What do Womens Health Physio's do postnatally?
Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a womans life. It is also one of most physically strenuous, with numerous potential short and long term consequences for both body and mind.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Pessaries
What are they? And who are they for?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is a very common condition in women, and can result in leaking from the bladder or bowel, a feeling of heaviness or bulging in the vagina, or even lower back pain. POP can vary significantly in its severity, the organ involved and the cause. Mild POP may be completely symptom free, however to stop the POP progressing and worsening women should be seen by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist for lifestyle advice, strengthening exercises where appropriate and possibly the use of a pessary to support the POP.
Pessaries are a silicone or plastic device that can be inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs. If there is a lack of support for your pelvic organs – usually due to muscle weakness, fascial (ligament) damage, or a recent vaginal birth, there is a risk of developing or worsening a Pelvic Organ Prolapse – POP.
In the past, pessaries have almost exclusivly been used in the older female population – mainly post menopausally to manage a current POP if surgery was not wanted or appropriate. However, recently pessaries are being used more and more in the younger female population, and in particular early post natal women. We often use pessaries to support a mild POP while the body heals and recovers post pregnancy and birth, or prophylactically for women who want to return to high impact exercise or running before their pelvic floor and fascia are ready. The positive effects from exercise on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are vast and very well known, however many women who have a POP are told that they can’t do a particular exercise anymore. The use of a pessary can give many women the required support to allow a safe return to high impact exercise, or even just symptomatic relief so that they don’t notice the POP.
The key to nailing your New Year goals.
As our New Year ticks over, it’s always a time to reflect on the year that’s been and of course set new goals for the year to come.
Often these goals involve health and fitness and with this sudden increase in exercise, we often see an increase in certain types of injuries within the clinic.
Text Neck, Thumb Stress and Other New Diagnoses of 2017
Tech injuries: the world’s next health scare
Our laptops, tablets and mobile phones have become extensions of our limbs, and new, previously-unseen health problems are on the rise.
Holiday time often means more screen time for kids and also checking emails on phone etc. We are seeing more and more people as a result of the technologically driven world we live in today. Whilst this world is all about instantaneous gratification where everything is done in a click of a button, it’s time we thought about the effects that will be felt further down the line.
We recommend women have a pelvic floor assessment prior to giving birth. Find out why below....
For many women it is not until the child bearing years that they have even heard of the pelvic floor, let alone given it much attention.
Historically the focus for the pelvic floor has always been based around strengthening, however just like any other muscle in the body the pelvic floor has the potential to a to also become excessively tight (hypertonic) and this can be incredibly problematic for some women. Clinically, we are now seeing an increase in the number of women presenting with hypertonic pelvic floors and the reasons for this seem to be multifactorial in nature mainly based around lifestyle and behavior choices. Factors such as high level participation in exercise can encourage over activation of the pelvic floor, and constipation from poor dietary choices can lead to chronic straining and a pelvic floor that is always in spasm. The impact of today’s fast paced lifestyle has also lead to a pelvic floor that is constantly ‘switched on’ as a result of a lack of relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing and high anxiety and stress levels.
To understand why it is so important to have it checked prior to birth, first we need to understand what it is and what it actually does…..