Pelvic health physiotherapy: Learn more here
Seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist prenatally and especially in the postpartum period is essential for rehabilitation and preventative pelvic health care. Pregnancy and delivery are risk factors to developing pelvic floor dysfunction so we encourage every person during this life phase to see a pelvic health physiotherapist.
The most common dysfunctions that may occur include postpartum pelvic pain, sexual pain and incontinence (bladder or bowel). There are numerous reasons for postpartum pain and incontinence; however, some common explanations include: weakened muscles, scar tissue development from episiotomies or tears, prolapse and hormonal changes. Other issues that may arise during the postpartum phase include:
Diastasis recti abdominus (DRA or ‘Mummy Tummy’):
A separation of the rectus abdominus muscle. As your baby grows during pregnancy, these muscles begin to stretch (which is normal). But, for some moms, a DRA persists and can compromise functional core strength and contribute to low back pain, a protruding belly and prolapse. Read more about DRA on our Blog.
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP):
Pain that presents around the pelvis, lower back, hips or groin area as a result of alignment imbalances within the pubic symphysis and sacro-iliac joints. A persistent DRA after childbirth may contribute to pelvic girdle pain. Read more about how pelvic physiotherapy can help with PGP.
Other Helpful Links:
Top 4 Reasons to see a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Pre and Postnatally
Returning to Exercise Postpartum
A pessary is a removable, medical-grade silicone device that is inserted into the vagina to aid in the management of symptoms of two pelvic health conditions: pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. In the case of pelvic organ prolapse, the pessary helps to lift the descended organs and support them from below. In the case of stress urinary incontinence, the pessary places a small amount of pressure on the urethra (the tube that drains the bladder), helping to keep it closed and therefore minimize the chance of urinary leakage.
There are many different shapes and sizes of pessaries and often several must be trialed with your physiotherapist before the best fitting one can be determined. Depending on your symptoms, overall health, and treatment goals, the pessary may be left in for weeks or months, or removed daily. If it is left in for months, you will likely be recommended to see your doctor for removal, cleaning of the pessary, and re-insertion every few months. If you are to remove it daily, your physiotherapist will teach you how to remove, clean, and re-insert it on your own.
helps individuals and couples build emotional intimacy, improve sexual satisfaction and address the emotional impact of sexual concerns by using a combination of talk therapy, education and homework assignments. Sex therapy can be effective for concerns such as painful intercourse, erectile difficulties, low desire, unconsummated relationships, infidelity, sexual trauma and infertility.
helps individuals and couples cope with stressful situations, explore the reasons for dissatisfaction and develop new ways of responding. Couple therapy can assist with communication, conflict resolution, sexual intimacy, emotional distance and infidelity. Individual psychotherapy is helpful for those struggling with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sexual concerns and relationship difficulties.
Registered massage therapy:
a form of therapy that involves various techniques that mobilize and manipulate soft tissue and joints in the body. It can assist in relieving many ailments including stress, chronic pain syndromes and muscle dysfunction.
Abdominal massage therapy:
Abdominal massage is used to reduce muscle tension in the abdomen and pelvic region, support digestion and address connective tissue restriction caused by inflammation or surgery. Abdominal massage is a powerful tool in reproductive health, helping to increase blood flow and support optimal positioning of the reproductive organs. Abdominal massage includes the use of general swedish techniques, tigger point therapy to key areas associated with abdominal and/or pelvic pain, as well as fascial release techniques used to reduce connective tissue restriction. Each treatment is personalized to the individual and consists of hands on as well as self-care education.
A form of primary health care, merging the art and science of traditional and holistic forms of medicine using clinical experience and scientific research. The goal of the Naturopathic Doctor is to treat the individual as a whole, and address the underlying cause of disease rather than its symptoms. Naturopathic Doctors use a variety of natural therapies including: acupuncture, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counselling.
Osteopathy is a natural form of medicine, which aims to restore function throughout the entire body by determining the cause of imbalance and discomfort. The treatment itself involves the manual manipulation of bone and soft tissues within the bodies’ limitations. This type of manual therapy is indicated most commonly for musculoskeletal dysfunctions and pain management. However, the scope of practice extends to the treatment of respiratory and digestive issues, menstrual irregularities, migraines, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression and peripheral or local pain management. The osteopathic approach is extremely subtle and the palpation is very light. Perhaps most relevant is that Osteopathy works with the adaptive nature of the patient’s
body to restore normality.
gentle non-invasive form of therapy that targets the organs and their surrounding tissues including ligaments, fascia and membranes. By addressing structural and functional imbalances within the body organ systems and tissues, visceral techniques can improve pain, dysfunction, posture and overall health.
the craniosacral system is made up of the fluid and surrounding membranes that serve to protect the brain and spinal cord. This gentle non-invasive form of therapy helps to release blockages or restrictions within this system to aid in optimizing the function of the central nervous system.
mindfulness as described by Jon Kabat-Zinn is ‘the intentional cultivation of non-judgmental moment-to-moment awareness’. It is not about not thinking! It is simply about bringing awareness to whatever is arising in each moment and bringing an attitude of curiosity, acceptance and compassion. Mindfulness is a way of life that can be cultivated with daily practices such as sitting and walking meditations, body scans and mindful movement. All of these practices are similar in that they foster deeper awareness of the mind-body connection. While mindfulness has its eastern roots in Buddhism, it has its western roots in over 30 years of medical research. Mindfulness offers those of us who suffer from daily stress, pain and anxiety a way to become present with ourselves just as we are.
the key principle that defines and connects all of Chinese medicine is Qi, or vital energy. The Qi of the body’s organs and systems are connected by meridians, which lie beneath the skin. Eastern herbs and acupuncture are utilized to assist the body in regulating Qi and achieving balance. Acupuncture is the use of very thin needles which stimulate specific meridian points. The practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine has proven to be effective in treating a variety of chronic and acute illnesses. Clients who suffer from physical or mental/emotional conditions can benefit from acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Acupuncture is also becoming an incredibly common and safe way to prepare for and bring about labour, as it may help to shorten labour time and decrease the need for medical intervention. Read more about the use of acupuncture for the induction of labour here.
your pelvic floor muscles are part of your core stabilizing muscles that need to contract appropriately for proper support in the pelvis. These muscles, just like any other muscle in your body may get weak thus needs to be strengthened. Kegels, or isometric pelvic floor contractions, are proven to improve pelvic floor function and must be continued in the long term. The PFilates program consists of 10 clinically tested movements that facilitate engagement of the pelvic floor muscles. Each exercise includes a series of repeated movements followed by a held position and then ending with a pulsing movement. These are three essential elements of muscular performance: strength, endurance and co-ordination.
Yin Yoga asanas or postures are designed to target the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. It can be very therapeutic for patients with tight or hypertonic pelvic floor muscles. This deeply meditative type of practice involves floor postures held for three to five minutes at a time. Moving slowly and passively gives the body and mind the time and space to open both physically and emotionally. By keeping the muscles relaxed, this enables the stretch to go deeper. Benefits include: increased flexibility, fascial release and increased joint mobility.
many new moms are anxious to get back “in shape” and tend to jump into exercise programs that are not suitable for their recovering bodies. Our intensive 10-week, 1-on-1 post-partum training program is designed to restore and rehabilitate the body into optimum post-baby recovery. You will be safely guided with evidence-based core conditioning and functional resistance training that is suitable for moms with abdominal separation, back and pelvic disorders. Included in our training sessions are home exercise programs, a personalized tracking system, education on body mechanics and guidance on returning to activities and exercises that you love.