Continence and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a proven, evidence based, conservative approach to managing incontinence and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, in many cases preventing the need for surgery.
Incontinence (bladder and bowel control problems) and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction are very common and affect men, women and children. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, incontinence affects 4.8 million Australians, this equates to 1 in 4 Australians aged over 15. Incontinence can be embarrassing, socially isolating, reduce quality of life and is a main reason for admission to residential aged care.
Incontinence can be treated, managed and in many cases cured (Continence Foundation of Australia)
What are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that lie at the bottom of the pelvis (see diagram at top of page). It plays an important role in bladder and bowel control, support of pelvic organs, lower back stability and sexual function. If your pelvic floor muscles are not working properly it can result in poor control of the bladder and bowel and prolapse.
What can weaken the pelvic floor muscles?
Risk factors for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction include pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, ageing, obesity, gynaecological and prostate surgery, chronic straining and constipation.
Symptoms of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- Urinary or bowel incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Constantly needing to empty your bladder
- Feeling an urgent need to empty your bladder or bowel
- Difficulty emptying your bladder or bowel
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic pain
- Men who have undergone prostate surgery
In some people, the pelvic floor muscles have difficultly relaxing, which can cause pelvic floor muscle tightness. A tense pelvic floor may result in difficulty emptying the bladder or bowel, pelvic pain or pain during sexual intercourse.
What can be done to improve incontinence and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction?
Supervised pelvic floor muscle exercises are recommended as the first line of treatment for men and women with urinary incontinence (International Continence Society 2013)
Pelvic floor muscle exercises can improve prolapse symptoms and severity (International Continence Society 2013)
It is not as simple as squeezing and lifting… most people try too hard!
Many people have difficulty isolating the pelvic floor muscles and approximately half of women who learn pelvic floor muscle exercises from a brochure perform the wrong technique (Continence Foundation of Australia). Performing the wrong technique may actually make your problem worse.
Bec will thoroughly assess your problem, explain your condition, customize an individualized pelvic floor exercise program to suit your needs and ensure you are performing the correct technique. She has a real time ultrasound machine which provides an image of the pelvic floor in action, giving you instant feedback to help you learn a correct pelvic floor muscle contraction.
Initial appointments are one hour, to allow time to thoroughly understand and assess your problem. Subsequent appointments are a standardised ½ hour. Assessment and treatment is carried out in a private, sensitive environment as we understand that it can be difficult to talk about these problems.
Missed appointments may incur a fee as we are unable to fill these gaps with no notice and have a waiting list.
If you have any questions or are unsure if you should seek help please contact Bec at the Health Centre on (08) 9757 9090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You do not require a GP/ doctor’s referral to see Bec.