Pelvic physiotherapy, also known as pelvic floor physiotherapy or pelvic rehabilitation, is a specialized area of physiotherapy that focuses on assessing and treating conditions related to the pelvic region. The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues located at the base of the pelvis that provide support to the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum.
Pelvic physiotherapy is aimed at addressing various conditions that can affect the pelvic floor muscles, such as pelvic pain, urinary or fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic girdle pain, and sexual dysfunction. These conditions can occur due to a variety of factors, including pregnancy, childbirth, post-surgery, trauma, aging, hormonal changes, or chronic conditions.
A pelvic physiotherapist is trained to evaluate and diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction through a comprehensive assessment, which may involve a detailed history, physical examination, and specialized tests. Based on the assessment findings, the physiotherapist develops an individualized treatment plan tailored to the specific needs of the patient.
Pelvic physiotherapy treatments typically include a combination of techniques, such as pelvic floor muscle exercises (also known as Kegel exercises), biofeedback training, manual therapy, myofascial release, relaxation techniques, electrical stimulation, and education on lifestyle modifications and bladder/bowel habits. The goal is to improve muscle strength, coordination, flexibility, and overall function of the pelvic floor muscles, as well as to relieve pain and improve quality of life.
Additionally, pelvic physiotherapists may provide guidance and support during pregnancy and postpartum to address common issues like pregnancy-related pelvic pain, diastasis recti (abdominal separation), and recovery after childbirth.
Pelvic physiotherapy is typically conducted by specialized physiotherapists who have received additional training and certification in this field. They work closely with patients, providing education, exercises, and hands-on techniques to help individuals regain optimal pelvic health and function.