Women’s health physios are specially trained physiotherapists in the ante-natal and post-natal assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor and related structures.
Women’s health physios treat women all throughout the life span from teenage girls who are delayed in starting their periods, to women experiencing back pain during pregnancy, to post-natal ladies looking to return to running after having a baby. Other conditions we assess include urinary incontinence, pelvic girdle pain, prolapse, pregnancy related pain, diastasis rectus abdominus and musculoskeletal conditions which may be impacted by pregnancy, breastfeeding or the menopause.
During an initial assessment with a Women’s health physio the therapist will take a full medical history including any details of pregnancy and birth. With your consent, the physical assessment typically starts with an abdominal assessment where we can get a better idea of any c-section scar healing, diastasis and abdominal wall function. At this time the therapist may use real time ultrasound to check the function of the abdominal wall or to visualise how the pelvic floor is working. The next part of the assessment is an internal digital assessment where the physiotherapist palpates the pelvic floor. The internal assessment is always optional and only performed with your consent. Please let your therapist know if you would like to discuss this further. From this position the therapist will typically get you to trial a couple of different pelvic floor contractions to assess the quality of the contraction, the fatigability of the muscle and if this causes any pain.
Functional assessments that may also be included in your assessment include posture analysis, lifting technique and general movement strategies.
From the assessment the Women’s health physio will be able to tailor a rehab program specifically for your needs. This may include pelvic floor relaxation technique/exercises, postural strengthening exercises, abdominal exercises, etc depending on what your unique goals are.