This month we are excited to announce the arrival of Becky Martin, our new Physiotherapist who has a special interest in Women’s Health and the management of pelvic floor conditions.
Pelvic floor conditions are personal and as such many women are reluctant to acknowledge their symptoms and seek help. However, 37% of women are affected by urinary incontinence and 12.9% with faecal incontinence.
Pelvic floor conditions that Physio’s treat can include, but are not limited to: urinary and faecal incontinence, urgency, prolapse, pain in the pelvic area, painful sex, difficulty emptying the bladder or bowel.
These conditions can occur because the pelvic floor muscles are too weak, too tight, have been stretched or are unable to switch on at the correct times. It is specialised testing and examination by a Physio, that will determine this.
Issues with the pelvic floor can occur throughout the whole life span of women, however most relate their pelvic floor symptoms to significant hormonal milestones such as the pre or post natal period. This is because during pregnancy, the hormone Relaxin is increased and this encourages a softening of the tissues of our body, especially around the pelvis. The softening of the muscles and ligaments, to allow the growth of the baby, in combination with the weight of the growing foetus can place additional pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. In some cases, this can result in a permanent lengthening of the muscles and ligaments. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 women who have had a baby have weakened pelvic floor muscles. The good news however is, that research shows 70% of those affected could be cured or better managed if they engaged in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy.
Whilst weakness is one of the most common causes of issues of the pelvic floor, it is not the only one. Tightness and an inability to relax can also cause problems, such as pelvic pain and pain during sex. A Pelvic Floor Physio will train the muscles to go through both a contract and relax phase.
So Why The Co?
There is ample scientific evidence to support the use of pelvic floor muscle retraining in the different types of incontinence and other pelvic floor conditions. Furthermore, additional studies have shown that 50% of women trying to do pelvic floor exercises are doing them incorrectly and may actually be making their problem worse. Given the high risk that you may be performing a pelvic floor contraction incorrectly, in combination with the statistics that getting professional help can improve symptoms significantly – there is no point delaying an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
In addition, we have a close relationship with some of Newcastle’s best Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and we carry out guided Clinical Pilates programs to progress your strength and function, so you can be assured you’re in safe hands. We have many Mum’s and Bub’s Clinical Pilates classes and allow longer, private appointment times so we can always get to the crux of your issue.
Pelvic floor conditions are unfortunately common, but symptoms are not normal. They do not need to be just “survived” and ignored, there is help out there and we’d love to be the ones to help you. Becky starts with The Co. on Tuesday the 6th of June and is available for appointments on a Tuesday and Thursday.