Image used with permission from Pelvic Guru, LLC pelvicglobal.com
Pelvic floor disorders is a topic that is often misunderstood and not discussed openly due to the consequences that can occur to the individual that could compromise their quality of life. The pelvic floor musculature are often termed the “forgotten muscles” however they are very important in supporting the bladder, vagina, rectum and the inner organs of the abdomen.
The reason these muscles are termed forgotten is because they lie invisible in the bottom center of the pelvis and lie between the sits bone, tailbone and pubic bone- this is referred to as the urogenital triangle. Just like any other muscle in the body, these muscles can be retrained to improve the overall vitality of the pelvic floor which will result in an increase in patient self esteem and self control .
Not many people know that physiotherapy is an option available for both women, men and children wanting to gain sensory awareness and strength of the pelvic floor musculature.
Prenatally, preparing for birth is like training for a marathon. The more preparation you do the better you will be with navigating your unique birth experience whether it will be vaginal or c-section. Prepping for birth beforehand will improve your post partum outcomes.
What role does physiotherapy play prenatally?
What role does physiotherapy play postpartum?
Our role is to restore optimal functioning of mother’s who are experiencing issues with tissue inflammation, swelling, pain and skin integrity which are within our scope of practice.
Intervention options that we can offer mother’s to help treat the above issues:
Massage, scar mobilization, stretching, positioning and ergonomics, acupuncture, taping techniques, modalities (ultrasound and ice), education (posture, signs of inflammation and self management), strategies for relaxation and mindfulness.
Conditions that can be treated are mastitis, blocked milk ducts, engorgement.
Mastitis-gentle stroking massage from the areola towards the armpit. If there is specific area of swelling noted the massage is started from the affected area towards the axilla. Massage is alternated with hand expression.
Blocked ducts- gentle stroking massage close to the plugged area towards the axilla. To prevent tissue damage direct hard pressure on the plugged area is avoided. Massage is alternated with hand expression.
Engorgement- alternating gentle fingertip massage within the areola with gentle stroking breast massage towards the axilla. Massage is alternated with hand expression to promote softening of the areola and assist with drainage and avoid further excess build up of milk in the breast.
If a women has had any breast surgeries that could cause disruption to her milk supply, PT’s can work on the scar/connective tissue to help loosen the area that is affected.
*The goal is to ensure breastfeeding success for each individual and to work collaboratively with the other health care professionals involved such as lactation consultants, midwives, family physicians, obstetrican/gynecologists etc.
Physiotherapists have the training to care for the transgender and gender diverse population. As healthcare professionals we acknowledge the fact that patients will have …
Silvana Yee (She/Her) graduated from Queen’s University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and also graduated with honours with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1997. She initially began her career in sports medicine and orthopaedics physiotherapy for the first ten years of her career. In 2011, Silvana began to incorporate pelvic floor physiotherapy into her practice and never looked back. As she started to see positive results with her patient’s she became more passionate about increasing awareness and making pelvic floor physiotherapy more readily available for the public. As a lifelong learner, she continues to see educational opportunities to further develop her skills and knowledge in the pelvic health field to service women, men, children and individuals in the transgender community who are preparing or who have undergone bottom surgery. In her spare time, Silvana enjoys travelling abroad, cooking and trying new recipes with her family, and watching and playing sports of any kind.
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