optimal function for your lower back, pelvis, uterus and bladder. Yet 50% of women do not know how to contract these muscles when given either a verbal or written instruction. Therefore individual assessment and instruction is imperative. We can teach you about modifying your daily activities to complement a pelvic floor exercise program, and how to strengthen other core stabilisers such as abdominal muscles.
EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH – How can exercise physiology help?
An Accredited exercise physiologist is an allied health professional who specialises in the benefits of exercise and can help women improve their overall health. In particular we can provide safe and effective exercise programs for pregnant or new mothers, instruct on pelvic floor strengthening for all ages, and prescribe appropriate exercise to help women deal with Menopause, PCOS, Osteoporosis, maintain heart and bone health, or to help combat the side effects of chemotherapy during cancer treatment. Our women’s health team work closely in a multidisciplinary environment to optimise your care.
MYOTHERAPY AND WOMEN’S HEALTH – How can Myotherapy help?
Myotherapy can offer a range of tissue release techniques for women during and after pregnancy. During the third trimester of a pregnancy particularly, women may start to develop a prominent curve in their lower back to compensate for the extra weight in the front of their body. This can cause significant back pain. Myotherapy can release the tight, sore muscles for women in this predicament, in a nice comfortable and relaxing side lying position.
After pregnancy, regular abdominal massages can assist the uterus in retracting and shrinking back to its normal size. If women are breast feeding, they can often become tight and sore in their upper back and neck from holding their precious baby and looking downwards. Myotherapy can help to stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weak ones to make this position more comfortable for new mothers.
Regular massages before pregnancy are also beneficial for women; massage promotes stress relief, reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body) and can take away some of the anxiety related to trying to conceive.
Regular massages throughout pregnancy accumulatively reduces the levels of cortisol in the body and there is much clinical evidence to support the claim that women who have regular massages have reduced risks of complications during pregnancy and birth.
Myotherapy is also able to help women who are not pregnant or post natal. Myotherapy treatments such as the use of massage, heat and dry needling can ease the muscle aches and discomfort related to menstruation. Some women may also experience constipation at certain times during their cycle and gentle abdominal massages can encourage the muscles around the small intestine (bowel) to contract and relieve these uncomfortable symptoms.