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At Active+ when we talk about Women’s Health, we are specifically referring to pelvic floor issues which can result in a number of symptoms including continence problems. Continence refers to the ability to control elimination of urine from the bladder. The inability or decreased ability to do this is known as urinary incontinence, and is a common and distressing problem which can have a major impact on a sufferer’s day to day life and activities.
There are several reasons why someone may develop urinary incontinence, but from a physiotherapy point of view, the main cause that we are involved with is due to a client having a weakened pelvic floor. This refers to the group of muscles that span the area between the legs, from the pubic bone to the tailbone, and side to side from here. The job of these muscles is to maintain normal bladder and bowel control, and also to keep important pelvic organs in place. When these muscles are weak, they can lead to problems such as bladder leakage and pelvic organ prolapse.
Causes of pelvic floor weakness include: pregnancy and childbirth, ageing, obesity, menopause/hormonal changes, heavy lifting or physical work, high impact sports, surgery to the pelvis, and some genetic factors among others.
Like any other muscles, the pelvic floor ones can be strengthened and re-trained, and research shows that physiotherapy in the form of pelvic floor re-training can improve and resolve incontinence. Our Active+ specialists develop exercise programmes for these muscles, dependent on the individual’s pelvic floor strength, tailoring a programme for every client.
Like any muscle group, strengthening this area requires starting off slowly, building up more repetitions, and then doing the exercises under more challenging conditions. One of our pelvic floor physiotherapy experts can help you locate these muscles, assess their current strength, and make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly.
We have a team of experts trained in the specialist area of women’s health. Often an embarrassing topic for people to discuss, we offer an understanding and supportive environment. Like a lot of conditions, working on the problem early on is easier, and can stop the problem progressing and leading to further issues. We can help work on the pelvic floor strength, and also assist with the other problems such as pelvic pain or prolapse. We liaise with your GP or specialist if there are medical aspects to the problem that need assessment and treatment.
Click on one of the links below to book an appointment at a specialist Women’s Health clinic in your area:
Keeping your body & mind A+
PO Box 96 246, Balmoral,
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