Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about pelvic floor physiotherapy. Hopefully this helps clarify some of your thoughts about pelvic floor physiotherapists and pelvic floor therapy!
What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is a specialized branch of physiotherapy that looks specifically at the pelvis, low back and abdomen and conditions that affect these areas. Pelvic physiotherapy is for both men and women, at any stages of life. In some cases, children may also benefit from physiotherapy, however you need to find a physiotherapist that specializes in this area. Some examples of commonly treated conditions include; incontinence, bowel/bladder dysfunction, pregnancy and post-partum, recurrent non-bacterial prostatitis, post prostatectomy, pelvic pain conditions and much more.
Are pelvic physiotherapists also physiotherapists?
Yes, Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are Registered Physiotherapists. They have gone through a BSc program or a Master’s Program (after 2006) and have had to pass licensing exams put in place by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapists Regulators. In Ontario, physiotherapists have to remain in good standing with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. In addition to this, Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have taken additional training to be certified to perform internal examinations of the pelvic floor either vaginally or rectally.
Can Pelvic Physiotherapy be covered under my benefits?
Yes, as I mentioned in number 2, Pelvic Health Physiotherapists are Registered Physiotherapists with a license number. If you have benefit coverage for physiotherapy, you can submit your visit to a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist under your insurance plan.
What is an Internal Pelvic Floor Muscle Examination?
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are rostered to perform internal pelvic floor muscle examinations vaginally and/or rectally. This examination is different from a Pap test or an examination from an OBGYN, because Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are assessing the pelvic floor muscles and looking for the strength and tone of these muscles. This examination is only done with your consent, but it can be very valuable to help determine the whole clinical picture and come up with the best treatment plan to suit you. We don’t use any metal instruments, the examination is done by palpation only.
Can I come to my appointment if I have my period?
Yes, you can still come to your pelvic physio appointment even if you have your period. If you are not comfortable having an internal assessment or treatment done, that is ok. There are many things that we can do without doing internal work, such as exercises, education and external treatment.
Stay tuned for more of your questions answered in the future!