Physiotherapy – Women’s Health
Anna is a women’s health physiotherapist, specialising in using myofascial release to treat pelvic and gynaecological problems.
Problems are treated holistically, using a woman-centred, whole-body approach, using modern bodywork techniques.
Anna will look at how your whole body moves, to see what may be affecting your pain.
For most women with these conditions, a vaginal assessment is important to get a full picture of the problem. This is always done with the utmost gentleness, care and respect. You will be in absolute and full control at all times.
Your first appointment will include a full history taking, including some information about any births you have had.
Anna will then look at you walk around and do some other movements. This gives her a good idea of how severe your issues are, and roughly where in your pelvis they are coming from. Then, if appropriate, and only if you are ready, and there are clinical signs pointing to an internal problem, you can move onto a vaginal assessment.
If this is right for you, Anna would be looking for scars, tight parts, sore parts, connective tissue alignment, pelvic organ position, how well you can contract and relax your pelvic floor, whether that is equal on both sides, whether there are any limitations to contraction, and where that might be coming from.
Then if you feel comfortable to move on, Anna will then aim to correct those problems with gentle myofascial release, talking through exactly what Anna is doing and why.
Usually some changes are felt after the first session. It is common to be very tired after the first session for up to 3 days, so don’t plan too much for that time.
Conditions treated include –
- Pelvic and back pain
- Scar pain
- Sexual pain
- Urinary and faecal incontinence
- Pudendal neuropathy or any other type of pelvic condition or birth injury. These problems could have come from pregnancy, birth, falls onto the coccyx, infections, injury, or they could have come on gradually.
The Science Bit
The science of Myofascial Release has developed quickly over the past 20 years.
We know that the body is held together by a matrix of connective tissue called Fascia, which makes it a dynamic, flexible and resilient structure.
We also know that this fascia is made of collagen, which makes it strong, elastin which makes its stretchy, and something called ground substance. It is this ground substance which gives it the quality of plasticity, which means its density and sticky-ness can be changed through therapeutic touch.
Myofascial release is a type of gentle, therapeutic touch which engages the plasticity of the ground substance to correct the bodies fascial structure.
What this means is that Myofascial release can be used to reduce and soften scar tissue and realign connective tissue.
Women’s health physiotherapy is also an area under rapid development.
Internal (vaginal) myofascial release can be used to treat pelvic pain, prolapse, incontinence and scar pain.
Treatment involves a selection of myofascial techniques including –
- Trigger point therapy, direct myofascial release, scar release and visceral release.
- Myofascial release is a very gentle type of bodywork. it is very effective at creating significant change in the body, with lasting effects. It can be used to realign connective tissue, resolve pain, and reduce scarring.
- Movement, lifestyle and exercise advice will be given, but the focus will be on finding and correcting the source of your problems through abdominal, pelvic and vaginal bodywork to allow your body to work as it should.
- Normally 6-8 treatment sessions are needed to see a significant improvement in your symptoms.
Prolapse is a condition that affects millions of women and can be very debilitating.
Anna has been developing a new way of treating prolapse based on the latest myofascial research. It is based on realigning the internal connective tissue to improve the position of the organs.
So far this method is showing excellent results for many women, most of whom have seen a significant reduction in their symptoms over 6-8 sessions.
Anna is currently undertaking some clinical research to evidence this, with the aim of making this something more women can access.