Pelvic Health // Category

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10 May

After a breast cancer diagnosis, many women are left to face new challenges caused by the side effects of their cancer treatments. While some side effects tend to disappear on their own over time, many side effects can have long-lasting physical and emotional consequences. 

What are the common side effects of breast cancer treatment?

Breast surgery, such as a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or reconstruction, can cause many women to experience pain and physical limitations such as difficulty moving their arm, weakness, swelling, and scar tightness. In addition, some women may also develop pathologies such as post-mastectomy pain syndrome and axillary web syndrome following surgery. 

Furthermore, both chemotherapy and radiation therapy also have their side effects, including fatigue, tingling, numbness in the hands/feet (chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy), and radiation fibrosis, among many others. 

These physical and psychological side effects of breast cancer treatments can significantly impact your daily functioning and independence both at home and at work. Research shows that both physiotherapy and exercise can help to alleviate many of these side effects and play an essential role in your recovery during and after breast cancer.

What are the benefits of breast cancer rehabilitation?

Cancer Rehab Mississauga

Physiotherapy interventions can help you to: 

  • Restore your arm movement 
  • Improve your shoulder, trunk, and abdominal strength 
  • Decrease your pain 
  • Improve your flexibility 
  • Improve your energy and endurance 
  • Reduce your risk of developing lymphedema 
  • Improve your posture and body awareness 

In addition, exercise is also known to address many side effects, such as bone density issues related to hormonal medication, reducing your risk of developing lymphedema, and improving cancer-related fatigue in addition to also reducing your risk of reoccurrence. Physiotherapists are exercise specialists who will work with you to provide a safe and effective exercise program.

At Triangle, we are committed to helping women improve their health and well-being during each stage of their cancer recovery.

What are the components of breast cancer rehabilitation?

Every woman undergoing breast cancer treatment is different and hence will have unique rehabilitation needs. Your physiotherapist will use a combination of treatment techniques best suited for your condition. Interventions may include: 

  • Manual (hands-on) techniques such as soft-tissue mobilization and myofascial release to improve your flexibility and manage conditions such as radiation fibrosis and axillary web syndrome.
  • Scar Massage  
  • Exercises to improve your shoulder movement and strength 
  • Exercises to improve your endurance and overall energy levels 
  • Individualized education regarding risk reduction and early detection of lymphedema 
  • Energy conservation techniques 
  • Education on how to return to physical activity 
  • Home exercise program 

What are the most common misconceptions about Breast Cancer Rehabilitation?

There is a common misconception that for months or years after breast cancer surgery or radiation therapy, women should not use the arm on the affected side for lifting or working because they might get lymphedema or other problems. Research tells us this is FALSE, in fact with a proper physiotherapy program most women can achieve greater strength and function in the affected arm than what they had before surgery; with no increase in the chances of getting lymphedema. 

Another misconception is that Breast Cancer Physiotherapy is the same as an exercise program. Physiotherapists are highly trained professionals able to independently diagnose and treat problems with pain or movement using a wide range of assessment methods and treatments, of which a specialized exercise program is one piece.

What does a typical session at Triangle Physiotherapy look like?

Your Physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment of the issue. This will include asking questions about your cancer treatment and the problems you’re having, other relevant medical information, and questions about your goals for therapy. They will do a physical assessment of the problem which could include assessing movements, strength and fitness, scar tissue, nerve function, and/or injuries from radiation or surgery. Your Physiotherapist will then clearly communicate all of their findings to you and describe their proposed treatment plan.

How many sessions will I need?

There is no one recipe for the number of treatment sessions or the length of time required for full recovery. Some conditions will require only a few sessions while others may require more intensive treatments and several sessions. Whatever your prognosis, your Physiotherapist will clearly communicate expected timelines with you.

What types of healthcare professionals can be involved in breast cancer rehabilitation at Triangle Physiotherapy?

Breast cancer rehabilitation is typically delivered by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. This team may include physiotherapists, acupuncturists, pelvic health physiotherapists, exercise specialists, nutritionists, and massage therapists.

Click HERE to book an appointment with a cancer rehab physiotherapist at one of our eight locations.

02 May

Written by Roshni Ravi, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.

Sexual health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being, but it’s not always an easy topic to talk about. Many women experience sexual health dysfunctions at some point in their lives, but they may feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help by way of pelvic floor physiotherapy. There are currently large gaps in the sexual education provided at the elementary school level. Many sex ed classes are focused on birth control and how terrible periods are.

But there is not enough information, if any, on sexual health conditions and how to seek help. We’ve had a lot of conversations with patients about what they wish they had learned in sex-ed.  In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most commonly asked questions about sexual health dysfunctions in women and offer some tips for managing them.

What is pelvic floor physiotherapy?

pelvic floor physiotherapy Mississauga

Pelvic floor physiotherapy focuses on treating the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues of the pelvic floor which is a group of muscles that form a supportive hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. They play a key role in maintaining continence, supporting the pelvic organs, and providing stability to the spine and hips.

