Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
Some people don’t even bother mentioning them to their healthcare providers because they believe–or have been told–that there’s nothing that can be done about it. There is hope. There is help available.
When something starts to impact your life, when you stop doing the activities you love, when you hesitate to participate in social activities or travel that you would have previously jumped on, when life starts to revolve around the symptoms–it’s time to get help.
We are here to help you.
You are not alone with the symptoms you are experiencing. Pelvic health symptoms are common, and there is help available.
In FACT, research shows many of these symptoms are NOT gender specific, and they simply suggest that the pelvic muscles are not working their best. Like other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles can be too weak, too tense or have poor coordination–which can affect their function. This is where Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have advanced training that can help!
You don’t have to live with the discomfort, and you don’t have to avoid the things you want to be doing!
Ask for Pelvic Health Physiotherapy.
What is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy (aka “Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy”) is evidence-based care of concerns related to the pelvis. It involves a whole person, comprehensive assessment to identify all the factors that may be contributing to your problem.
All sessions are conducted in a private, safe, respectful, and compassionate environment to help you feel comfortable sharing your story with us.
It is a form of care that is considered a Controlled Act in Ontario, via the Health Professions Act. Physiotherapists must be Registered and Rostered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario to provide internal pelvic floor assessment and treatment.
Who are Pelvic Health Physiotherapists?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are Registered Physiotherapists who have completed post graduate training in pelvic health. They have advanced skills to assess your pelvis, including internal palpation of the pelvic floor muscles, in a gentle and non-threatening way.
As required through the Regulated Health Professionals Act, our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are registered and rostered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario to provide safe internal palpation of the pelvic floor muscles.
Meet Our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists
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What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor muscles extend from the pubic bone in the front, to the tailbone in the back, and to the “sit bones” on the sides. It forms a sling or hammock between the legs.
The main functions of the pelvic floor muscles include:
- sphincter control
- pelvic organ support
- lumbopelvic stability
- sexual function
- and lymphatic sump pump
Like other muscles in the body, the pelvic floor muscles can become tight, weak, uncoordinated or injured. Pelvic Health Physiotherapy can help your pelvic floor muscles function their best.
Conditions successfully treated with Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
Who May Benefit from Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
- Back, hip, pelvic, tailbone, and/or groin pain that is acute or long standing and has not responded to other treatments
- Associated with menstruation (abdominal, pelvic, back)
- With urination or bowel movements
- Associated with endometriosis or PCOS
- With intercourse
- During pregnancy or postpartum
- Urinary leakage
- Increased urinary frequency
- Increased urinary urgency
- Pain with urination
- Urinary retention
- Increased bowel frequency
- Increased bowel urgency
- Painful bowel movements
Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Feeling of pelvic pressure or heaviness.
Pregnancy and Postpartum:
- addressing pain
- exercise during pregnancy and safe return to exercise postpartum
- preparing for birth (vaginal or C-section)
- pelvic floor and abdominal wall recovery postpartum.
Sexual Dysfunction: Painful intercourse
Post-Cancer: Addressing pelvic health concerns following pelvic cancers, breast cancer, radiation, chemotherapy, and/or other medication effects on the pelvic floor.
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Will Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Help Me?
If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, research supports that you would benefit from a Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Assessment.
- Urinate more than 8 times during the day?
- Have difficulty initiating your urine stream?
- Experience burning with urination?
- Experience very strong, uncontrollable urges to go to the bathroom?
- Have any fecal or urinary leakage?
- Experience pain during/after a bowel movement?
- Struggle having regular bowel movements?
- Experience painful intercourse?
- Experience pelvic pain or pressure (vaginal, rectal, penile, testicular, bladder, tailbone, pelvic girdle)?
- Experience any penile, testicular, or prostate pain?
- Experience pain or cramping with menstruation?
- Have vaginismus, vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, IC, bladder pain syndrome, chronic prostatitis, endometriosis, PCOS, levator ani syndrome, proctalgia, piriformis syndrome, coccydynia, IBS, pudendal neuralgia, bladder/bowel dysynergia, or PGAD?
- Have long standing back or hip pain that is not resolving despite receiving back/hip focused treatment?
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What Can I Expect at my First Pelvic Health Physiotherapy Appointment?
At Fit For Life Physiotherapy, we take a whole-person, compassionate, and non judgemental approach to addressing your pelvic health concerns. Your first visit may include:
- An assessment in a clean, private room.
- A detailed history of your health, pelvic symptoms, functional status, and goals. This may include asking personal questions about your bladder and bowel symptoms, sexual function, and low back, abdominal, hip, groin, pelvic, and tailbone pain.
- Assessments vary depending on symptoms, and may not all be completed on your first visit.
- An internal pelvic floor assessment is considered best practice and involves a gentle internal palpation of the pelvic floor muscles vaginally and/or rectally. It may be completed at the first session or may be scheduled for a future session–and it is only completed with your consent.
- Pelvic floor muscle strength, coordination, flexibility, and the ability to relax are evaluated to confirm individual treatment needs.
- Assessment findings will be discussed and an individualised Plan of Care will be developed in collaboration with you.
- Treatment on the first visit may include education on self management and a home exercise program.
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What are the benefits of Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
Alleviate the pain and symptoms that are getting in your way and keeping you from doing the things you love!
Frequently Asked Questions about Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
How long does pelvic floor physio take?
The length of time you’ll need treatment depends on a number of factors, including the type of symptoms and concerns you’re looking to address. At your assessment, your Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can give you an idea of how many sessions you’ll need, but healing is not linear, and progress can depend on a number of factors that are not always predictable, so be ready for the plan to be adjusted as needed as you go along.
Does physiotherapy help pelvic pain?
Yes! Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have taken additional post graduate training to address symptoms relating to the pelvis, including pelvic pain.
How do you know if you need pelvic floor physio?
We can determine if Pelvic Health Physiotherapy will help by having you answer a few simple questions. Scroll up to the “Are you wondering if you need pelvic health physiotherapy” section, and if you answer YES to any of the questions listed, evidence supports the use of Pelvic Health Physiotherapy to treat your concerns.
What is the difference between Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy and Pelvic Health Physiotherapy?
The short answer is they are the same. They both describe care provided by a specially trained physiotherapist including an assessment and individualised treatment to address pelvic symptoms. The title Pelvic Health Physiotherapy has become the preferred professional terminology as it includes the understanding that pelvic symptoms are influenced by multiple, whole person health factors and not only pelvic floor muscles on their own.