What Do Women’s Health & Continence Physios do?

When I went to college to start my Physiotherapy degree 11 years ago, I had never heard of a Women’s Health & Continence physio. In fact, I’d probably never heard of the pelvic floor! So if you’re not sure what we do either, here goes!!

Pregnancy


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Aches and pains are common during pregnancy. This is due to changes in your centre of gravity and the way your muscles work, fluctuating hormone levels, and of course fatigue. The problem we most often treat is probably pregnancy pelvic girdle pain. This pain that occurs in the front and back of the pelvis during and/or after pregnancy. WH & C Physios are experts at carefully assessing the cause of your symptoms. We then develop a tailored programme of exercises and advice to address it.

depositphotos_84037166-Recovery-direction-signSometimes bladder leakage will first develop during pregnancy. This can be caused by poorly co-ordinated or weak pelvic floor muscles, prolapse or varicose veins in your pelvis. We can diagnose what’s causing the problem and address it during and after pregnancy.

Most people will attend an antenatal class or workshop during pregnancy, particularly before having their first baby. Often a WH&C physiotherapist will facilitate part or all of the class. We give advice on safely exercising throughout your pregnancy, preventing common pregnancy and post natal aches and pains, breathing and positions for labour and loads more. We often develop specially tailored exercise classes such as pregnancy pilates and pregnancy yoga to help you stay fit and flexible for a healthy pregnancy and birth.

New Mums

depositphotos_10955554-Motherhood---Mother-and-Baby-RelationshipWH&C physios will often treat new mums with backache, pelvic pain, shoulder and neck pain. We also treat other little post natal niggles. These are sometimes due to lack of sleep and rest, dropping oestrogen levels and the huge changes happening in the post-pregnancy body. Some degree of prolapse (most often womb prolapse) after giving birth is relatively common. It usually heals well over the first few weeks, but it’s good to have some guidance from your WH&C physio to reassure you. She will help you optimise your recovery with a gradual return to activity and a suitable exercise programme.

If your birth is difficult, if you have a large tear or bladder or bowel problems afterwards, your G.P, obstetrician or midwife may recommend that you see a WH&C physio for assessment. You can then start any treatment required to help your body heal well after birth. WH&C physios can also help you to regain a pain free and enjoyable sex life after the birth of your baby.

Even if you have no problems after birth, some women see a WH&C physiotherapist for a postnatal check to ensure everything is healing as expected and for guidance on safely returning to exercise. Many women’s health physios run postnatal exercise classes focusing on healthy return to exercise and restoring the pelvic floor.

Menopause
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Our typical picture of the menopause is usually of a crazy lady, with mad hair, shouting, throwing things and maybe having a hot flush just for good measure! Definitely not attractive! But it doesn’t have to be like this. You can ROCK the menopause! Sometimes though, we all need a little help. It can come with some bothersome symptoms and WH&C physios can treat and advise on many of these – incontinence, prolapse, vaginally dryness, pain with sex, constipation and general muscle pains.

 

What Else?!

Apart from working with expectant and new mums and women experiencing menopausal symptoms, what else can we help with? Well we also treat anyone with bladder or bowel leakage, pain with sex, chronic pelvic pain, constipation and after bladder, bowel or prostate surgery and lots more. You may have done pelvic floor exercises before but we’re not all about the kegels! WH&C physios use a whole body approach. We carefully assess for all the factors that may be contributing to your particular problem. If you feel we can help you, don’t delay. These problems are NOT normal at any age and help is at hand!

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