Pelvic floor physiotherapy involves a range of exercises, manual therapy techniques, and education to help individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction. Common conditions that may benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy include:

  • urinary and fecal incontinence,
  • pelvic pain,
  • pelvic organ prolapse, and
  • sexual dysfunction.

Why am I suffering from a low libido? Can pelvic floor physiotherapy help?

Many women experience a decrease in sexual desire at some point in their lives. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, hormonal imbalances, and relationship issues. To manage low libido, it’s important to address any underlying issues and make self-care a priority. This can include:

  • practicing stress-management techniques,
  • getting enough sleep, and
  • engaging in regular exercise.

Why does it hurt to have sex?

Painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia, is a common sexual health dysfunction in women. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including vaginal dryness, infections, and hormonal imbalances. To manage painful intercourse, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to identify the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. This may include using:

  • lubricants,
  • treating infections,
  • or using hormonal therapy.

I struggle to orgasm during sex, why does that happen?

Many women struggle to achieve orgasm during sexual activity which can be caused by a variety of factors, including, stress, relationship issues, and hormonal imbalances. To manage orgasmic dysfunction, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider or therapist to address any underlying issues and develop strategies for improving sexual function. This may include:

  • practicing mindfulness or
  • engaging in self-exploration techniques.

My vagina feels like a fort that is impenetrable. Why can I not have sexual intercourse?

Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles of the vaginal wall contract involuntarily, making intercourse difficult or impossible. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including past trauma and anxiety. To manage vaginismus, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider or therapist to address any underlying issues and develop strategies for managing anxiety and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.

What is vulvodynia? Do I need pelvic floor physiotherapy?

Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition that affects the vulva, or external genitalia. It can cause burning, stinging, or itching sensations, and can make sexual activity painful or uncomfortable. To manage vulvodynia, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to identify the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan. This may include:

  • using topical creams or medications,
  • practicing relaxation techniques, or
  • seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist.

Help! I pee my pants!

Mississauga Pelvic Health

Urinary incontinence is a common condition in which urine leaks from the bladder involuntarily. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, pregnancy, and pelvic floor dysfunction. To manage urinary incontinence, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider or pelvic floor physiotherapist to develop a treatment plan. This may include:

  • pelvic floor exercises,
  • bladder training, or
  • medications.

What are the signs of menopause?

Menopause can cause a variety of changes in sexual function, including vaginal dryness, decreased libido, and painful intercourse. To manage these changes, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan. This may include:

  • using hormonal therapy,
  • vaginal moisturizers, or
  • engaging in regular sexual activity to maintain pelvic floor health.

Where can I find a pelvic health physiotherapist near me?

We have 8 locations with pelvic health physiotherapists to help you.

In conclusion…

Many women experience sexual health dysfunctions at some point in their lives, but they may feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. It’s important to remember that sexual health is an important aspect of overall health and well-being, and it’s important to prioritize it in your self-care routine. If you’re experiencing any issues related to sexual function, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider or a therapist about your options. Remember, there is help!

Click here to book your consultation with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate pelvic health physiotherapists.

28 Apr

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy refers to a specific and advanced field within physiotherapy that deals with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction can impact people of any age or gender and the term describes several conditions that may affect the urinary, reproductive, digestive, sexual, and/or stability systems in the pelvis.

Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have post-graduate training in pelvic health and can resolve many pelvic floor issues in people of all genders and ages.

What type of conditions can Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy help women with?

pelvic floor physiotherapy Mississauga

Pelvic Health physiotherapists at our clinics can help women with the following:

  • Pelvic floor and abdominal weakness
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Pelvic pain (endometriosis, bowel, bladder pain)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
  • Sexual dysfunction, vaginismus, painful intercourse
  • Prenatal and postnatal care
  • Diastasis Recti
  • Labour and delivery prep

Can a pelvic health physiotherapist help men?

Mississauga Pelvic Health

Pelvic Health physiotherapists at our clinics can help men with the following:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Bladder and bowel control problems
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pre and post prostatectomy

Can your pelvic health physiotherapists help transgender individuals?

Yes, our pelvic health physiotherapists can certainly help transgender individuals.

  • Surgical preparation and recovery post-surgery
  • Pelvic pain – Endometriosis or PCOS
  • Intimacy pain, difficulty with penetration
  • Pregnancy and postnatal care for Trans-parents

Pelvic Floor Assessment – what does it entail?

Your first appointment will last about an hour. Your pelvic health physiotherapist will discuss your medical history, do a thorough pelvic health assessment and propose a detailed individualized treatment plan to achieve your pelvic health goals. The assessment may include an internal examination, with your consent, of course, depending on your condition.

Triangle Physiotherapy and our pelvic health team are passionate about supporting our transgender and intersex community.

What should I bring to my appointment? What should I wear?

Make sure you have filled out the Health Questionnaire sent to you by our booking team. Bring any physician or specialist referrals to test results you may have. Please wear comfortable clothing, there are no specific requirements.

