Physiotherapy can help people with a variety of movement dysfunctions and injuries so that they can get back to enjoying life and the activities they love most. Physiotherapists can help with acute injuries such as an ankle sprain and also chronic pain management and arthritis to keep you moving across the lifespan.
Is Physiotherapy covered under my Extended Health Plan?
Physiotherapy treatment is generally included within employer-paid or individually purchased health benefit plans. The amount of coverage and access to physiotherapy varies amongst plans. Check your plan and contact your health benefit provider for coverage details. Your plan will indicate if your insurance company requires you to obtain a doctor's referral in order to get reimbursed for physiotherapy. The process usually involves paying for fees up front and submitting the receipts for reimbursement as per rules of your individual plan.
What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy is taking into consideration the status of your pelvic floor which may be contributing to your bladder and bowel function, urgency, and or incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain including coccyx pain, pain with intercourse, Cesarean section or episiotomy scarring and pain. The pelvic floor can also be very interrelated to other conditions including low back pain, sacroiliac joint pain, hip and lower limb issues, as well as head, neck, and jaw dysfunction.
Treatment employs a combination of education, posture retraining, strength, coordination, and functional exercises (many different types beyond typical Kegels), stretching, myofascial release, and manual therapy. Pelvic floor physiotherapists will use a combination of these techniques and will treat both internally and externally.
What should I expect on my first Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy visit?
Your initial visit will be an hour in length and will include your assessment, education of findings and some initial treatment. All assessment is provided in private rooms and will be one-on-one with Gloria. At the beginning of your assessment you and your therapist will discuss your health history, reasons for seeking treatment, and how your current issues arose. Gloria will then go over the anatomy and physiology of the pelvic floor, what the physical exam will include (both external and internal), and answer any questions you may have.
A whole body assessment includes how you sit and stand and how your body is moving for functional tasks. After the external assessment is complete, Gloria will allow you to change for the internal portion of the assessment. She will inform you of what she is doing at all times. If at any point (during your assessment or any time during a pelvic floor treatment) you no longer consent to treatment, that is fine. Please just let her know and you can discuss alternative options.
It will include an observation of the external anatomy to identify any imbalances, irritation, scarring or connective tissue dysfunction.
An internal (vaginal and/or ano-rectal) assessment will identify imbalances, scarring or connective tissue dysfunction, and muscle tension, strength, and coordination.
At the end of the assessment Gloria will inform you of her findings, outline treatment options, and prescribe a treatment frequency that works with your needs and schedule. She will also provide you with home exercises.
Gloria follows the most current infection control and hygiene protocols outlined by The College of Physiotherapist of British Columbia for all aspects of your care, especially with respect to internal pelvic assessment/treatment. Non-latex gloves are used, as well as water-based lubricants. If you have any allergies please let her know.
Can I receive pelvic floor physio while I am pregnant?
Yes. Pelvic floor physiotherapy has been shown to be very helpful during pregnancy to help limit and remove pelvic girdle, pubic bone, groin, coccyx and low back pain, as well as aiding to open the pelvic floor and prepare it for labour and delivery.
There are no risks to the mother or baby with an internal pelvic assessment or treatment with a healthy and normal pregnancy. If however you are a high risk pregnancy and have been placed under medical precautions, then an internal pelvic floor assessment or treatment would not be advisable. However, you would be at no risk of receiving general physiotherapy externally.
When should I see a Pelvic Floor Physio Postpartum?
- around 6 weeks post-partum, once you have stopped bleeding prior to resuming exercise
- if you feel heaviness or sloppiness in your pelvis
- if you can’t hold urine, stool, or gas
- if you have pain in your pelvis or vagina
- if you have pain with intercourse
- if you feel that your baby belly isn’t going away