What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?

Women’s health physiotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of all disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. From incontinence to prolapse, pelvic pain or constipation, there is growing evidence that physiotherapy can alleviate, and in many cases cure these symptoms. We are experienced in treating women through pregnancy, post natally, through menopause and beyond!

What can I expect at my women’s health appointment?

Your assessment and treatment will be tailored specifically to you and your presenting complaints. We will start with a detailed history which will be taken in privacy – we are very sensitive to the fact that these conditions may be difficult to discuss.

Your physical assessment will most likely begin with examination of your abdominal muscles, pelvis and lumbar spine – these structures house your all important pelvic floor muscles; a dysfunction in one of these areas can result in dysfunction elsewhere. If appropriate you may then be offered an internal examination. This is an important part of your assessment and necessary in identifying the tone, strength and control of your pelvic floor muscles. Using finger palpation the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue will be assessed for injury or scarring, signs of pelvic organ prolapse, muscle tone, tenderness, sensation and neural sensitivity. Following which the pelvic floor muscle will be tested for strength and endurance. It is important to determine if the left and right, superficial and deep pelvic floor muscles are working together, and if not why not.

We can then develop you a specific and individualised treatment and exercise programme. The assessment findings will be discussed with you and treatment will depend upon findings and your symptoms.

Conditions we treat

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Tightness vs Weakness
  • Pelvic organ Prolapse
  • Pelvic pain, including Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain
  • Incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Urinary frequency and urgency – Including overactive bladder syndrome
  • Pudendal nerve injury
  • Intersistitial Cystitis
  • Vaginal pain including vaginismus and Vulvodynia
  • Diastasis recti abdominis muscle – tummy muscle separation post-natally
  • Perineal/episiotomy and caesarean section scarring

Treatments we offer

  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
  • Biofeedback and muscle stimulation for pelvic floor muscle retraining
  • Internal pelvic floor muscle release
  • Perineal and scar massage
  • Diagnostic ultrasound for pelvic floor retraining and abdominal muscle recovery
  • C-Scar massage
  • Pilates for pregnancy and post natally
  • Post natal rehabilitation

 

 

Find out more about APPI

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 Megan Vickers

Megan graduated from Brunel University in 2006 with a first class physio degree. She worked within the NHS for 3 years before specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy and Pilates. In 2010 Megan joined The Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates institute and completed her training as a specialist womens health physiotherapist.

Megans training and experience in musculoskeletal, pelvic floor and obstetric physiotherapy is a unique combination. Megan understands the relationship between our skeletal alignment and the muscles that they house, always treating the body as a whole. Megan specialises in manual therapy, pelvic floor release and pelvic floor retraining. Megan also uses acupuncture to improve muscle tone and function as well as relieving pain. Megan works regularly with ladies pre or post- gynaecological surgery to strengthen and rehabilitate the muscles of the pelvic floor to alleviate symptoms and enhance recovery.

Megan also enjoys working with ladies in pregnancy and postnatally; treating pelvic girdle pain, tummy muscle separation (diastasis recti abdominis (DRA)) and pelvic floor dysfunctions including stress urinary incontinence. Megan has a keen interest in return to sport and fitness post-natally and rehabilitating women through pelvic floor injury or dysfunction to full fitness.

APPI Wimbledon and Hampstead clinic are equipped with real time ultrasound imaging which Megan regularly uses for assessment of pelvic floor dysfunction and abdominal separation (DRA). She finds this a useful feedback tool to assist pelvic floor retraining in early rehabilitation, post natally and following surgery.

 

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Hazel Rolston

Hazel graduated from the University of Otago (New Zealand) in 2009. Hazel has gained extensive musculoskeletal physiotherapy experience whilst working in clinics at home in Christchurch, Melbourne and London. Hazel has treated a range of musculoskeletal injuries from acute strains and sprains to clinical rehabilitation for spinal, post-surgical and sporting injuries. Hazel has also completed training and developed a keen interest in Women’s health physiotherapy. Hazel’s training in both the musculoskeletal and pelvic floor systems, obstetric and gynaecological physiotherapy; consolidates her knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the pelvic floor and the rest of the body. She frequently identifies a link and treats associations between pelvic floor dysfunction and back/pelvic disorders.

Hazel treat’s a range of issues related to the pelvis and pelvic floor including incontinence, pelvic floor weakness, pelvic girdle pain, vaginal pain, pelvic dysfunction and instability and pelvic organ prolapse. Hazel also specialises in pre and post-natal care including abdominal muscle separation, strengthening programs to prepare women for child birth and helping women return safely to normal functional activities. Hazel teaches group Pilates classes for pre and post-natal clients at APPI Wimbledon.

Hazel incorporates a range of therapeutic techniques including: education, manual therapy, pelvic floor release and re-education, Ultrasound assessment and biofeedback. exercise therapy and clinical Pilates. She recognizes the whole body in her rehabilitation approach to help clients back to pain free function and assisting in achieving sporting and fitness goals.