PELVIC FLOOR PHYSIOTHERAPY

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WHAT IS THE PELVIC FLOOR ?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles and tissues that are shaped like a hammock and located within the pelvis at the base of the spine. They provide support for our internal organs including the bladder, bowel, rectum, and uterus. Pelvic floor tissues are also important for stability of our hips and back, and sexual function in men and women. Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can include: incontinence, painful intercourse, constipation, nighttime urination, and chronic and/or unexplained pain and tightness in the low back or hips. 


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Our Pelvic Flor Physiotherapist in Markham is Ellen Hagglund. 

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What is pelvic floor physiotherapy?

Pelvic floor physiotherapy (also called pelvic health physiotherapy or pelvic physiotherapy) is the assessment and treatment of various conditions that involve the pelvic floor or symptoms that manifest in this area. Pelvic floor therapists have advanced and specialized training to perform and internal assessment (vaginal and/or rectal) of the pelvic floor to determine if it could be contributing to symptoms. 

Therapists understand the sensitive nature of these symptoms and utilize a compassionate and professional treatment style to address your unique needs/concerns. Treatment can include manual therapy to facilitate muscle lengthening/relaxation and strengthening as indicated. 

What IS pelvic floor treatment?

Our pelvic floor physiotherapists in Markham help men and women rehabilitate their pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can be weakened by childbirth, surgery, heavy lifting, obesity, chronic constipation or cough and/or menopause. An assessment includes a detailed subjective history to better understand your symptoms related to bowel and bladder function, sexual activity, sleep, stress and general health. A pelvic floor physiotherapist is also interested to learn about your goals and expectations for rehabilitation. The gold standard to assess pelvic floor tissues is a manual internal examination (vaginal and/or rectal) of the pelvic floor to determine if it could be contributing to symptoms. This examination occurs in a private treatment room and clients are draped throughout the appointment. Pelvic floor physiotherapists work with you to understand the contributing factors to your symptoms, and develop a treatment plan that includes manual therapy (soft tissue techniques to increase proprioception and muscle relaxation), therapeutic exercise and modalities as indicated. 

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What is my pelvic health prognosis?

There are many factors that influence the timeline and course of healing from pelvic pain including severity, chronicity, general health, motivation and overall physical and mental well-being. A general guideline is for tissue healing suggests that 6-8 hour-long treatment sessions are needed. A pelvic floor physiotherapist in Markham will be able to assess your unique circumstances and offer the most realistic expectations for recovery. 

What are the benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy?

There are many benefits to seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist in Markham including a noticeable improvement in the control over your bladder and bowel function. Treatment may also help in reducing the risk of prolapse or the 'sagging' of internal organs. In women, visiting a pelvic floor physiotherapist will help facilitate a faster and more holistic recovery from childbirth and surgery and in men, it offers better recovery after prostate surgery. Finally, pelvic floor therapy can improve sexual function and sensation in both men and women. 

When should I come in for a pelvic floor assessment?

Painful intercourse

Incontinence (leakage)

Chronic constipation

Chronic and/or unexplained pain in the back and hips

Nighttime urination

Urgency or Frequency

Is pelvic floor therapy painful?

The gold standard to assess pelvic floor tissues is a manual internal examination (vaginal and/or rectal) of the pelvic floor to determine if it could be contributing to symptoms. During an assessment, pelvic floor physiotherapists in Markham will have to temporarily reproduce your symptoms in order to determine the tissues that could be at fault. Due to the sensitive nature of pelvic health symptoms, some clients might feel emotional stress prior to an examination. Keep in mind, pelvic floor therapists are trained to utilize a compassionate and professional approach throughout your appointment. 

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CAN'T I JUST DO A BUNCH OF KEGELS?

Kegels were popularized in 1948 when Dr. Kegel invented a series of exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor after childbirth to reduce incontinence. While they are still useful for someone who has a weak pelvic floor, it is challenging to know the general condition of your pelvic floor without proper examination. You could actually do more harm than good with kegels if your pelvic floor muscles are short and/or tight. Additionally, research has shown that manual examination is the only way to ensure the correct performance of Kegel exercises. Be sure to check with a pelvic floor physiotherapist before starting any pelvic floor strengthening program!