Pelvic Floor Physio Brisbane
Updated: Oct 3
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a specialised form of physiotherapy that focuses on the health and function of the pelvic floor muscles. Maintaining good pelvic floor health is essential for men and women of all ages, and pelvic floor physiotherapy can help prevent and treat many of these issues.
At Align Health Collective, we offer comprehensive pelvic floor physiotherapy services in Indooroopilly, Queensland, to help both women and men regain control and improve their quality of life.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments located at the base of the pelvis, responsible for supporting the bladder, uterus, prostate, and rectum. These muscles help us control bowel movements and urination – so we don’t accidentally urinate or have a bowel movement when we don’t want to.
The pelvic floor also supports the spine. Strong pelvic floor muscles are particularly important for pregnant women, as they provide support during pregnancy but stretch and relax as the baby passes through the birth canal.
Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction often struggle to control their pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles are weak or dysfunctional, it can lead to a range of issues:
urinary and stress incontinence – insufficient control over urination, frequently resulting in involuntary loss of urine
bowel dysfunction, causing faecal incontinence and incomplete evacuation
urinary and/or bowel urgency – constantly feeling like you need to urinate or defecate
pelvic organ prolapse – one or more pelvic organs (e.g., bladder, uterus, or rectum) move and bulge into the vaginal wall
pelvic pain – caused by numerous factors, including muscle tension, nerve irritation, and inflammation
lower back pain
sexual dysfunction – pain or discomfort during intercourse, reduced sexual desire, and difficulty achieving orgasm.
Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Pelvic floor muscles become weaker over time. This is usually due to childbirth, persistent constipation or straining to evacuate the bowels, menopause, being overweight, and frequently lifting heavy objects or weightlifting. A weak pelvic floor can also be caused by pelvic surgery, injuries to the pelvic region, and old age.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic floor physiotherapy focuses on the functioning of the pelvic floor muscles and overall pelvic health. It can be highly effective in treating a wide range of conditions related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, so it’s a great option for avoiding the potential risks and side effects of surgery and/or medication.
One of the main goals of pelvic floor physiotherapy is improving bladder and bowel control, health, and functioning. In line with this, your physiotherapist may also advise lifestyle modifications and exercises to promote long-term pelvic floor health and improve your overall quality of life.
Consultation, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Your first session with one of our expert pelvic health physiotherapists will include a thorough assessment of your pelvic floor muscles. Your physiotherapist will also discuss your medical history and all of your symptoms in detail.
This first appointment will also be used to rule out any other conditions that may be affecting your pelvic health, such as diastasis recti (abdominal separation), surgery in the pelvic region that now requires rehabilitation, or pudendal neuralgia (pain caused by a damaged pelvic nerve).
In addition, your assessment may include an external examination to test the skin and muscles around the pelvic floor (including lower back, abdomen, and thigh muscles). Your physiotherapist may also recommend diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound or biofeedback test, to assess the extent of your condition.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your physiotherapist will work with you to develop an individualised treatment plan based on your specific needs. Treatment will be based on your symptoms, any underlying causes of your condition, your lifestyle, as well as techniques that can improve your pelvic floor functioning and alleviate your symptoms.
This may include a combination of education and fitness advice, exercise programs, lifestyle and habit modifications, stretching and relaxation techniques, manual therapy, and biofeedback to retrain your muscles.
Benefits of Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegel exercises), can provide numerous benefits, especially in terms of women’s health. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, which can help improve pelvic floor strength and function.
Some benefits of pelvic floor exercises include:
Improved bladder control: Pelvic floor exercises can help improve bladder control by strengthening the muscles that control urination. This can be particularly helpful for women who experience urinary and stress incontinence.
Reduced risk of pelvic organ prolapse: Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the muscles that support the pelvic organs, which can reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse.
Improved sexual function: Pelvic floor exercises can help improve sexual function by improving pelvic floor muscle strength and control. This can lead to increased sexual sensation and improved ability to achieve orgasm.
Reduced risk of childbirth-related pelvic floor issues: Pelvic floor exercises are useful for both prenatal and postpartum females. During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles can be overstretched and even torn, resulting in musculoskeletal issues. These exercises can help prepare the pelvic floor muscles for the physical demands of giving birth, reducing the risk of pelvic floor issues such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Improved recovery after childbirth: Postpartum pelvic floor exercises can help speed up recovery after childbirth by promoting healing and improving pelvic floor muscle strength and control.
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women of All Ages
Here are some tips for doing pelvic floor exercises:
Find the right muscles: To perform pelvic floor exercises, it's important to identify the correct muscles. One way to do this is to try stopping the flow of urine midstream. The muscles you use to do this are the pelvic floor muscles. Your physiotherapist will also help you to identify these muscles.
Practise regularly: To see results from pelvic floor exercises, it's important to practise regularly. Aim to perform these exercises at least three times a day, and gradually increase the length of time you hold each contraction.
Use proper form: To get the most out of pelvic floor exercises, it's important to use proper form. When performing the exercises, make sure to contract only the pelvic floor muscles, and avoid contracting other muscles, such as the glutes or thighs.
Gradually increase intensity: As your pelvic floor muscles get stronger, you can gradually increase the intensity of your pelvic floor exercises by holding each contraction for longer periods of time, or by adding more repetitions.
At Align Health Collective in Brisbane, QLD, we offer comprehensive pelvic floor physiotherapy services to help women and men of all ages achieve optimal pelvic floor health.
We understand how challenging and disruptive pelvic floor dysfunction can be, which is why we are committed to providing our patients with the highest level of care and support throughout consultation, diagnosis, and treatment.
All of our treatment plans are personalised and tailor-made to suit your unique, individual needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards healing and achieving pelvic floor well-being.
Is pelvic floor physio worth it?
Yes, pelvic floor physiotherapy can be incredibly valuable for both men and women. It can help improve pelvic floor function, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can also assist in reducing chronic pelvic pain as well as pain caused by endometriosis.
Can physio help with a tight pelvic floor?
Yes, physiotherapy can be a very effective way of treating a tight pelvic floor. A pelvic floor physiotherapist can help you learn and practise relaxation techniques, stretches, and exercises to help release tension in the pelvic floor muscles and improve overall function.
When should you do pelvic floor physiotherapy?
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms described in this article, you can benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy. It is also recommended for women during pregnancy and postpartum to help prevent or address pelvic floor issues.
What do you wear to pelvic floor physio?
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to remove clothing or change into a gown for a pelvic or internal examination.
Is pelvic floor therapy painful?
Pelvic floor therapy may involve some discomfort or pressure during internal assessments or manual therapy, but it should not be painful. Your pelvic floor physiotherapist will work with you to ensure you are comfortable throughout treatment and will adjust techniques as needed to avoid pain or discomfort.