So lets talk about a women's health physio. I went to see my physio this morning for my check up. We chatted about how I was getting on with my pelvic floor exercises and how I was feeling about my DRA (Diastasis Recti Abdominus). Then we went through some more exercises to progress to.
This is so important for me.
And it is so important to you too.
I specialise in exercise for new mums and I can show you how to carry your baby safely, correct your posture, help you learn how to breath properly again. I can help you get fitter, stronger, healthier.
What I cannot do is assess your pelvic floor for you. I am not trained to do this and no matter how much I listen to your symptoms I will never be able to tell you what is really going on with your pelvic floor.
SO WHY IS YOUR PELVIC FLOOR SO IMPORTANT?
Well to keep it simple it keeps your insides from falling out. There is a lot more to it but for now lets just keep to this explanation.
You use your pelvic floor in practically every movement you make. From the moment you lift your head from your pillow you are engaging your pelvic floor. You use it when you lift your children, carry car seats, navigate your pram, chasing your children about, help them get ready.
You get it. You use it a lot!
And just like all the other muscles in your body it can be injured. When you are pregnant the release of the hormone relaxin causes your muscles to relax to allow your baby to grow. This puts added pressure on your pelvic floor. The added weight of your baby growing will also put pressure onto your pelvic floor. Add onto that the trauma that may occur through labour. Even if you end up with a c-section you may have been in labour for some time bearing down on your pelvic floor.
This does not mean that all women who have been pregnant will have issues with their pelvic floor however, pelvic floor dysfunction is a real problem. It has been found that over half of women who have had children will suffer from some form of prolapse in their lifetime. The good thing is there is help out there. You just need to know where to look.
SO WHAT DOES A WOMEN'S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPIST DO?
Well on my first visit to my physio we had a nice long chat about my health history. What were my births like? did I have any tears? How was my recovery? Did I leak when doing things like jumping? Was it painful during sex? how was my section scar?
She then completed an internal assessment of my pelvic floor to find out just how weak/strong it was. She then examined the separation of my abdominal muscles.
After my assessment my lovely physio gave me some exercises to do and we made an another appointment which I had today.
So my advice is to go see a women's health physio especially if you have any pelvic floor issues. You need to know that you shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about this. It is so common but it is not normal and it is not something you need to put up with.
If you have any questions that you are unsure of or you just feel embarrassed to have this conversation please do get in touch with me and I will help you in any way I can.