Next steps with pelvic floor dysfunction

By Madeleine Speed

As mentioned in previous articles, there does seem to be a link between the symptoms of PGP and pelvic floor dysfunction. If any of these articles have raised issues that you recognise as being relevant to you, it is worth seeing a physiotherapist for treatment.

Have a look at the websites mentioned in our ‘The traditional and the modern approach to pelvic floor exercises‘ article. This will help you to understand some of the issues involved so you may feel more at ease about knowing what action you want to take.

If you go to see your GP as a first step, she or he can refer you to a physiotherapist on the NHS. This physio can discuss pelvic floor function with you and assess the strength of your pelvic floor. Some physios may encourage you to do exercises in line with the more traditional approach, although it is possible that you will be referred to someone who is aware of the newer techniques to bring the pelvic floor muscles into balance without overworking already stressed muscles. There are women who have success in improving their pelvic floor muscles with the more traditional exercises (as confirmed by the first article on this topic). If this approach doesn’t work for you and you can’t find the more modern approach through the NHS, you might consider finding a private physiotherapist who offers it (see a list of practitioners who have followed Maeve Whelan’s training offering the more modern approach to pelvic floor physiotherapy here).

Otherwise you may find specialist manual therapists (often women’s health physiotherapists for treatment of the pelvic floor) in your area and consider contacting some to discuss whether they are able to offer you the more modern techniques to resolve pelvic floor issues – do they use pelvic floor manipulation as part of their treatment?

Of course, you may already be seeing a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor for manual therapy to treat your PGP symptoms. If this is the case – and you are happy with the progress they are helping you to make – you may want to ask if they offer help to overcome pelvic floor dysfunction or have a colleague that may be able to help. As mentioned above, PGP is often attended by a poorly functioning pelvic floor, so your manual therapist is likely to know of this link and may already be working with others to improve their pelvic floors.

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The Pelvic Partnership consists of volunteers who have had pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and wish to support other women. We aim to pass on information based on both research and the experience of other women with PGP. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice and the information we provide should not take the place of advice and guidance from your own health-care providers. Material on this site is provided for information and support purposes only.

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