Female incontinence is often overlooked and not talked about in the larger sector of society but a normal part of women’s health. For every woman who fears laughing, sneezing and exercising, it’s never too late to see a physiotherapist to help strengthen your pelvic floor.
One in three women over the age of 45 and over 61 per cent of women who have given birth are affected by some form of incontinence. The issue doesn’t only happen to women; however, with 54 per cent of men also experiencing incontinence with related prostate problems.
If incontinence is left untreated in women, it can cause serious long-term physical and mental health problems.
Physiotherapists understand the concerns patients can have with this sensitive subject, and a qualified and reputable physiotherapist will be able to put you at ease on all of your consultations in a private consulting room.
Women’s health physiotherapy is not only for incontinence. Some other areas that can be addressed are:
- Stress Incontinence – leakage of urine when you run, laugh, cough or sneeze
- Urge incontinence – leakage when you have a strong and sudden urge to go to the toilet but don’t make it in time
- Bowel dysfunction – problems with constipation or control of wind or faeces.
- Prolapse of pelvic organs – including bladder, bowel or uterus
- Pain in the pelvic, abdominal or vulva region
- Pain with sexual intercourse
- Pre/Post-surgery – hysterectomy, anterior/posterior wall repair, caesarean delivery
- Antenatal conditions – pelvic girdle and low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Postnatal conditions – pelvic floor weakness, neck, back or perineal pain, 6 week check up
- Pelvic floor and abdominal muscle weakness – Including poor awareness of how to exercise these muscles correctly or effectively
What kind of treatments might be suggested?
Treatments can vary depending on a person’s history, age and individual circumstances. A physiotherapist will prescribe treatments such as:
- A variety of pelvic floor muscle exercises including but not limited to kegel exercises
- Bladder emptying strategies
- Massage for scar tissue
- Correct posture and positioning advice
- How to modify the intake of fluids while remaining in good health
- How to change and modify diet and fibre intake
- How to incorporate and modify daily exercises and movement around the home and to work in with your lifestyle
Who is at risk?
While the statistics claim there is a 30 per cent chance of having female incontinence by the time your 45, the truth is, no one is exempt from potential poor pelvic floor health issues. There is a misconception that it only affects the elderly, but the facts are that it can affect younger people as well.
Even if you are young you may be at risk is you:
- Have had a baby
- Had surgery within the pelvic region
- Had a history of bowel issues
- Have a chronic cough
- Are overweight
- Participate in heavy lifting or sports that require repeat jumping
Women’s health covers a wide range of therapies and healing methods to combat pelvic floor disturbances, overactive and underactive muscle control and post-pregnancy issues. Just like any soft-tissue trauma, it can be improved and treated with the right therapy.
Physiotherapy for these conditions includes a confidential and private assessment of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, bladder and bowel function. Your physiotherapist will understand various factors that affect your lifestyle and then design a treatment program to suit your specific condition and lifestyle.
Contact Proactive Physiotherapy today and organise your confidential appointment with one of our physiotherapists to get you back to doing the things you love.