What is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is an evidence-based treatment for common conditions within the pelvis such as incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain.
What is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist?
Pelvic floor or Pelvic Health physiotherapists are usually musculoskeletal physiotherapists who have undergone specialised training in assessing and treating conditions resulting in the dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles.
Your Pelvic Health Physiotherapist will perform a comprehensive subjective and objective evaluation to identify all the factors that are contributing to your symptoms. A treatment plan will be formulated with personalised short and long-term goals.
What type of conditions can be treated?
- Pregnancy-related musculoskeletal disorders including:
- – pelvic girdle pain
- – back/rib pain and hip pain
- Other conditions including:
- – Postnatal abdominal separation (rectus diastasis)
- – Bladder dysfunction including incontinence, urinary frequency or urgency, overactive bladder
- – Pre-operative and post-operative gynaecology surgery
How effective is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy has a robust evidence base, which shows clear benefits as a first-line treatment for most pelvic floor disorders.
Based on the available evidence, Pelvic Health Physiotherapy with or without supplemental modalities can improve or cure symptoms of urinary incontinence, pelvic organ pain, faecal incontinence, peripartum and postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction, and hypertonic pelvic floor disorders, including pelvic floor myofascial pain, dyspareunia, vaginismus, and vulvodynia.
Do I need to see my doctor first?
Not always. Physiotherapists are autonomous practitioners trained to a very high level and so are able to operate without referral.
Therefore, if you are self-referring and paying for your own treatment then you do not need to see your GP first.
Are you providing this service to everyone?
Unfortunately no. At present, we are providing the service to women over 18 years old only.
Do you get treatment during your initial appointment?
Yes, we aim to start your treatment at your first visit. This may depend on the complexity of your problem and will become clear during the initial assessment.
What does the treatment involve? / What treatments will you use?
After an in-depth verbal and physical assessment (internal examination if required), the therapist will discuss with you a variety of treatment and management options to help you achieve your goals.
These may include:
- – Education about your condition – We believe if you increase your knowledge and understanding of your presenting complaint, it can help to improve your symptoms and to make the best choices for your treatment.
- – Exercise based programmes – These can be tailored to fit your needs and goals. Exercise is often an integral part of a patient’s rehabilitation journey.
- – Lifestyle/activity modifications/stress management
- – Relaxation strategies
- – Manual therapy
- – Acupuncture – This can be provided to help with pain relief where deemed appropriate from your physiotherapist. Not all physiotherapists working within the service are qualified in the use of acupuncture treatment. Discussions about its use will always take place with a therapist who has the relevant qualifications. Acupuncture is rarely used as a sole treatment.
- – Biofeedback – This comes in many forms, and is a way to help you understand how to locate your pelvic floor muscles and work them more effectively
Follow up appointments range from 30-60 minutes in duration and the therapist will recommend a detailed treatment plan based on your condition. Usually each treatment will involve an internal component. In its most simplistic form the therapists are either strengthening weak or lengthened (hypotonic) muscles, or reducing spasm in tight and shortened (hypertonic) muscles.
What should I wear?
You might prefer to wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment. You may be asked to remove items of clothing to complete your assessment.
You will always be examined in a lockable private room, curtained or screened cubicle.
Will it hurt?
Some treatment can be uncomfortable especially the internal examination, but at no stage should you be unable to tolerate the level of discomfort. Your physiotherapist will give you clear guidelines on what to expect during and after treatment and what is a normal reaction.
If you have any concerns then you should speak to your physiotherapist immediately.
Can I bring someone with me?
You are more than welcome to have someone chaperone you during your treatment. In some cases a chaperone is compulsory, such as for children or someone with special needs. All of our physiotherapist are DBS cleared and have attended child and adult safeguarding education.
Can I stop treatment any time?
Yes, you can stop your treatment at any time. However, we do recommend that you complete the planned treatment course as some early effects may be temporary and require repeated session to have a long term impact.
If you feel the treatment is not achieving the results you anticipate, please discuss this with your physiotherapist as they may be able to offer alternatives to achieve your desired results, or another physiotherapist within the practice may have more knowledge and/or experience regarding your particular problem.
If you do stop treatment you are welcome to return to physiotherapy when this suits you. If this period is longer than 12 weeks the physiotherapist may need to complete a full initial assessment before recommencing treatment.
What do I do if Pelvic Health physiotherapy is not helping me?
If the treatment is not helping you, then do raise these concerns with your physiotherapist who will also discuss your progress throughout your treatment.
If your problem is long-standing or complex it may take some time to see improvement. With rehabilitation it takes at least 6-12 weeks to make real changes to your body, so please be patient.
How much will it cost?
Please refer to our Women’s Heath Pages for more information.
What do I do if I would like to book an appointment?
You can book online, call the clinic on 020 8254 2150 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.