Don’t wait but get help to treat your problem or prevent future problems!
Physio for All is one of the first clinics in London to have specialised in Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation. We can answer your questions with discretion and get you on the right path to a well-functioning pelvic floor.
Pelvic health physiotherapists are specially trained to assess and treat a wide range of pelvic floor problems in women, men and children such as incontinence, organ prolapse, painful sexual intercourse, bedwetting and pelvic pain.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation or re-education is not only about pelvic floor exercises. After a thorough assessment, a treatment plan will target your current problem and underlying causes. Treatment modalities vary according to your needs and may include relaxation and strengthening pelvic floor exercises, manual therapy, biofeedback, electrotherapy, education and advice.
Pelvic floor muscles become weak, too tight or painful for many reasons. This is not all due to ageing. Pelvic floor problems often start with pregnancy and childbirth and they are also common in young athletes. Men, women and children of all ages need a healthy pelvic floor. Pelvic health or Women’s health physiotherapy has proven to be effective in treating and preventing many conditions.
- To strengthen or relax pelvic floor muscles
- Bladder and bowel symptoms
- Sexual satisfaction
- Childbirth preparation and recovery post birth
- Rehabilitation before and after surgery
- Core stability and back problems
Like any other muscles in our body, the pelvic floor muscles can become too weak or too tight. They can also be overstretched or torn with injury or traumatism.
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
Low-tone Pelvic floor muscles can lead to stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
USI or Urinary Stress Incontinence is when you leak when coughing, sneezing, running or laughing.
Organ prolapse happens when the too loose pelvic floor muscles and their surrounding fascia do not hold sufficiently the pelvic organs leading to a descent of the bladder, uterus or rectum.
The good news is that the training and strengthening of pelvic floor muscles have shown to be effective in many conditions. Your physiotherapist will prepare a specific exercise programme to train and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Other approaches may be used such as manual therapy, biofeedback and electrotherapy technique.
- Tight or overactive pelvic floor muscles
Muscles are not only about strength. Their ability to relax and lengthen is as important. A stiff neck can bring neck pain or headaches. Short, tight or hypertonic pelvic floor muscles can bring many problems which are often misdiagnosed such as:
- Urinary frequency and urges or the inability to empty completely your bladder or bowels.
- Sexual pain during or after intercourse. When muscles are too tight, intercourse can be very difficult.
- Pelvic pain such as pain in the genitals area (vulva, vestibule or penis) or around the rectum and the coccyx. Tight pelvic floor muscles can lead to unexplained chronic back or hip pain.
- Constipation and pain with straining when emptying bowels.
Tight does not mean strong muscles!
When pelvic floor muscles are in spasm or unable to relax, strengthening exercises may just exacerbate the symptoms. Pilate core type exercises which focus on tightening the pelvic floor muscles would not be appropriate. We must first treat the tension and then only the weakness. It is difficult to initiate or activate hypertonic pelvic floor muscles if they are not able to relax towards the basic resting tone.
Physiotherapy treatment for hypertonic pelvic floor muscles usually includes “hands on” manual therapy, diaphragm breathing, awareness exercises, biofeedback and down-training approaches to relax and lengthen the pelvic floor.
- Lack of awareness, coordination and control
Pelvic floor muscles are not easy to work out simply because women and men are often not aware of the pelvic area and simply due to the difficulty of seeing them!
- Scar tissues and adherences
Scar tissues, adherences and nerve damages can cause pelvic floor tension and pain. Childbirth, perineal tears, surgery, endometriosis or radiation can affect abdominal and pelvic function.
- Lack or excessive local sensitivity
Sensitivity issues may lead to difficulty in feeling and controlling the muscles, lack of sexual sensation or pelvic and sexual pain.
The goals of Pelvic Floor Re-education are to help you regain a functional pelvic floor.
After a full, detailed evaluation and a physical assessment which might include manual vaginal or rectal examination, a programme of treatment is agreed, based on the findings, individual needs, goals and progress desired.
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation may include pelvic floor retraining, manual therapy, bladder or bowel training, biofeedback, electrotherapy, education and advice.
- Pelvic floor muscle retraining
The most important part of pelvic floor reeducation. We will first provide you with awareness techniques to make sure you are doing the right pelvic floor exercise. We will then tailor a personalized exercise programme towards a healthy pelvic floor.
We will teach :
- How to identify and activate the right muscles
- How to relax tight and overactive muscles
- How to control and do the right exercise at the right time
- How to coordinate the pelvic floor muscles with the diaphragm, the deep abdominals and the other core muscles
- How to adapt Pilates exercise to your problem
- How to control abdominal pressure and avoid damaging the pelvic area with high impact activities, wrong abdominals exercises or coughing
- How to Integrate functional exercises according to your daily activities and sports
The pelvic floor muscles are skeletal muscles which means that you can voluntary control them and that they can be trained, retrained, strengthened just like you may do for your quadriceps by repeating the same exercise overtime.
- Manual “hands on” therapies
Manual therapy in pelvic floor problems aim to relax, lengthen, mobilise and alleviate pain. This may include internal vaginal or rectal techniques and/or external techniques to treat your muscles, ligaments, fascias, tendons, nerves and joints.
