My name is Diane Wootton and I’ve been a Women’s and Men’s health physiotherapist for over 30 years and here are the types of conditions that I commonly treat.
Post Natal check
Ideally this 60 minute assessment would be done between 6 to 12 weeks after having a baby when I would check the abdominal muscle gap, do an internal pelvic floor muscle check making sure that women know how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises correctly and advise on returning to exercise and sport. A follow up treatment may be indicated if the muscles are weak and there are any associated problems with bladder or bowel function.
Bladder or Bowel Incontinence
1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men suffer from incontinence in one form or another. Treatment is generally a course of 6 to 8 sessions over a 3 month period to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles with a daily exercise programme, sometimes using biofeedback and bladder and/or bowel training.
Women who have a mild degree of prolapse respond well to pelvic floor muscle strengthening even if they are planning to have surgery as stronger muscles give a better result.
Overactive Bladder/Urgency/Painful Bladder Syndrome
Again, if the pelvic floor muscles are weak, muscle strengthening plus bladder training and advice can be very beneficial for men and women. I also offer acupuncture to help with pain and bladder frequency.
A 30 minute preoperative session for those men planning a radical prostatectomy followed by post op physiotherapy reduces the risk of bladder leakage, and a personalised exercise programme makes sure that men return to sport and activities in a controlled and safe way.
Chronic Pelvic Pain
Sometimes known as prostatitis in men it can affect both men and women whose pelvic floor instead of being weak is instead too tight and is sometimes in spasm so that the muscles never fully relax therefore causing pain. Physiotherapy including specific stretches to all the pelvic girdle and lower back combined with a relaxation and breathing technique can be especially effective.