How many sessions will I need?

After your assessment, your physiotherapist will prepare a treatment plan for you and be able to indicate how many appointments you may need to achieve your pelvic health goals.

Can I attend my appointment if I have my period?

Your pelvic health physiotherapist can treat you while you have your period, as long as you are comfortable with it.

How do I book an appointment to see a pelvic health physiotherapist at Triangle Physiotherapy?

Triangle Physiotherapy has pelvic health physiotherapists at the following locations:

17 Jun
What is the Pelvic Floor? The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that spread across the bottom of the pelvic cavity like a hammock. The pelvic floor has three openings that run through it, the urethra, the vagina, and the rectum. The functions of the pelvic floor include:
  • Supporting the pelvic organs, specifically the uterus, the bladder, and the rectum
  • To help provide sphincter control for the bladder and bowel
  • Withstanding increases in pressure that occur in the abdomen such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, straining, and lifting
  • To enhance the sexual response

What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?

The pelvic floor becomes dysfunctional in many women when there is an imbalance in the joints, muscles, and connective tissue integrity.
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles: contributing to stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Tight pelvic floor muscles:  contributing to Urinary and Fecal Urgency, Urge Incontinence, Chronic Pelvic Pain, Dyspareunia, Vaginismus, Vulvodynia, Pudendal Neuralgia, Interstitial Cystitis and Chronic Prostatits.
One of the most commonly seen conditions by pelvic physiotherapists is stress incontinence in women. Pelvic Physiotherapy in Mississauga

What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Stress urinary incontinence is the involuntary release of urine during laughter, coughing, lifting of objects or any movement that increases pressure on your bladder. When the bladder is full, the muscles in the wall of your bladder contract forcing urine through the urethra and out of your body. Sphincter muscles and pelvic floor muscles keep the urethra closed to avoid leakage of urine. These muscles relax at the same time the bladder contracts in order to allow urine to exit your body.

Causes of stress incontinence:

Hormonal changes: During the week before your menstrual cycle, estrogen levels fall, causing symptoms of stress urinary incontinence to worsen. Additionally, as a woman goes through menopause, estrogen levels also fall causing the pelvic floor muscles to weaken. Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, you may experience stress urinary incontinence due to hormonal changes and the enlarging size of the uterus. During pregnancy, estrogen levels are lower, leading to less muscular strength in the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, as the fetus grows extra weight is placed on your bladder. Childbirth: Vaginal delivery can damage your pelvic floor muscles making urine leakage more likely. The supporting tissues of your bladder can also be damaged during vaginal delivery causing a cystocele, or prolapse of your bladder, symptoms of which include urinary incontinence. You may not know you have suffered damage to your pelvic floor until after you have gone through menopause, when the pelvic floor muscles are further weakened due to a fall in estrogen levels. Hysterectomy and other surgery: The bladder and uterus are very close together and have common supporting ligaments and muscles. Surgery to, or removal of your uterus as in a hysterectomy, risks damage to the supporting structures of your bladder. If these supporting structures are damaged, a cystocele is likely to occur. Symptoms of a cystocele include urinary incontinence. Illnesses: When you are ill and suffering from severe coughing, the pelvic floor muscles may fatigue and allow temporary stress incontinence due to an increase in abdominal pressure experienced while coughing. Obesity: Obesity can increase the abdominal pressure on the bladder leading to urinary incontinence. Neurological damage: Any neurological disorder such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or stroke can cause urinary incontinence by interfering with the nerve signals that control your bladder. Additionally, if the nerves that supply your bladder or pelvic floor muscles are damaged, urinary incontinence may also result

How is Stress Urinary Incontinence treated?

Treatments of stress urinary incontinence are individual based. The following should be considered: Pelvic floor muscle strengthening: Strengthening the supporting muscles of your bladder is very effective inhelping stress urinary incontinence. Bladder training Bladder training involves learning to delay the urge to urinate. You areinstructed to breathe deeply, relax, and distract yourself with another activitywhen you feel the urge. The initial goal is to delay urination by increments and eventually once every2 to 4 hours. Pessary Pessaries can help when a cystocele or prolapsed bladder is the cause forurinary incontinence. A pessary is a device of various shapes and sizes that isplaced in the vagina to support the bladder and keep it in place. Surgery For severe cystoceles, or bladder prolapses, surgery is needed in order tocorrect the position of the bladder and help with urinary incontinence.

Important Tips

  • Avoid constipation.  Repeated straining can have a very damaging effect on the pelvic floor muscles.
  • It’s important for women to be active.  Regular exercise and recreational sporting activities play a key role in keeping women fit and healthy well into old age
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Learn to tighten your pelvic floor muscles before you cough, sneeze or lift heavy items.
To get your pelvic health assessed, schedule a consultation with a pelvic floor physiotherapist at Triangle Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation!

How do I find a pelvic health physiotherapist near me?

We have 8 locations with pelvic health physiotherapists to help you.
Book an Appointment