What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?
Women’s health physiotherapy addresses conditions related to pregnancy and postpartum. It also deals with gynecology and pelvic floor issues. Your physiotherapist can treat unique health conditions that affect the female body.
Understandably, issues concerning women’s health are not widely talked about. Nevertheless, you should visit your physiotherapist often for regular checkups to identify and treat problems promptly.
This article elaborates on women’s health physiotherapy and what it entails. We discuss the unique health issues women face and how physiotherapy can help. Kindly read along.
Why is Women’s Health Physiotherapy Important?
Women experience several physiological changes throughout life. From menstruation to pregnancy to childbirth, these things are unique to women. Unfortunately, each of these stages may present unique health challenges and issues.
So, why is women’s health physiotherapy important? Women’s Health Physiotherapy is tailored to your unique needs. It is crucial in helping you manage changes in your body and maintain your health. This treatment approach provides non-surgical options for a variety of conditions. These conditions include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain disorders.
What Unique Health Issues Do Women Face?
Women are plagued with reproductive and sexual health concerns. Pregnancy and childbirth also cause significant changes in women’s bodies. Hormonal fluctuations at different stages of a woman’s life also increase the chances of developing certain health conditions.
Women’s health issues vary from stage to stage. You may experience reproductive and sexual health problems like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Pregnancy and childbirth can also cause significant changes to your body. Pelvic girdle pain, diastasis recti, and urinary incontinence are pregnancy and childbirth-related issues.
You may also experience mental health issues, like postpartum depression and anxiety. In menopause, women may have an increased risk of osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, and sexual dysfunction.
The Role of Physiotherapy in Women’s Health
Physiotherapy is crucial in managing unique women’s health issues. It offers a holistic and non-invasive approach to improving your health. Your physiotherapist in Barrie will create a tailored treatment program for you.
This program includes appropriate exercises, modalities, and treatments to help you manage your symptoms. Your physiotherapist can also make suggestions on lifestyle modifications to improve your symptoms. Therefore, if you are suffering from pelvic pain and incontinence, your treatment will be different from that of someone with diastasis recti.
What Conditions Does Women's Health Physiotherapy Treat?
Women's Health Physiotherapy treats several conditions, including;
Pregnancy And Postpartum-Related Conditions
Pelvic girdle pain, back pain, and diastasis recti are common pregnancy-related conditions. Pelvic girdle pain is a musculoskeletal disorder where you experience pain over your pubic bone. This pain may radiate across your lower back and spread to your thighs. You may feel the pain worsening whenever you walk, climb the stairs, or stand on one leg.
Pregnancy can also cause back pain in women. This pain usually affects the lower back because you gain weight, and your center of gravity shifts forward. Diastasis recti occurs when the muscles meet at the midline of your stomach partially or completely separate. This problem is common because the uterus stretches the abdominal muscles during pregnancy.
Childbirth can cause obturator nerve injury. This injury may cause pain that radiates from your hips to your knees. If you sustain this injury in labor, you may have trouble walking or extending your leg.
After delivery, the pelvic floor muscles may still be weak. This then results in urinary and fecal incontinence.
Physiotherapy can help with these conditions to improve your confidence and help you return to your normal activities.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Weak pelvic floor muscles can result in pelvic organ prolapse. This condition occurs when the pelvic organs sag or bulge out of place. It can affect your bladder, vagina, and uterus. If you feel increased pressure or discomfort in your pelvic region, you may have a pelvic organ prolapse.
Another symptom of this condition is a pulling or stretching sensation in your groin, especially when you stand for extended periods.
Physiotherapy can help you manage this condition and retrain your muscles. Training your pelvic floor muscles strengthens them and can further support your organs.
You probably have pelvic pain if you feel discomfort in the lower part of your body, between your abdomen and legs. Pelvic pain can range from steady pain to sharp pain or cramping. This condition usually suggests that there is a problem with the pelvic organs - uterus, ovaries, vagina, fallopian tubes, and cervix.
Physiotherapy in Barrie, ON, can help with pelvic floor training to support your organs. This treatment consists of modalities and techniques to help you target the right muscles with the right exercises.
