Women's Pelvic Health
I wish I'd known then, what I know now! It's not just about 'squeezes' or 'kegels', the evidence and best practice advice has moved on. It's for this reason Rebecca has done lots of further training in Women's Pelvic Health and now delivers the tailored assessment, treatment and toolkit that will help you manage your future. Making small changes can have a big effect on what can feel like complex and overwhelming symptoms. None of it's rocket science, it's just women haven't been taught it yet.
What we help
- Pelvic floor function
- Urinary control, leaking, emptying
- Bowel control, chronic constipation
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Breathing - because this is absolutely key to pelvic floor function!
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Back / neck / shoulder pain - the spine sits on your pelvic floor after all...
How we help
- Give you a plan to move you forwards and the tools to 'DIY' for future
- Treatment - massage, gentle joint movement, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture
- Advice e.g how to lift/bend
- Bladder retraining, toileting habits
- Education e.g how to contract pelvic floor correctly
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Training programme
- Scar management
- Muscle release exercises
- Strength exercises
- Breathing techniques
Who we help
Any time is a good time to learn how to manage your pelvic health:-
- Chronic illness
What we do
1) Take a full health history, listen to your symptoms and your goals
2) Assessment - this will be specific to you and will focus on some of the following:-
- pelvic floor muscles - are they weak, tight, overactive?
- internal vaginal exam - this is very optional and offered if needed
- joints of the hip / pelvis / spine
- abdominal muscles - are they working well?
- tummy gap (diastasis recti)
- breathing habits
- posture, muscle tension, movement pattern
- ability to relax muscles
3) Discussion of findings
4) Action plan - using a combination of techniques from the section above "How we help"
How many appointments
One is better than none! The first appointment will give you an understanding of where you're at, treatment to ease any discomfort and will make a start on exercises / advice to get going.
We recommend 4-6 appointments to give you a great foundation for pelvic health and the skills you can revisit through life.
To deliver the current UK health guidance for clinicians (https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng210/chapter/recommendations) which suggests 3-4 months of supervised Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) before seeking consultant care and this should include:-
- Assessing ability to perform a pelvic floor contraction and relaxation
- Tailoring PFMT to the woman's ability, discomfort felt and individual needs
- Encouraging the woman to complete the course, to prevent and manage symptoms
Times are changing
There's A LOT of people in the UK living with pelvic health issues, if you like facts and figures, find them here (https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/excellence-in-continence-care.pdf)
There's also more understanding now that prevention is better than cure. Policy is changing, education of children 12-17yoa is now being recommended so let's hope it starts filtering through ......
Pregnancy and Post-Natal Osteopathy
Emsworth Osteopaths know that the experience of pregnancy and childbirth varies for each woman and family, as do the physical adjustments that are made. We can assess your movement and posture to see how you are managing and with you, we choose appropriate treatment techniques. The aim of treatment will be to help you manage and adjust to changes your body goes through, rather than it becoming a demand or difficult to cope with.
Treatment is gentle and appropriate for whichever pregnancy or post-natal stage you are. Various techniques can be used, including cranial osteopathy or joint articulation to help strained joints, massage or acupuncture to ease muscle tension. Emsworth Osteopaths will give you advice to support yourself through pregnancy and the post-natal demands of having a baby e.g working in conjunction with lactation consultants to give postural advice whilst breastfeeding.
Pelvic girdle pain is common in pregnancy, ligaments soften and provide less support so muscles tend to over-work to compensate for this. Past injuries or "problem areas" can make it harder for the body to adapt to pregnancy changes resulting in aches, pains and fatigue. Changing weight can alter centre of gravity causing posture changes, neck pain and headaches. Hands up who has been achey or stiff from sitting in one position for ages so as not to wake the baby? This applies to you fathers too! All these complaints are good candidates for osteopathic treatment.
And here are 2 facts that Emsworth Osteopaths find amazing:-
1) The amount of blood the heart pumps (cardiac output) increase by 30-40% in pregnancy.
2) The kidneys grow approximately 1-2cm during pregnancy. The coverings of the kidneys attach to the rib cage so along with the ribs expanding to accommodate the baby it is no surprise that rib pain can occur.