The subject of women’s health encompasses a range of issues that can be treated by physiotherapy. From pregnancy back pain to incontinence problems faced by older women, physiotherapy is there to help.
Bladder incontinence is a problem for 13 million Americans on any given day. Although some men have this problem, it is present in much greater numbers in the area of women’s health.
There are several different kinds of incontinence. Stress incontinence happens when the person coughs or sneezes and urge incontinence means the person has sudden urges to use the restroom, for example. Organ prolapse, such as a tilted uterus, can lead to incontinence, as well as sexual dysfunction. This is another area of women’s health physiotherapy can help.
Physiotherapists who work in the field of women’s health can correct nearly 70% of incontinence problems. The major exercise used is the Kegel. It is a very specialized exercise, and at least half the people who try to do it on their own fail miserably. It takes biofeedback for many to get it right.
Many of the problems of women’s health can be traced to the pelvic floor. The Kegel is the exercise that addresses this part of the anatomy. However, other therapies are used as well. Electrical stimulation is only one of the methods used. Soft tissue manipulation is another treatment that has been tried.
Pelvic pain affects many women’s health. It may come from a variety of sources. It can be due to vulvodynia or abdominal surgeries, for example. One can have pelvic pain after falling, especially if one lands on the tailbone. These conditions often curtail sexual activities and lead to an overall deterioration in women’s psychological health. Physiotherapy offers many treatments to help these problems.
No discussion of how physiotherapy helps with women’s health would be complete without a word about pregnancy. Women who are pregnant know that their bodies go through various changes that can be painful. Low back pain is only one of them.
Physiotherapists can help with this. Gentle exercises can be taught to relieve tension in the back. One is to lie on the floor with the knees up and press the small of the back to the floor. This gives a great feeling of relief. Other exercises strengthen the woman’s back, but few people besides physiotherapists know how far to go with exercising when pregnant. Women’s health is important at this time, and so is the baby’s.
Physiotherapists can also give instructions on what amount of exercise is best for pregnant women. After delivery, physiotherapy is a boon to women’s health. It can help get women back into shape and instruct them in taking care of their new child while preventing back problems. Another area of postpartum women’s health is the treatment of women who have had cesarean sections.
Physiotherapy can help women’s health because there are so many conditions that women suffer. Many of these conditions will respond to physiotherapy. It is only natural that women would turn to a tried and true method for relief.
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