Women experience certain issues during menopause. Physiotherapy can help you manage symptoms like physical aches and pain. Other menopause-related conditions include vaginal dryness and vasomotor symptoms.
Your physiotherapist will come up with suitable exercises and a treatment program to rehabilitate your pelvic floor and reduce vaginal dryness. The treatment can also help improve your overall fitness and strength.
What Techniques Are Used in Women’s Health Physiotherapy?
Women’s health physiotherapy consists of several techniques that can help improve your health and quality of life. These techniques include;
Pelvic Floor Exercises
The pelvic floor consists of muscles that support the bladder, bowel, and uterus. Your physiotherapist will recommend exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are especially beneficial if you suffer from pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence.
Pelvic floor exercises include deep breathing, kegels, and heel slides. They all reduce tension and pain in the pelvic floor.
Manual therapy is a hands-on approach to women’s health physiotherapy. This therapy includes techniques for improving function and mobility. Your physiotherapist can perform massages or passive stretches.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain or discomfort, this physiotherapy technique can be especially great for you. Your physiotherapist may also recommend it during pregnancy and for postpartum care.
Electrical stimulation in physiotherapy involves sending a low-voltage electrical current into your muscles. This technique is safe, especially when carried out by your physiotherapist in Barrie.
Electrical stimulation stimulates your muscles to strengthen them and reduce pain. Your physiotherapist may recommend this treatment technique, depending on your condition and its severity.
Women's pelvic therapy Barrie uses biofeedback to rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles. This treatment approach involves inserting a small device into your body while you perform pelvic floor exercises.
The device will provide audio and video information to determine if you are targeting the right muscles during your exercise.
Education and Advice
Education is a critical component of women’s health physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist will educate you on how to manage your symptoms at home. You will also learn how to carry out your exercises properly.
Your physiotherapist will also advise you on lifestyle modifications to improve your health. Understanding and managing your condition can help you lead a more fulfilling life.
What To Expect During Women’s Health Physiotherapy
When you visit your physiotherapist in Barrie, they will examine you to create a tailored treatment program. Your physiotherapist is well-equipped to handle several conditions, providing pain relief and support.
During your visit to the physiotherapist, they will ask questions about your symptoms, family history, and pre-existing conditions. They will also notice the state of your mental health and respond adequately if they notice any discomfort.
Your physiotherapist will create a customized treatment plan using the information you provide and diagnostic measures. The plan may include exercises, lifestyle modifications, and physiotherapy modalities.
What to Look for When Choosing a Women’s Health Physiotherapist
As we have established, women’s health physiotherapy is crucial to your health. We also understand that you might hesitate to visit a physiotherapist for your health issues. Here are some factors to consider to help you choose a suitable therapist:
Physiotherapy is a broad field. Therefore, it is best to consider a physiotherapist specializing in women’s health. A specialist has specific knowledge and skills to help you manage your condition.
Experienced women’s health physiotherapists would have treated conditions similar to yours. Hence, they are familiar with your symptoms and condition. You should choose an experienced physiotherapist for your condition. The more experience they have, the better they can help you.
Women’s health physiotherapy is broad and consists of several treatment approaches. Your physiotherapist may specialize in any treatment technique. Many clinics even offer alternative treatments as part of the tailored treatment program.
Before choosing a physiotherapist, consider their treatment approach. It is best to go with one you are comfortable with.
Some women’s health conditions are emergencies. If you are in pain, you wouldn’t want to join a long waiting list. Therefore, consider a physiotherapist’s availability before choosing one.
Women face unique health issues that can impact their physical, emotional, and psychological health. Fortunately, you can get appropriate treatment with women's health physiotherapy.
From menstrual issues to menopause, your physiotherapist can create a treatment program tailored to your needs. Women’s health physiotherapy is also especially beneficial during pregnancy and postpartum. This therapy can treat conditions ranging from urinary incontinence to pelvic organ prolapse.
You should also consider a physiotherapist’s specialization, experience, availability, and treatment approach before choosing them. Don't hesitate to ask questions to ensure they're the right fit for you.