When Should You See a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist?

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Physiotherapist
Pregnant woman practicing Yoga

Pelvic floor physiotherapists are trained to assess pelvic pain through manual therapy and biofeedback techniques. During your consultation, a pelvic floor physiotherapist will take a complete history of sexual and reproductive function and medical history. They will also examine your pelvic muscles. Once they identify the problem, they will begin treatment with exercises or biofeedback to improve their muscles. Pelvic floor physiotherapists also provide advice about dealing with your condition through everyday activities.

Trigger point release

There’s a lot of physiotherapy for pelvic pain as an adjunct to medication. The technique involves using the fingers of a trained pelvic floor physiotherapist to apply pressure to muscle tension on the pelvic floor. This therapy is particularly effective in treating patients with low-grade chronic pelvic pain.

The physiotherapist will manipulate the trigger points to reduce pain and improve function in a trigger point release. Some techniques are visceral mobilization and connective tissue release. The former helps restore normal movement to the pelvic organs, while connective tissue release breaks up the stiffness and desensitization of the surrounding muscles.

PT should examine the muscles and fascia around the pelvic area. The pelvic floor physiotherapy Burlington, ON, may apply pressure on the trigger point during the treatment, causing a local twitch. In some cases, this response is felt by sight or using an EMG needle. 

Manual therapy

A physiotherapist specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction can help you manage pelvic pain symptoms by addressing the underlying muscle dysfunction. This physical therapy can include posture and movement training exercises, Kegels, and manual manipulation. Your physiotherapist can teach you these exercises to improve bladder control and reduce pain. If these exercises are not enough to manage your condition, your therapist can use electrical stimulation to treat your pelvic floor muscles.

Physiotherapists can also apply techniques called trigger point release. Trigger points are sensitive areas in muscles and connective tissue that cause pelvic pain. Physical therapists can find these trigger points using tools and gentle pressure. Other techniques may include visceral mobilization. Lastly, connective tissue release seeks to break up scar tissue and desensitization.

Your pelvic floor physiotherapist will begin your session by taking your health history. They will also assess joint issues and posture problems. Next, your physiotherapist will work to improve your pelvic organs, which will prevent further problems.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a method used by physiotherapists to help patients learn to control their pelvic muscles. It uses audible tones and computer graphs to measure muscle strength. The patient can then tailor their exercise regime to their needs. This method is an excellent alternative to laxatives, as it does not affect the muscles themselves. Physiotherapists can use biofeedback with patients of all ages and levels of fitness, as it is effective and does not have any side effects.

Patients benefit from biofeedback because it helps them see their muscles in action. This provides immediate feedback on their exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. It is also highly effective at increasing patient compliance with their home exercise program.

Although biofeedback hasn’t been proven effective for all types of incontinence, it is widely used in clinical practice. Int J Urogynecol is slated to publish guidelines on pelvic floor physiotherapy in 2020. Ashton-Miller JA, a professor of female pelvic anatomy, explains how biofeedback works and outlines how the technique may be beneficial in treating female urinary incontinence.