#1 We’ll talk. A lot.
When it comes to pelvic health, getting your full story is very important. So, the first thing we’ll do is to take a thorough history. To get to the root of your pelvic health concerns, we’ll talk about all the different roles of the pelvic floor and core. We’ll also talk about how you’re doing overall, because stress and sleep patterns can all impact your health.
#2 I might do an exam.
A physical exam isn’t always what you think! It can be me watching you move, getting you to perform specific activities, or a hands-on exam. It may also include an internal pelvic exam, but every aspect of that exam requires your continuous consent. So, if an internal exam feels a little scary, don’t worry– we have workarounds, and you have full control.
#3 You’ll learn a lot.
We usually use the term “Physiotherapy Treatment,” but if I had it my way, it would be called “Physiotherapy Exercise, Education and Encouragement.” This is your body, your recovery, and your life, so I want you to understand: why things are happening the way they are, why I’m suggesting the things I am, and what you can do yourself, at home. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader, but ultimately, you are the biggest player in your rehabilitation!
#4 We’ll keep things simple.
Exercise and rehab is often overcomplicated, which leaves people feeling like they can’t do it themselves. Instead, they keep going back for endless appointments. This is good for business, but bad for lifelong wellbeing. I believe the simplest approach is usually the best approach. Life’s complicated enough, let’s keep your physio, your exercises, and your life fun and doable!
Frequently Asked Questions
Pelvic Health FAQs
- Do I have to do kegels my whole life?
- Will I need an internal physical exam?
- How can you assess me if you don’t touch me?
- If I book an online session, how will you know if i’m doing the exercises right?
- For online appointments, can you tell if i’m moving right, and if my posture is okay?
- What are safe exercises for me to do after giving birth?
- When can I run/play sports again?
- Why am I leaking now?
- Are things OK down there?
- How can I get some sleep?
- I had a C-Section. Is pelvic floor physio for me?
Pelvic Health FAQs
Q: Do I have to do kegels my whole life?
World renowned researcher Kari Bo says this is the million dollar question! The answer is that it’s really an individual thing. Some women rarely do kegels, but they keep their pelvic muscles and core muscles strong with other physical activity. Some women do have to do them very regularly to keep symptoms at bay.
But ultimately, you want your pelvic floor muscles to be strong, just like any muscles in the body.
We also want to have responsive pelvic floor and core muscles, because muscles can’t ever be that strong if they’re restricted or stuck.
Things like your pelvic health history (big babies, forceps, etc.), your activity levels, and your lifestyle determine the strength and responsiveness of your core and pelvic floor, but a little exercise and education makes almost anything possible. Together, we can make dancing, running, crossfit, and even sports possible for you!
Q: Will I need an internal physical exam?
This will be up to you. Not everyone wants to have an internal pelvic floor physio exam, and we can make very accurate assumptions about the issue by taking an in-depth history. If you’re not open to an exam, you don’t have to have one.
But, if you do need an exam, know that it’s a totally normal part of our day. It can even be a good experience! 98% of women comment that they’re very happy having had an exam, because they feel better knowing what’s going on with their Pelvic Floor.
Often, after finding out more about the roles of the pelvic floor and starting work on a program, our patients choose to have an exam to confirm what they’re feeling (or not feeling).
If at any point you do decide to have an exam, know you’ll be part of the process. We’ll always talk you through what to expect, and explain what we’re doing during the exam. At any stage of the exam we both have the choice to say, “Let’s stop.”
Q: How can you assess me if you don’t touch me?
Some things do require a physical exam (like if we want to check for a prolapse, or determine degree of a ligament sprain), but many things do not. As we mentioned above, often a thorough history gives us much of the information we need.
If you can’t book an in-person clinic visit right now because of COVID-19 or geographical barriers, we can easily set up a treatment program you can do from a distance.
Q: If I book an online session, how will you know if I’m doing the exercises right?
Two ways: First, we’ll watch as you do the exercises with the most common errors in mind, so we can correct them if we see them. Second, by asking you to feel what’s going on, and tell us.
We’ll also give you the background info you need to fully understand why you’re doing each exercise, which will make it much harder to do any of them wrong. Once you understand why you’re doing an exercise, you’ll easily know when you’re not getting the results you want.
Q: For online appointments, can you tell if I’m moving right, and if my posture is okay?
Yes! I can tell if you’re moving “ right.” But it’s worth noting that posture and alignment, which have been historically given a lot of energy and time, are now being reevaluated. Research tells us we need to rethink the emphasis on them, and the medical world is re-learning postural rules.
Often, movements and exercises are not wrong– if anything they just may not give you the results you want.
Dr. Greg Lehman does a great job of explaining that perfect posture doesn’t exist!
Pregnancy Pelvic Health FAQs
Q: I’m not in pain. Would I still benefit from an appointment?
Yes! Pain is only one indicator of a problem, and some issues can be prevented or caught sooner by looking at symptoms other than pain. For example, bowel issues can be a window into a pelvic floor issue, but they don’t always involve pain. You definitely do not need to wait until you’re in pain to get support for your pelvic floor issues!
Q: Can I exercise during pregnancy?
Absolutely! Exercise is good. In fact, there are great new guidelines for pregnancy and exercise.
Postpartum Pelvic Health FAQs
Q: What are safe exercises for me to do after giving birth?
For the first 6-12 weeks, it’s important to understand that the tissues in your body need to heal– but healing looks different for different people. Movement creates some demand for your tissues, which can be helpful for healing. So, depending on your history, certain exercises may be appropriate after giving birth.
Ask your pelvic floor physiotherapist for specific examples that you can do.
Q: When can I run/play sports again?
Sorry, no clear answer on this! If you were strong and active prior to delivery, your body generally has a better chance at returning to activity sooner. Of course, each birth has different circumstances, so we need to be careful with blanket statements.
If returning to sport is a priority for you, I’d recommend talking to your pelvic floor physiotherapist so that they can help you work towards that goal safely and confidently.[Back to Top]
Leaking urine is never a good thing. It’s very common, but not normal. There are multiple reasons why one would leak, so we’ll start by determining the cause of your leaking. Then, with a little work on your part, the problem can start to go away.
Just think how many more happy thoughts you could have (and what you could do with all of that money you spend on panty liners!) if you didn’t have to worry about this![Back to Top]
Yes. Or at least, they will be! Our bodies change with pregnancy, birth, trauma, pain, and menopause. Understanding what the changes are helps a lot. We can then mitigate the results of the events and feel very “ normal.
Things will be different for a while, for sure, but we’re hardwired to protect and heal this area (which is awesome!), so you can trust your body and know that what you’re feeling now won’t last forever.[Back to Top]
Hahaha…. Give your baby away? Just kidding! First time parents are just that: first time parents. It takes awhile to get into the baby groove, and hypervigilance definitely plays its part.[Back to Top]
Yes, pelvic floor physiotherapy is very beneficial, even if you had a C-Section. This is because pregnancy itself is a risk factor for pelvic floor issues– not just vaginal birth.
And, pelvic floor concerns can affect all people– not just new moms. There are women who’ve had 6 kids without a single pelvic floor issue, and women who’ve never had babies who do have pelvic floor concerns. Things like prolapses, incontinence, and painful sex can affect anyone, at any stage of life. Even men deal with pelvic health concerns.
So, it’s always worth a chat to see if there are things you might want to change or work on!