What is Pelvic Health Physio? Do I need that?
Updated: Jul 27
At Brix Wellness Victoria, we recently added a pelvic health physiotherapist to the team. What is pelvic health, aka ‘pelvic floor’ physiotherapy? Do I need that? Who does? When would I go and see this person?
Pelvic health is also known as ‘pelvic floor physiotherapy’ because the focus is on the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis which are called the pelvic floor muscles. This is a specialized branch of physiotherapy that focuses on the musculoskeletal components of the abdomen and pelvis. These muscles communicate strongly with the nearby organs such as the bladder, the bowel, and the reproductive organs. Here are some examples of the types of conditions treated by a pelvic health physiotherapist.
Our body changes a lot during pregnancy! A pelvic health physio is an expert on these changes and how they relate to your posture, movement and comfort. Pelvic girdle pain, other forms of back pain, rib discomfort, pubic bone pain and other aches and discomforts are common in pregnancy. A pelvic health physio is set up to treat you to help relieve these issues and support you to stay as active as possible throughout your pregnancy. In addition, by learning about your pelvic floor muscles and the changes in your pelvis bones as your pregnancy progresses, you can ideally prepare for your upcoming birth. Pelvic floor physiotherapists can help educate you about the birth process, birthing positions, perineal massage, and what you can do with things like your breathing and your pelvic floor muscles to work with your birth plan.
The carrying and delivery of a baby, whether vaginal or abdominal, is a form of injury to your abdomen and pelvis. Just like any other kind of physical injury, you will need to go through a step-by-step rehabilitation process to return to activities of daily living and physical activity. A pelvic health physio can help guide you, answer questions, as well as treat specific conditions such as perineal tears, pelvic organ prolapse, diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA or splitting of the abdomen), and C-section scars.
Many people of all ages can have urinary concerns. Leaking with a cough, sneeze, run or jump? Bedwetting as a child? Having to go in a big hurry? Having to go really often and know where every toilet is in the city? See a pelvic health physiotherapist! There is really good evidence to support the retraining of the pelvic floor muscles combined with bladder training and education around our habits to help be more confident going forward.
This region of the body is really sensitive. Pelvic pain can take on many forms and affect people in different ways. Painful periods with heavy bleeding? Pain with intercourse? Nagging aching in the lower abdomen with a full bladder? Tailbone pain? Difficulty with pain related to a gender transition? Difficulty with pain and function after sexual trauma? These are all things that pelvic health physiotherapists are here to support.
Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) is a common condition that can affect people during or after the transition of menopause. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help! Menopause can be confusing, and many people suffer with symptoms that can be supported for a more comfortable experience.
The pelvic floor muscles are a part of our deep core stability system. Research indicates that only about 50% of people assessed were able to do a ‘kegel’ properly? There is more to all of this than just doing kegels, but being able to connect with the muscles of the pelvic floor to turn them on and off, and to coordinate them for your physical activity is important. It can really help athletic performance or allow you to move more confidently if these muscles are working with your body in ways that are ideal. Even one visit to have your pelvic floor muscles assessed can be a really great idea for your overall health, confidence and physical fitness.