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Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy - Urinary Incontinence

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy - Urinary Incontinence

Our partner The Moving Body Singapore wrote an article about the importance of pelvic floor physiotherapy. A must read after giving birth!

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Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy - Urinary Incontinence

Your pelvic floor is the sling of muscles and ligaments that runs from the front of your pelvis to the tailbone. Although a highly important area in the human body, any issues surrounding it are often overlooked or not discussed because of the associated stigma.

The function of the female pelvic floor includes: control of urination and defecation, support for our pelvic organs (uterus, bladder and rectum) as well as playing an important role in sexual function. These muscles can become weakened through pregnancy, labour, hormonal changes (such as menopause), and simply because the individual does not exercise them regularly.

A weakened pelvic floor can cause many symptoms such as the inability to control wind, faeces or urine (urinary incontinence), strong urges to urinate. All of which can have a negative impact on the woman’s quality of life. 

Urinary incontinence can affect women of all ages. There are many different types of urinary incontinence, all with varying causes and symptoms. It is important to share all of your symptoms with your healthcare practitioner so that they can determine the type that you may be experiencing.

Stress incontinence is characterised by a leakage of urine during activities that involve an increase in abdominal pressure such as coughing, laughing or sneezing. 1 in 3 women will experience this during their lifetime.

  • Urinary frequency is defined as ‘a complaint by an individual who goes to the toilet too often’. 4-6 voids per day is considered normal.
  • Nocturia occurs when an individual wakes up more than once at night to void, which is abnormal.
  • Urinary urgency is characterised by frequent episodes of urge to urinate, usually when the bladder is not full. This can be a debilitating condition as the woman is constantly rushing to the bathroom.

It has been stated that women who experience low back pain seek treatment almost immediately. However, for women who experience symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor, it can take up to seven years for them to consult a healthcare practitioner. These conflicting behaviours should no longer exist as it has been proven that pelvic floor dysfunction has a much larger impact on a woman’s quality of life than low back pain.

In 2010, the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that ‘physiotherapists with specialised training in pelvic floor rehabilitation should be the first line of defence for urinary incontinence’. Through a detailed subjective history of the woman’s symptoms, as well as an optional pelvic floor examination, a specifically tailored treatment program can be created to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, re-train learned behaviours, and empower the individual to take control of their condition.

At The Moving Body, we offer you professional and effective treatment for any pelvic floor dysfunction that you may be experiencing. Take control of your symptoms, don’t let them take control of you.

Article written by: Sarah Dinneen, Physiotherapist

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