Women’s health physiotherapy is a specialised area of physiotherapy that focuses on the unique health needs of women throughout their lives. From puberty to pregnancy, menopause to beyond, women experience a range of physiological changes that can impact their overall health and wellbeing.
Women’s health physiotherapy provides a holistic and personalised approach to addressing these changes, helping women manage their symptoms, prevent health issues and improve their quality of life. In this article, we’ll explore why women’s health physiotherapy is so important and the many benefits it can offer.
What Is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?
Women’s health physiotherapy is a non-surgical treatment effective for all pelvic floor disorders. Symptoms like constipation, incontinence, vaginal prolapse and painful sex can be treated with physiotherapy. Additionally, physiotherapy is useful in treating medical conditions during pregnancy and after birth in women.
The female pelvic floor, composed of a group of muscles, provides the ability to support the baby during pregnancy. The contraction of pelvic floor muscles helps maintain continence, whereas the relaxation allows healthy bowel movements, urination, sexual intercourse and childbirth.
Women face two types of pelvic floor problems: hypotonic and hypertonic
- The hypotonic pelvic floor is a condition where muscle tone is low and is incapable of supporting normal pelvic functions. In hypotonic conditions, pelvic floor muscles become too weak and cannot properly stabilise and position your pelvis to support healthy bladder and bowel function.
- Increased muscle tone is a characteristic feature of a hypertonic pelvic floor. In the hypertonic pelvic floor, muscles naturally become tighter. Women might have a harder time relaxing and have pain during intercourse.
Any symptom of incontinence is unpleasant to deal with, especially if it prevents you from engaging in your favourite activities. Women with hypertonic pelvic floor experience more pain when inserting tampons or during gynaecological tests. Whether you’re trying to go up and down stairs or exercise, women with a hypotonic pelvic floor typically experience more incontinence symptoms. Both of these physical predispositions can have several different effects on your day-to-day activities, so it’s important to find a treatment that best meets your needs.
Benefits of Physiotherapy for Women
Physical therapy benefits all females, from young athletes to women with children, menopausal women and older women. Physiotherapy for women benefits the following:
Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urine flow. It is also known as an overactive bladder. Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles as a result of injury, pregnancy, surgery or inactivity causes urine leakage.
Pre and post pregnancy physiotherapy
Physical therapy can also be used to treat pain in the pelvic region, lower back, ribs and thoracic region, as well as headaches, stiff necks, weak pelvic floor muscles, leg cramps, weak bladder muscles and abdominal muscles in pregnant women.
Physical therapy during pregnancy is referred to as antenatal or prenatal physiotherapy. It includes pelvic girdle pain treatment, childbirth education (relaxation techniques) and yoga practice.
Physical therapy after pregnancy is referred to as postnatal physiotherapy. It includes strengthening of the pelvic floor and rectus diastasis treatment. Rectus diastasis treatment helps rebuild the abdominal wall and improve core activation after childbirth. Postnatal physiotherapy also includes connective tissue therapy and caesarean scar treatment, which help women recover from C-sections.
Obesity and its associated disorders
Women’s health physiotherapy is also useful in managing and preventing obesity in women. Obesity is usually associated with restricted body movement, thereby impacting the person’s physical activity. Physiotherapy treatment for obese women helps them lose weight in a controlled and safe environment. Additionally, it helps overcome ailments associated with obesity, such as knee pain, back pain, etc.
Postmenopausal women are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Bone-strengthening exercises are of the utmost importance when it comes to maintaining the health of osteoporotic bones. In postmenopausal women, physiotherapy reduces the likelihood of bone fractures and prevents additional bone loss.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
The medical condition known as PCOS affects women and occurs when the ovaries produce multiple undeveloped eggs that eventually form cysts on the ovaries. Genetic tendencies and hormonal imbalances often result in PCOS. Physiotherapy helps women lose weight gained as a result of lower insulin levels and oestrogen storage in adipose tissue. Hence, physiotherapy is also used to alleviate the symptoms of PCOD.
What Does A Women’s Health Physiotherapist Do?
A women’s health physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who specialises in addressing the unique health needs of women at different stages of their lives. They provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions related to women’s health, with a particular focus on the female reproductive system and pelvic health. They also offer education, guidance and support to help women maintain their overall health and prevent future health issues.
Women’s health physiotherapists can help women manage a variety of conditions, such as:
- urinary incontinence
- pelvic pain
- sexual dysfunction
- pelvic organ prolapse
- pregnancy-related musculoskeletal pain.
Women’s health physiotherapists use a combination of techniques to address these conditions, including manual therapy, exercise prescription, education and lifestyle advice. They work closely with their patients to develop personalised treatment plans that address their specific needs and goals. By providing specialised care that focuses on women’s health, women’s health physiotherapists play a critical role in supporting women’s overall health and wellbeing.
Be at Your Best With FlexiFit Physiotherapy
Did this article help you understand women’s health physiotherapy better and what does a women’s health physiotherapist do? We hope so.
If you are someone or know somebody who might be suffering from pelvic floor disorders, make sure to visit a professional physiotherapist who can help you with effective treatment.
At FlexiFit Physiotherapy, we offer high quality care and ensure you can go back to leading your life free of pain and stress. Contact us here for more details.