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Pelvic Health Physiotherapy

Both men and women can have pelvic health physiotherapy, which can help with a range of conditions that affect the pelvis and pelvic floor.

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Everything you need to know

Both men and women can have pelvic health physiotherapy, which can help with a range of conditions that affect the pelvis and pelvic floor.

Many people can feel embarrassed asking for help when it comes to pelvic health problems, or they may not realise help is available. However, pelvic health physiotherapy can be a very effective form of treatment and make a huge difference to your quality of life.

 

Conditions treated include:

  • Pelvic pain, including that linked to Prostatitis. This is a disorder of the prostate gland usually associated with inflammation. Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination, as well as pain in the groin, pelvic area, or genitals.
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Stress urinary incontinence. This is when someone leaks urine when they cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise. It is not related to stress.
  • Urge incontinence. This is when you have a sudden and intense need to wee. Often, only a few seconds will pass between the need to wee and releasing urine. The need to wee could be triggered by a change in position or even the sound of running water.
  • Mixed urinary incontinence. This is when you have symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
  • Overactive bladder. This is when the bladder muscle is more active than normal. You may notice that you need to get up multiple times during the night to pee.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse. This is  when one or more of the organs in the pelvis (such as the uterus, bowel, bladder, or the top of the vagina) move downwards from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. This isn’t dangerous but can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Vaginal and/or vulval pain
  • Constipation or faecal incontinence.

Our pelvic health physiotherapy team can also treat the following pregnancy-related conditions:

  • Pelvic girdle pain, lower back pain, hip, or buttock pain
  • Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • Pelvic floor weakness

As well as the above conditions, pelvic health physiotherapy can help with rehabilitation after gynaecological surgery and prostate cancer treatment.

Before

During your first appointment, your physiotherapist will take a detailed history and ask you questions about your general health and any concerns you might have. Some questions may be quite intimate in nature. This is so your therapist can build a clear and accurate picture of your current situation. You will then have a physical exam.

After this, your therapist will create a tailored treatment plan that could be based around a mixture of lifestyle advice, physical manipulation or massage, and exercises. You’ll try some of these exercises during your appointment, so that your therapist can check understanding and teach you the correct technique, and then you’ll need to practice these consistently at home between appointments.

During

Your treatment will generally incorporate:

  • An individual exercise programme
  • Lifestyle advice
  • Bowel and bladder retraining
  • Pilates based exercise
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation/feedback techniques

For pelvic health physiotherapy, the mainstay of treatment is based around pelvic floor muscle exercises (known as Kegels).

It’s important to remember that physiotherapy takes time and patience, so you won’t notice changes overnight, especially as the pelvic organs are a delicate and often overlooked part of the body. However, if you practice your exercises consistently and follow the advice of your therapist, you should notice the benefits after six to 12 weeks. However, depending on your particular issue and starting-off point, your programme could take around three to six months.

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of therapist and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.

01

First appointment

Depending on your situation (whether you’ve just had surgery, are self-referring, or have been referred by your doctor), you may have your first appointment in our therapies department, or whilst you’re staying on one of your wards. During your first appointment, your therapist will take a thorough medical history and conduct a physical exam.

02

Treatment plan

Your therapist will create a tailored treatment plan, which could include lifestyle advice, an exercise programme, and massage, amongst other things. You’ll practice the recommended exercises together during each of your sessions. Once you’ve gone home, you will need to follow your therapist’s guidance and practice the exercises consistently.

03

Follow-ups

You may only need one appointment. However, a series of sessions could be recommended. If this is the case, your first few sessions may be scheduled closer together (for example every week or fortnightly) so your therapist can see how you’re getting on with the exercises and modify your treatment plan as necessary. Your individual circumstances and the progress you make will inform how many sessions you will need in total.

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