Physiotherapy and Pelvic Health

What is Pelvic health physiotherapy?

Pelvic health physiotherapy involves a full body approach.  The assessment includes a detailed verbal history, looking at your overall movement-both upper and lower extremity, strength, function and an internal pelvic floor examination. Assessment of the internal structures of the pelvic floor muscles is the gold standard to determine the function of the muscles. Research has concluded that Physiotherapists with specialized training in pelvic floor rehabilitation, using internal examination to teach the exercises, should be the first line of defence, before surgical consultation, for all types of bladder leakage in women.

Pelvic health physiotherapists also provide specialized care for the following:

All your prenataland postnatal concerns, leaking urine or stool, chronic pelvic pain, pelvic girdle pain, back/hip pain, pelvic organ prolapse, painful sex (dysparenia), back pain/hip pain, Rectus Diastasisabdominus, general core restoration, female athletes, pediatric bladder and bowel concerns, pre/post caesarean section/any type of abdominal surgery,interstitial cystitis, endometriosis, overactive bladder and chronic constipation and all general orthopedic problems- hips, back, knees, ankle, foot, shoulder, neck, wrist and hand!

Treatment plans are customized for each patient focusing on retraining the pelvic floor muscles as well as working on the rest of your improving movement patterns.   Treatment includes education, breathing techniques (Hypopressives), birth prep, postpartum care, postural retraining, manual therapy, stretching/strengthening, behavioral training and acupuncture. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I come for Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy during my pregnancy?

Yes, I recommend 3 visits prior to birth.   The Preparation Program schedule will be at 28, 32 and 36 weeks gestation.

The assessment will focus on overall mobility and function, bladder/bowel habits and assessing your pelvic floor/core connection.  An internal pelvic check can be done at this time depending on your ultrasound results - placental position and pregnancy history.

Subsequent visits will focus on practicing birth positions, breathing/pushing, perineal preparation, exercises for pelvic/core recovery and discussing early post natal care for mama.

Many pregnant women are undertreated in pregnancy and left to struggle with dysfunction (bladder, bowel, painful sex, pelvic pain)  I welcome mamas to come in any point during their pregnancy for their pregnancy related concerns!!

When should I come to physiotherapy after my baby is born?

I recommend all moms have a pelvic health assessment following the birth of their baby at 6 weeks post partum.   Women can access care earlier if they have specific concerns they want to address. At this time, overall mobility/function will be assessed along with your pelvic floor/core function, bladder/bowel/sexual health and recommendations for safe return to activity and sport.

Early postnatal intervention is shown to decrease the development of pelvic floor dysfunction and for bladder/bowel problems in the future. Prevention is key!

How many visits will I need?

Consistency to a program is what will produce long term results!  Maintenance of good pelvic health (bladder, bowel, menstrual, sexual) and how it relates to overall body function is a lifelong journey!

Client Testimonials - What Ladies Are Saying

Vanessa is the best! She helped me so much! 16 months of recovery after my first son. She brought me back to normal! ~ Tara B.

Vanessa at Shifra has been amazing for me. I had a prolapse issue and working with her gave the guidance I needed to take control of my health.  I was SUPER motivated and did all my exercises diligently at the beginning... within 5 months I was jumping on the trampoline with my niece for an hour without any pee-ing issues or anything.  Physio can do wonders, but you have to do the work!!! ~ Suzi M.

Vanessa is straightforward and excellent at explaining what’s happening and how to work through it!   I always feared that after having kids I would be doomed to running to the bathroom in a panic or never be able to laugh or sneeze without a care- I do all the things with freedom!!! ~ Naomi R.

“I had the privilege of being a patient of Vanessa’s in 2018 after the delivery of my daughter.   Working with Vanessa was a comfortable and incredibly enlightening experience.  Her friendly and welcoming personality, paired with her knowledge and ability to translate it during an appointment were appreciated.   I am now two years postpartum and am thankful for the treatment I received and continue to reap the benefits as I remain active with my family.  I would strongly encourage all women see Vanessa during their pregnancy and postpartum journey.” ~ Ashley F.

Vanessa was professional and knowledgeable. She was thorough in her assessment and had practical exercises to do at home. I saw a noticeable difference after one visit!

Thank you so much for your help!   3 or 4 good controlled pushes and our baby girl was out!!  I felt so connected to this part of my body and your education on how to push made such a huge difference!   Only a few stitches, but such a huge difference since my first delivery.  Zero pain.  Thank you! ~ N.K.

Vanessa is truly gifted at her profession. I felt incredibly comfortable and relaxed while seeing her for pelvic floor physiotherapy.  She takes a holistic approach to her care for you and your body. She is always very thorough, takes time to answer your questions and educate you on your body. I really appreciate the program she set up for me and her creative ways to integrate physio into your daily routine! I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for pelvic floor physiotherapy! ~ T.H.

Vanessa is such a beautiful soul and is definitely in the right profession.  She helped me so much in my journey and in some of my loneliest Mama times!  Her heart is humongous and you can feel her genuine intention in everything she does!   Thank you! ~ M.K.

Hey mama- are you struggling with pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy or after babe???

I use an assessment/treatment method called Röst Therapy to give you pain relief and keep you moving!  Pelvic girdle pain whether you are pregnant or not CAN respond well to this therapy!

Treatment includes; hands on treatment to improve pelvic girdle symmetry and muscle function, followed by a home exercise program to balance joints and muscle patterns.  It is an active approach where women learn how their posture and movements can manage their symptoms and function.  Röst therapy is effective, with quick and lasting results!!!