What is pelvic physiotherapy?

The bony pelvis, the joints, the ligaments, the pelvic floor and the pelvic organs influence each other vice versa. A complaint in the pelvis can thus lead to complaints in the pelvic floor and reversed. The co-operating muscles (the muscle bracing system) around pelvis, abdomen and low back, have an important stabilizing role in this area and therefore an important function in activities in daily life.
The pelvic floor and muscle bracing system might be too weak or too tensed, or might not function at the right moment and cause impairments. Due to the fact that not everybody is aware of the possibility to contract, relax and feel these muscles, active intervention can be difficult.
Complaints may occur during pregnancy, delivery, and in menopause in women. In both sexes from youth till the elderly, complaints may occur due to ignorance and a wrong way to micturate and/ or defecate and after surgery.
With children, in their early years complaints can occur because they are not toilet-trained correctly.

What does a pelvic physiotherapist do?
The pelvic physiotherapist advises, prevents, coaches, accompanies and gives treatment
in the below mentioned situations:

  • unintentional loss of urine and/ or faeces;
  • not to suppress urge to micturate and/or defecate;
  • constipation;
  • prolapses of bladder, uterus or intestines;
  • pain in lower abdomen, around the anus or sexual organs;
  • sexual problems;
  • before and after surgery in the lower abdomen (gynaecologic, urologic and gastrologic);
  • pelvic pain and low back pain in the period around pregnancy and delivery;
  • pelvic pain and low back pain trough other causes;
  • pregnancy education.

Special interventions of the pelvic physiotherapist are:

  • Giving information, care and cure about pregnancy, labour, delivery, pelvic floor problems and pelvic pain in pregnancy and in the period afterwards.
  • Training of the function of the muscles in and around the pelvis and helps integration in the activities of daily life.
  • Advising and helps to regain control of the filling and emptying of bladder and bowel.
  • If necessary use electrical or biomechanical devices such as electrical stimulation, myo-feedback and rectal balloon training. Mainly to improve propriocepsis.
  • Advising in the use of pelvic-braces and incontinence material.

Pelvic physiotherapists are specialized after their education for physiotherapist.
The Pelvic physiotherapists are united in the NVFB.

Members of the NVFB (Dutch Association for Physical Therapy for Pelvic Floor Disorders and Pre- and Postnatal Healthcare) are physiotherapists, specialized in cure and care of the entire abdominal-, pelvic- and low back area in women, men and children.