The HEALTH : June 2019 | Page 29

june, 2019 | The Health Alternative 29 What happens in a pelvic floor assessment? Wondering what actually happens during a pelvic floor assessment?  We’ve got the down- low about what you can expect… right here!   At Vibrance Pelvic Care Centre, a full pelvic assessment is done. It starts with a full pelvic assessment, which is a personalised, in-depth pelvic health screen for accurate and thorough diagnosis of one’s pelvic health condition. After the 60 minutes screen, the physiotherapist will run through a detailed analysis of your pelvic health with the patient. This assessment is done once every 3 months to monitor the patient’s pelvic health improvement. Based on the outcome of the assessment, the patient will be advised on the most suitable treatment plan for them. This will involve Pelvic Activation Therapy, which is a one-to-1one, targeted pelvic floor therapy, personalized to their pelvic needs. – The Health Kegel exercises helps to strengthen women’s pelvic floor. Incontinence: A woman’s little secret Our pelvic floor muscles needs exercise too! W hen you think about your weekly workout routine, do you consider when to schedule in a work out for your pelvic floor? I’m guessing that the answer is no, and that pelvic floor muscle training does not take priority over your weekly HIIT class or Yoga class. We met up with women’s health physiotherapist, Hanee at Vibrance Pelvic Care Centre in Bangsar. So what exactly is the pelvic floor? “The pelvic floor muscle is very important to women. This muscle is also present in men however it is more complex in women. We tend to have more complex conditions due to things like multiple pregnancies and aging. Pelvic floor is the muscle that is attached to our pelvis – it supports all of our organs such as the bladder, uterus and rectum. This thin muscles ranges between 9mm to 12mm. Not many of us realise the importance of the pelvic floor muscle. We usually go to the gym to strengthen our biceps and hamstrings but we don’t realise we also need to engage our pelvic muscle!” explains Hanee. According to Hanee, there are many causes to a weaken pelvic floor muscle; pregnancy, aging, pro- longed constipation, prolonged coughing and even lifting heavy items can bring downward pressure to our abdomen and bladder. Thus, causing stress towards the pelvic floor. But don’t come to the quick conclusion that aging causes weakening of the pelvic floor just yet! “Normally, we see the pelvic floor muscle weakening from the age 40. For example, we had patients who had really active lifestyles – they do weight lifting too. However this can actually weaken the pelvic floor muscle. It doesn’t just boil down to aging as the main factor,” stresses Hanee. Pelvic floor disorders “It can be classified into 4 sections. One is urge incon- tinence where you feel like you need to pee constantly. Secondly is stress incontinence where actions like coughing and laughing will lead to urine leaking – certain activities will trigger the bladder and pelvic floor. The third disorder is a mix of both urge and stress incontinence - you will feel like peeing more often and Women’s health physiotherapist, Hanee explaining how the pelvic floor muscle works. experience leaks during activities. The last disorder is overflow incontinence, this one is more related to the bladder – an overactive bladder which causes leaking.” Hanee explains that the worst form of weakened pelvic floor is a pelvic organ prolapse – a disorder in which one or more of the pelvic organs drop from their normal position. It is caused by injury to the muscles or tissues that support the pelvic organs. “There are four stages of prolapse. The first and second stages can be assisted with a non-operative treatment – we can help them strengthen back their pelvic floor. Stages three and four requires surgery. Some patients can have different kinds of prolapse at the same time. The worrying part is that some women – they don’t feel any of the symptoms, even when there’s a bulge around the vagina, no preventive steps are taken. If they don’t take any measures at stage three and four, it will definitely disturb the quality of life,” notes Hanee. Awareness on the importance of pelvic health Vibrance Pelvic Care Centre organises monthly work- shops to spread awareness on the importance of pelvic health. “We hope the participants who attend our workshops spread the importance of pelvic health so that early symptoms can be picked up,” explains Hanee. Hanee has dealt with her fair share of myths when it comes to the pelvic floor muscle. The most common one she says is the notion that ‘it is normal to suffer urine leaking as we age’. Kegel all day, everyday “It’s true – it can be influenced by aging but it is actu- ally preventable if you know about it earlier. For young women – we need to do our kegel exercises at an early age to strengthen our pelvic floor muscle. Noted the correct way of doing kegel exercise is also very impor- tant,” emphasis Hanee. The kegel exercise is one of the best conservative methods to prevent urinary incontinence. When done correctly, regular pelvic muscle training can be extremely effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscle thus improving our bladder control. — The Health Normally, we see the pelvic floor muscle weakening from the age 40. For example, we had patients who had really active lifestyles – they do weight lifting too. However this can actually weaken the pelvic floor muscle. It doesn’t just boil down to aging as the main factor.”