What are women’s health physiotherapists and how can they help?

Pregnant and experiencing pain in the hips/pelvis? Postnatal and have a weak or large tummy gap? What about at any stage and experiencing pelvic floor issues?

A specialist women’s health physiotherapist might be able to help when things aren’t improving.

In pregnancy back pain is quite common but if it’s getting worse or you experience pain around the pelvis, a physio can help to assess what the problem might be and advise on what you can do to help manage or improve it. In some cases it may be you just need to do a few stretches and improve stability in the joints, or a minor adjustment may help. However for more severe cases a support belt may be needed to stabilise the joint or, in very extreme cases, crutches may be needed. Getting the right advice and assessment is important as using support belts when not necessary can actually lead to weakened muscles as they no long need to work to stabilise they joint.

Postnatally specially trained physios can perform internal examinations to assess for any dysfunction of the pelvic floor including over-tight or weak muscles. From there they can advise on correct exercises and how you can start to improve any symptoms such as pain, discomfort or uncomfortable intercourse. This internal exam can also be useful for those who may feel they have a prolapse either postnatal or not. Look for physiotherapists who have trained with the Mummy MOT®.

For those experiencing very weak or large tummy gaps, the physiotherapists can assist again in checking for any pelvic floor dysfunction as there is a connection! As well as looking at your breathing patterns, muscle restrictions and then advising on correct exercises and advice on daily activities such as lifting and carrying.

Sometimes classes or massage alone is not enough and symptoms need to be checked and assessed by a specialist. From there, someone like myself can work alongside them to ensure you receive the best treatment and recovery possible. Once these issues have been addressed then a slow return to exercise and sport can be introduced.

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