Some conditions can specifically affect women. This can happen at any age, but more often during and after pregnancy and around the menopause. These problems are very common, 1 in 3 women may be affected, but very few seek help.
- Stress or urge incontinence
- Pelvic pain
- Pregnancy related back pain
These conditions need to be treated by a physiotherapist with a special interest and training in this field.
Why do these conditions occur?
Stability and support around the pelvis is often compromised by hormonal changes, pregnancy, the way we use our bodies and just the way that we are designed.
Support for the pelvic organs, the low back and pelvis are by an intricate arrangement of muscles and their connecting tissue. When there is damage to this system or the nerves which supply them, the ability to close off the bladder and bowel exits, support for the pelvic organs, spine and pelvis may fail.
These problems are very common as many as 1 in 3 women are affected, but very few seek help.
A study by Wilson et al in 2002 showed that at 7 years post partum 45% of women were incontinent. Restoring pelvic floor muscle function is very important to both treating and preventing these conditions.
Physiotherapy will help in the majority of cases. The aim is to correct any dysfunction of the pelvis, teach correct contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles and re establish good bladder and bowel habits.
It is usually necessary to perform a painless vaginal examination to check the pelvic floor muscles. There is some equipment we may use to help with assessment and treatment. EMG which shows your muscle strength in graph form on a computer and Muscle stimulation which is used if the muscles are very weak.
Pilates is a very effective way to build up and maintain pelvic floor muscle strength.
Who do I see to get help?
Sarah Thomas is an experienced, chartered physiotherapist who has had specialist training in this field with over 10 years experience and is a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health. Sarah works closely with local gynaecology consultants and can refer you directly if further tests are necessary.
How do I make an appointment?
You can refer yourself directly for physiotherapy. You can fund your own treatment or pay through private health insurance (check with them first as you may need a GP referral). All appointments are discreet, simply request an appointment with Sarah. There’s no need to explain what it’s for.
Phone us on 01233 611776 with any queries. Calls will be confidential.
Mon-Fri: 08:00 to 19:00 (last appointment)
Physiotherapy – Women’s Health:
Mon / Wed / Thu: 09:30 to 17:00
Thu / Fri: 09:00 to 17:00
See timetable on ‘Pilates’ page