Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
ProActive Rehab is excited to welcome Carolyn Vandyken, a pelvic floor physiotherapist and educator who has moved her practice to the Muskoka region. The muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor have historically been ignored in health care other than verbal recommendations to do Kegel exercises for incontinence. Incontinence is a common problem. Remember though, common does not mean normal. Incontinence affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men. Incontinence leads to challenges as we age, resulting in the Canadian statistic that half of us will finish our life back in diapers. This is a very unfortunate statistic when incontinence is successfully treated by pelvic floor physiotherapy. Great research demonstrates that women who participate in a specific pelvic floor-retraining program with a physiotherapist were 8 times more likely than the controls to report that they were cured. We do not have to accept incontinence as we age.
However, this is not the end of the story. Kegels are not for everyone. More research shows that pelvic floor tenderness and tension is highly related to chronic pelvic pain. This means that if you have pain with inserting a tampon, painful periods, endometriosis, chronic low back pain, pain with intercourse or other pelvic pain conditions, you should not be doing Kegels. Your pelvic floor muscles are too tight. You can learn how to relax and stretch these muscles, calming down the nervous system to help with your pain. Women are not the only ones that suffer from pelvic pain. It is much more common than you think for men of all ages to suffer from testicular pain, penile pain or prostate pain that is not linked to an infection. Bladder Pain Syndrome or Interstitial Cystitis is another common but treatable pelvic pain problem that can affect both men and women. Suffering in silence is common. Again, common is not okay, and living in pain affects your quality of life and ability to thrive! Talking about the pelvic floor is private, personal and under-reported. Suffering is optional. Effective treatment has been proven by research and decades of experience in Canada and throughout the world.
The last major pelvic health challenge is pelvic organ prolapse. Organ prolapse is a predominately female problem. Weak muscles, chronic constipation and inappropriate exercise programs can all lead to the bladder, uterus and rectum pushing the vaginal wall towards the outside of the body. This pressure is distressing and challenging to live with. Without appropriate conservative care, surgery may be the only option. Physiotherapy can help significantly with these problems before the prolapse becomes too problematic.
Carolyn Vandyken has 30 years of experience; 16 have been focused on treating complex pelvic pain and incontinence. Her compassionate and empathetic approach makes it safe to talk to her about these personal and under-reported problems. Learn more about this exciting new practice in the Muskoka region, and stop the suffering. Take charge of your future, and celebrate healthy, active (and dry) living.