Pelvic health is an extremely important part of our overall well being. Many people suffer from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, but nobody talks about it and are unsure of where to seek help or that treatment is available. This subject shouldn’t be taboo! Did you know that in European countries internal pelvic floor examinations have been the gold standards for over 30 years?. Let’s start talking.
What is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist?
A pelvic health physiotherapist has specialized training in assessment and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. With specific knowledge of anatomy and physiology, they are able to determine the source of dysfunction.
Pelvic health physiotherapy is currently the “gold-standard” for treating pelvic floor dysfunction. A pelvic health physiotherapist uses:
- Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue release, stretching, muscle facilitation and mobilization to treat the pelvic floor.
- Individualized exercise program including strengthening, stretching and breathing techniques to improve pelvic floor function and overall posture
- Education on all the aspects that influence the anatomy and physiology of the pelvic floor including diet, bowel and bladder routine and hygiene, exercise techniques and stress management
Each person with pelvic floor dysfunction is unique and it is important that a specialized treatment plan is developed for each individual.
Myth: Strengthening or “kegels” are the way to fix your pelvic floor
Truth: Kegels can actually worsen the problem if someone has a tight pelvic floor or if exercises are performed incorrectly
Myth: Incontinence is normal with “old age” or post-partum
Truth: Pelvic floor issues can arise in all ages from children up to older adults and is not normal!
Myth: Pelvic health dysfunction arises only in women
Truth: Men are commonly affected by pelvic health issues including chronic pelvic pain, urinary retention and urinary urgency
What can a pelvic floor physiotherapist help treat?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can result in different conditions in both women and men including:
• Urinary or bowel incontinence
• Urinary or bowel urgency and/or frequency
• Nocturia (repeatedly waking at night to urinate)
• Pelvic organ prolapse
• Chronic/unexplained low back, hip or pelvic pain
• Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle, pubic or low
• Vaginismus/vulvodynia (spasm or pain with intercourse or tampon insertion)
• Dysparneuria (difficulty/pain during intercourse)
• Interstitial Cystitis
• Chronic Prostatitis
• Pudendal Neuralgia
Devonna Truong graduated from McMaster University with both a Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy and an Honors Baccalaureate of Science degree in Biology with a specialization in Physiology. Through her education and clinical experience, she has established a strong foundational knowledge in human anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, manual therapy and exercise prescription. Devonna is committed to professional growth and evidence-based practice as a clinician by specializing in pelvic health physiotherapy, an area of which she has developed a true passion for. She has experience treating individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction during pregnancy, postpartum and of all ages ranging from adolescents to older adults. She is also a strong advocate for the importance of pelvic health and women’s health within the physiotherapy profession as the Public Relations Chair on the Executive Committee of the Women’s Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA). Devonna is passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, hiking, yoga and travelling.