Specific women’s health assessment and treatments are now offered at Global Physiotherapy in Sherwood Park. Women’s health physiotherapy focuses on treating pelvic floor dysfunction which can result in pain and urinary incontinence. Jeri Williams has five years of experience treating patients with pelvic floor dysfunction. She received her training at the Lois Hole Hospital where she was able to learn from a multidisciplinary team whose primary focus was treating women with pelvic floor dysfunction.
What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is any leakage of urine no matter how small. Many women experience urinary incontinence and it can significantly affect lifestyle, resulting in individuals avoiding activities which they once enjoyed.
There are three different types of urinary incontinence:
Stress Incontinence: The leakage of urine when you cough, sneeze or perform physical activity.
Urge Incontinence: The leakage of urine when you experience a strong urge to urinate and are not able to get to the bathroom in time.
Mixed Incontinence is a combination of both Stress and Urge Incontinence.
What causes Urinary Incontinence?
The causes of urine leakage vary depending on the type of incontinence that individuals are experiencing. Stress incontinence is often caused by a lack of muscular or structural support to the bladder and urethra. Damage to the pelvic floor muscles generally occurs from repeated or extreme downward pressure on the pelvic floor, which, can occur during childbirth, or be a complication from chronic constipation or repeated heavy lifting. Menopause can also increase the risk of urinary incontinence as tissue changes can occur which can result in decreased support to the pelvic structures.
Urge incontinence often occurs as a result of the improper firing of the muscle that surrounds the bladder. This can occur secondary to certain illnesses or can be related to activities. For example, many individuals experience a strong urge to go the washroom when they are first entering their homes, when they are cold or when they hear running water.
Is there anything that can be done to treat Urinary Incontinence?
The treatments available for urinary incontinence include physiotherapy, diet modification, medication, pessaries (which provide internal vaginal support) and in some cases surgery. The physiotherapy treatments that help resolve pelvic floor dysfunction are provided by physiotherapist like Jeri Williams with specific training in the area. The other treatments can be discussed with your doctor or a nurse that specialises in incontinence. Physiotherapy is a useful adjunct to other treatments as it helps to increase the pelvic floor strength and may prevent the need for more invasive treatments.
What can I expect with a women’s health assessment and treatment?
Jeri Williams uses a global approach to evaluate urinary incontinence. A detailed history will be used to determine all of the possible factors that may be contributing to the urinary incontinence issues that you are experiencing. The assessment will include the following:
- Posture evaluation
- Muscles of the hips, legs and core
- Internal exam of the pelvic floor tissues, pelvic muscles and nerve function
Another essential component of the assessment is a bladder diary, this will require you to journal your fluid intake and urine output as well as any leakage over the period of three days. Physiotherapy treatments will focus on strengthening your pelvic floor through exercises in the clinic with therapist feedback and home exercises. The other treatments that are provided will be focused
Physiotherapy treatments will focus on strengthening your pelvic floor through exercises in the clinic with therapist feedback and home exercises. The other treatments that are provided will be focused on your specific issues. Treatment may include diet modification advice, scar tissue release, muscle release, bladder training, general stretching, strengthening and acupuncture. Global Physiotherapy Sherwood Park is dedicated to helping you resolve your women’s health issue and “Keep Active for Life”.