pelvic health physiotherapy

When most people think about sports injuries, they envision sprained ankles and concussions – the typical injuries that are associated with the relentless pursuit of athletic excellence. However, athletes should also consider the possibility that they may have a pelvic injury that isn’t as commonly diagnosed. Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) is a common but overlooked cause of pelvic pain, especially in females.

For many, discussing pelvic floor problems is taboo and embarrassing, but it is important for women to understand that PFD is not a normal part of life and that there are simple and effective treatment strategies. Pelvic Health Physiotherapy East Sheen are trained to identify and treat a variety of conditions that affect the muscles and structures of the pelvic floor, including pain, pressure, and urinary or bowel incontinence.

Oftentimes, pelvic pain and dysfunction are associated with pregnancy and childbirth, or changes in muscle strength and tone that occur with age. But it is possible that the condition may be caused by other issues such as a herniated disk in the spine, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Can pelvic health physiotherapy help with sports-related pelvic injuries?

In addition to assessing the outside muscles of the pelvic region, the physical therapist will typically conduct an internal examination of the musculature of the lumbar spine, sacroiliac joints, and the muscles that attach or surround the pelvis such as the rectus abdominis, iliopsoas, and piriformis. Depending on the patient’s comfort level, this may include a digital vaginal examination and/or a rectal exam. Ultimately, the physical therapist will create a customized exercise program to strengthen the weak or dysfunctional muscles, and educate patients on how to engage the muscles correctly.

For female athletes, a program that addresses pelvic health and how to engage the muscles during endurance or resistance activities is critical for preventing sports-related injuries. This type of training focuses on breathing techniques and core muscles that help to support the pelvic muscles during high intensity exercise. In addition, the physical therapist will instruct the athlete on how to perform Kegel exercises during their regular daily routine.

Men can also be affected by pelvic pain and dysfunction, but they often do not seek treatment due to fear of embarrassment and/or the belief that it is a normal part of getting older. Men who are active at a high level, such as elite team athletes, are at a greater risk for groin injury and may benefit from strengthening the obturator internus muscle. It is crucial for all athletes to learn about and implement the strategies necessary to reduce their pelvic injuries, which can be avoided with proper education and guidance.