What is Women’s health physiotherapy?
Anything that is specific to a woman can be considered an area of healthcare. Within Physiotherapy this typically covers women having babies, namely pre- and post-natal prescription of exercise, spinal or pelvic pain management, management of abdominal diastasis (tummy muscle separation), pelvic floor muscle health, and treatment of mastitis/block ducts while breastfeeding.
Caring for a woman’s pelvic health is also something that can be done through the ages, from young women without children with overactive, painful pelvic floors or with endometriosis, women with urinary and/or faecal continence concerns, women with recurrent UTIs, through to women with increased risk of osteoporosis, muscle loss, pelvic floor weakness and prolapse in the post-menopausal years.
Physiotherapists at Balance health are trained in treating these conditions, as well as Osteopath Melijah Maghanoy and Myotherapist Nicole Murphy who are passionate about treating women in the perinatal period. Melijah also has specialty training in using gentle cranio-sacral therapy for babies.
If you have booked an Initial Women's Health appointment please either print out the forms below and complete them prior to your session or come 10 minutes early so you have plenty of time to fill them out. The forms are to ensure we don't miss anything and are as thorough as possible. We also ask you to come with a full bladder (not bursting) so we are able to view the pelvic floor with Real Time Ultrasound via the abdomen if this is required.
Below are some links to information about breastfeeding & mastitis, SRC Compression wear, as well as a list of frequently asked womens health questions
Frequently asked questions
When should I book a pelvic floor assessment after having a baby?
It is recommended to wait to have an internal vaginal examination until 6-8 weeks post-partum once bleeding has stopped (vaginal and caesarean births). Much natural recovery occurs during this time and waiting also minimises the risk of infection. However earlier assessment can be done using real time ultrasound (like pregnancy scans) if there are concerns. Your Women’s Health physiotherapist can also check the abdomen for any muscle separation, check caesarean scars, assess for any other musculoskeletal concerns such as low back ache and advise of appropriate return to exercise.
Can Physiotherapy help with mastitis?
Mastitis is a very painful and unpleasant condition where part of a breast gets very inflamed, usually a progression of a blocked duct or following nipple trauma. Mastitis may or may not involve infection, hence it may not always require antibiotics. Mastitis is a condition we at Balance Health, consider urgent and we will prioritise seeing any mastitis patient the same day. Treatment can include therapeutic ultrasound, massage, attachment and feeding advice, and prescription of supplements such as Qiara and sunflower lecithin. In many cases, prompt Physiotherapy will help mastitis resolve without the need for antibiotics.
Do Women’s Health physiotherapist have extra qualifications?
Yes – Women’s Health is something that requires post graduate study to practice. Casey Cleeland, Kara Cassells and Kristine Miles have all completed extra training. Casey has studied pelvic floor physiotherapy at Melbourne University. Kara also has a special interest and training in Men’s health. Kristine and Casey also have extra training and a special interest in lactation and breastfeeding.
Kristine is currently studying to become a qualified lactation consultant.
Is Clinical Pilates suitable during and after pregnancy?
Yes! We love doing Clinical Pilates with or perinatal clients. It is gentle and low impact and because classes involve small groups with each client having a personalised programme – every session can be tailored to suit whatever is going on at the time. A lot changes quickly during pregnancy and knowing when to stop exercising laying flat or when to stop exercises through a single leg is important and safest in the hands of a Women’s Health trained physiotherapist.