What is Women’s Health?
Women and men have very different physical bodies and hormonal make up, that when faced with specific demands or shifts, such as child birth or menopause, reacts in a way that is specific to women. This requires a tailored, bespoke approach to rehabilitation that takes into account these differences in order to return you to full health and function.
Women’s health originally was aimed at post-natal and post-menopausal seasons of life. However, now the scope of practice has expanded to include all health issues that affect women in a unique way to men. This includes
- pelvic pain,
- prenatal and postpartum dysfunction or pain,
- osteoporosis (brittle bones),
- rehabilitation following breast cancer and reconstructive surgeries,
- rehabilitation following pelvic organ prolapse surgeries,
- education and prevention of these issues, as well as overall wellness and exercise.
Helping women across their lifespan – from the young woman who wants to engage in sport, to the childbearing woman, all the way to the menopausal and elderly woman.
What is Men’s Health?
Men are not immune from pelvic floor dysfunction. Although they do not experience childbirth or many of these other issues that you would typically say is appropriate for pelvic floor therapy – there is a group of men that can greatly benefit from this type of physiotherapy.
Men are also susceptible to issues such as incontinence, constipation, urinary urgency and frequency, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction or pain with intercourse. Many men experience these issues due to prostate cancer and a resulting prostatectomy (up to 40% of men report this symptom post–surgery). The young athletic man can also experience pelvic pain and urinary dysfunction when they start to increase their training – and this is due to tightness or overactivity of the pelvic floor. These problems respond very well to conservative pelvic floor physiotherapy in some cases reducing the need for further medical intervention.
If you are a male and think you might benefit from this type of physiotherapy, call today to speak to a physio about this service.
Physiotherapy for the Pelvic Floor Explained
The pelvic floor is made up of a group of 3 muscles called Levator Ani. The muscles connect from tailbone to the pubic bone (back to front) and from the two sit bones (side to side).
These muscles contract and relax, just as all the other muscles in the body. When the muscles contract/tighten, the pelvic floor shortens and pulls up inside the pelvis.
The pelvic floor muscles have a very important job. The pelvic floor does the following:
- Stabilizes the pelvis and hips
- Helps to distribute abdominal pressure as part of the “core”
- Supports the pelvic organs (bowel, bladder, uterus, vaginal vault)
- Creates closure pressure around urethra to keep us continent (able to hold urine)
- Supports sexual function for pain free and satisfying intercourse
When the pelvic floor is not functioning properly, you can experience some of the following issues:
- Urinary/fecal incontinence – Constipation
- Pelvic pain – Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Post-partum issues/birth injuries – Urinary Frequency
- Sexual dysfunction – Urinary retention
- Pain and urinary dysfunction from conditions such as Interstitial Cystitis or Endometriosis
Why Choose Proactive
Proactive’s Four Corners of Health approach aligns perfectly with the model of pelvic physiotherapy – physical function, mindset, nutrition, and sleep. Each of these aspects of your wellbeing can be improved which can have a tremendous impact on your overall recovery. When you see a pelvic floor physio at Proactive, they will explain how you can use the Four Corners approach to improve your symptoms.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation is performed by an expert physiotherapist at Proactive. By teaching you how to use these muscles in a coordinated way, physio can greatly decrease or in most cases eliminate the symptoms that are stopping you from exercising, being intimate with your partner, or performing work activities. If you’re interested or you have questions, please contact us below & come see a pelvic floor physiotherapist at Proactive.
Case Study: A new mum. The pelvic floor and abdominal wall is weakened and healing from pregnancy and then childbirth. The mind is exhausted, excited, happy, nervous and affected by a surge of post partum hormones. Nutrition is difficult to manage and she is breastfeeding which adds a whole new demand on the body. Sleep… well…! Now add on a pelvic floor symptom that is affecting her everyday life such as incontinence or pain. This mum needs a four corners approach that will give her strategies in each of these areas to help her attain a healthy and sustainable new normal alongside treatment for her pain and incontinence.
Proactive feel there is a need for expertise in this space in New Zealand and we want to be in the forefront of championing this bespoke service.
Since launching the pelvic service in 2019, Proactive has been making an impact in people’s lives – empowering women to return to the activities that fulfill their lives without fear. For 2020 the focus is expanding these services and raising the profile of Men’s Health services across the country.
Ask yourself these questions!
Do you avoid jumping on the trampoline with your kids because of fear you’ll wee or you feel like your pelvic area is vulnerable to this type of impact?
Do you always know where the toilet is because you think you have a “small bladder” and go to the toilet more often than other people?
Do you always make it to the toilet in time?
Do you have to wear a pad when you go for a run or take an exercise class?
Do you get poor sleep because you are getting up several times a night to go to the toilet?
Are you avoiding sexual intimacy or even postponing regular smears because of pelvic pain?
Contact us below if you suffer from any of these issues or feel like you might benefit from this service.