Women’s Health Physio
Pelvic health, and in particular urinary incontinence, is a topic which many women find hard to speak about often due to embarrassment. This problem can affect women in many ways. Involuntary leakage of urine can occur on coughing or sneezing or may occur during physical activity such as running, jumping or walking.
Many times, women believe that is a part of natural ageing and that nothing can be done about this problem. This is in fact incorrect; it is not a normal part of ageing and if present, there is a lot that can be done to manage the problem. In many cases, the pelvic floor may have lost tone and strength and can be improved by building up these muscles through a specific exercise programme tailored to your problem. In many cases, the condition can be improved or eliminated completely.
Prolapse may also cause problems that can cause incontinence and while this may need initial assessment by your gynaecological consultant, there are many problems related to prolapse that can be improved through exercise prescribed by your Chartered Physiotherapist.
On your initial appointment, a detailed assessment will be undertaken to determine the nature of the problem and the possible causes. You will be asked to complete a bladder chart for a week which will note your liquid intake and output including involuntary leakages so that Anne can understand the full extent of your problem.
An internal vaginal assessment is necessary on the first appointment to determine the health of the pelvic floor muscles, and to determine the strength of the pelvic floor. It is also the best way to teach pelvic floor exercises and to determine if perhaps this is the main problem. The assessment is no different to that undertaken by your gynaecological consultant but is fundamental to understanding the full extent of your problem.
Treatment will always consist of an exercise programme tailored to your needs. In some cases, muscle stimulation may also be required in the initial, treatment stages if there is very poor or no activity detected in the pelvic floor. You will be encouraged to take an active part in the development of the treatment plan and will receive lots of tips and strategies on your journey to help manage your problem.