We use many manual techniques according to your needs such as soft tissue mobilisation, myofascial release, deep tissue massage, urogenital mobilisations, joint mobilisations, muscle energy techniques, nerve mobilisation, trigger point pressure, connective tissue manipulation and visceral mobilisation.
- Bladder and Bowel retraining
- How the bladder or bowel function
- Techniques to control your bladder or bowels
- Advice on diet and fluid intakes as well as general advice
- How to use a bladder or bowel diary
Biofeedback is very useful tool to help you connect with your pelvic floor muscles and for retraining weak or over-active muscles. It makes it easier to control the muscle activation during functional and sports’ activities. It also assists in creating strategies to confront or reduce pain.
Biofeedback provides information on a screen about when and how strong you contract or relax a group of muscles. External electrodes or a vaginal or rectal probe connected to the biofeedback machine measure the strength of the muscles and the resting tone. The readings are useful for outcome measures and to show your progression.
Muscle electrostimulation can be used to enhance awareness and to remind very weak pelvic floor muscles how to work and to assist in strengthening the muscles.
Other electrotherapy modalities are used for overactive bladder and for pain relief as TNS (Trancutaneous electrical stimulation) and Ultrasound.
- Home Exercise Programme
You will be taught a progressive exercises programme, self-manual techniques and advice. For best outcomes and to achieve your goals, we encourage to play an active role in your rehabilitation and to put in practice the advice we give and Home Exercise Programme.
- Patient education
We will teach you about your condition and give you tips and advice on specific lifestyle changes, advice on irritants and dietary/fluid modification advice and other behavioural modifications techniques.
- Postural re-education
- Breathing, Relaxation
- Vaginal dilators
- Treatment of back pain
The pelvic Floor is made up of thick layers of muscles, ligaments and fascia supporting the pelvic organs (bladder, rectum, small intestine, uterus and vagina). They are stretched like a hammock between the pubic bone in the front, the coccyx at the back, the sitting bones and the deep hip muscles. It is remarkable how many roles those muscles which are often forgotten have:
- Help support the pelvic organs
The pelvic floor muscles and surrounding ligaments and fascia support the pelvic organs and prevent them prolapsing out.
- Bladder and bowel control
The pelvic floor muscles control the passage of urine and faeces through the urethra and anus. Sphincters are wrapped around the urethra and anus. When the pelvic floor muscle contracts, the sphincters tighten at the openings preventing leakage of urine, faeces and winds. When the pelvic foor muscles relax, the sphincters open allowing urine and faeces to be evacuated.
- Core stability
The pelvic floor muscles are part of the deep muscles of the abdominal canister. Together with the deep abdominals (Transvers abdominus) and back muscles, they stabilise your spine and pelvis.
- Sexual satisfaction
Pelvic floor muscles are important for both men and women to enhance sexual arousal and satisfaction.
One of the difficulties with exercising the pelvic floor is to know if you are doing it right, as you cannot see it working. One study showed that after being taught, 31% could not correctly contract their pelvic floor muscles (Bo et al. 1988). Another study (Bump et al. 1991) showed that after instruction 25% of women were “pushing” instead of contracting the pelvic floor.
Our women’s health physiotherapists can help you do the right and successful exercises.
What our patients say
My entire experience with Physio4all has been superb. From initial enquiry, to the first consultation and the subsequent sessions, everything was extremely professional and friendly. Christine put together a great plan for me and supplied me with constant support throughout the rehabilitation process. Her and her staff also went above and beyond in assisting me to supply the insurance company as well as the surgeon with all the information they requested throughout the process. All in all, a great experience and would wholeheartedly recommend them. Taufik
I had not been to Physio4all for a few years and a bad sciatica made me make the journey again to Webbs road; the staff is welcoming, friendly and very professional; special thanks to Adriano who put me back on my two legs in only one session plus loads of advices; superb performance!
Comparing my recovery to unfortunate friends who had a similar ACL and MCL skiing injury, I have had far smoother and faster results , which I believe is fully attributable to the regular, motivational and professional treatment from Physio For Al. Thank you so much!
I had some physio sessions both for post-natal perineal rehab after my second child and during my pregnancy when expecting my third child to relief me from back. With each session I felt better. Christine is a lovely practitioner who knows the woman body inside out, truly cares and is the expert. I would 100% recommend her and her practice for any pregnancy post-natal treatment.
I’ve been using Physio For All for 17 years, prior to that I’d never used physio. It sorted out issues I’d had for 30 years. All the therapists have been outstanding. I recommend you all the time! Thank you for your excellent and caring service.
My Physio has been excellent working with me through a long rehab post-surgery. I am now able to participate in sports at the same level as before injury. This is far surpassing even my own expectations I wholeheartedly recommend Physio For All to anyone who wishes to be able to return to full, normal activity following injury.
I had incontinence issues after given birth due to a very weak pelvic floor. Things I could not do anymore including running and I thought that would be the case for the rest of my life. After a couple of months of treatment things have now dramatically improved. Thanks a lot Christine for all your help!
I have had ongoing back, shoulder and neck pain. My treatment at Physio For All has taught me exercises to strengthen my muscles and relieve pain and I have felt a huge improvement. I think the staff are excellent, experienced, sympathetic and extremely helpful. I have recommended Physio for All to many friends. I now come regularly for a massage to help prevent the build-up of tension.