Pelvic pain could be internal or external of the pelvic region and can be a very disabling condition. Painkillers can be effective in treating the symptoms, however, it is important to find the cause of the pelvic pain to establish a more effective treatment with better results. Pelvic pain can cause a lot of discomfort with daily activities such as sitting, walking the dog, picking up and holding your baby, carrying the laundry basket up the stairs, turning in bed, getting up in the morning.
Conditions related to Pelvic & Vaginal Pain: Pelvic girdle pain, vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, coccydynia
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There are a number of conditions that can cause women to experience pain during vaginal intercourse (which we’ll just call ‘sex’ from here on), also known as ‘Dyspareunia’. Again, there can be a dozen different causes, but the result is always the same: something that you should enjoy becomes painful.
If you experience pain during sex, then the range of causes on trusted sites like WebMD can be worrying: infections, spasms, ectopic pregnancy, cysts and a whole range of potential injuries. It’s rare that pain during sex can’t be treated, and experienced physiotherapists like Lisa would be able to distinguish whether the pelvic floor muscles are involved or not. She should also be able to setup referrals to other healthcare providers if needed.
Your pelvic area has to undergo profound changes to accommodate and give birth to a baby. Sometimes these changes can be something you think is minor, like the urinary incontinence that can happen when your baby is pressing against your bladder. At other times, the bodily stress of childbirth can lead to all kinds of conditions that can cause difficulties.
Lisa is well-versed in pregnancy-related pelvic health to get you back to your normal.
Conditions related to pregnancy: pelvic girdle pain, diastasis rectus abdominus (DRA), coccydynia, pubic symphysis pain
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Losing control of your bladder is the stuff nightmares are made of, and it’s more common than most people realize- and definitely more common than most people will admit. Anywhere up to 50% of women will suffer from urinary incontinence during their lifetime, usually after pregnancy, when anything from a sneeze to stress can bring on an embarrassing episode- if there’s even a trigger at all.
Incontinence isn’t limited to pregnant women or those who have just given birth. Many women can experience a loss of bladder control when sneezing, laughing or for no reason at all. Others can experience constipation that can leave you feeling bloated and unwell. The pelvic floor muscles can often play an important part in regulating urination and bowel movements- exactly why kegel exercises are performed by tensing the muscle that stops the flow of urine. However, if you are planning to start doing kegels, guidance from a professional is needed, for more effective results and a plan of action that you can follow to get back to full functioning and stay there.
POP (Pelvic Organ Prolapse) might be a cheerful-sounding acronym, but this condition is anything but cheerful for the 11% of women who experience it in their lifetimes. Vaginal prolapse is caused when the stabilizing tissues that keep the internal organs in place are not working well anymore. The result is that these organs shift, causing profound discomfort. The risk of developing a prolapse can be seriously reduced by paying attention to the muscles of your pelvic floor.
Exercises, physical therapy and lifestyle changes can make the tissues healthy again to eliminate discomfort and prevent progression of the prolapse. It’ll take more than a few Kegels though- you’ll need guidance from an experienced physiotherapist like Lisa.
Aside from women who have recently given birth, athletes and people who engage in heavy exercise are the group most at risk from conditions affecting the pelvic floor. The more rigorous the activity, the greater the impact: power-lifters, Crossfit practitioners, and athletes in basketball, soccer or other sports in which you have to be in constant motion are most prone to pelvic floor issues. The pelvic floor has an important role to play in high impact activities and should not be neglected.
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