‘After a few visits and a few minutes of exercising at home each day (not normally my strong point) the gap between my tummy muscles has almost disappeared.’
WOMEN’S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY
Women’s Health Physiotherapy focuses on all issues related to Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy can help whether you are pregnant, a new mum, recovering from gynaecological surgery or experiencing continence or pelvic floor problems. Maud also offers specialist care for breast cancer patients including post mastectomy rehabilitation and manual lymphatic drainage.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy can help to improve your health, fitness and general well being.
We treat the following conditions (both ante- and post-natally):
- Pelvic pain – including symphysis pubis dysfunction
- Low back pain
- Rib pain
- Thoracic pain
- Coccyx pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rectus abdominus divarication (a separation of the abdominal muscles)
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Urinary urgency and urge incontinence
- Faecal incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Weak pelvic floor muscles following childbirth
OUR WOMEN’S HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPISTS
MAUD CIOFFI MCSP
Maud graduated in physiotherapy in 1998 in Paris.
She ran a clinic in Paris for 10 years where she developed a strong interest in women's health. As pelvic floor and abdominal retraining are highly promoted in France and grant aided by the French National Health System, Maud quickly gained good experience in treating pelvic floor disorders, bladder and back passage conditions and prolapses.
She has also completed postgraduate study to manage breast cancer related conditions including manual lymphatic drainage, shoulder exercises, and scar tissue work.
Maud had also extended her knowledge and skill in the treatment of pelvic pain, ante-natal musculo-skeletal conditions and diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles following childbirth).
Maud is a hands-on physiotherapist using both manual therapy and exercises in her treatment. Her approach is global and she does not believe in no pain, no gain.
In addition, Maud offers specialists chest physiotherapy for babies with bronchiolitis.
Maud is available for appointments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please visit our Women's Health page for more information about our Women's Health services.
Maud also offers massage treatments at reCentre.
MARIA WRENN MCSP
Note that Maria is currently on maternity leave. We look forward to welcoming her back to the team soon.
Maria qualified from Nottingham University in 2003. She is passionate that her patients receive a top level of assessment and treatment, guiding them through an individually tailored treatment programme. Maria is experienced in treating a wide range of pathologies and injuries and uses an evidence based approach to restore function and target pain. Her main aim is to establish the root of the problem and work together with her patients using a combination of manual techniques, acupuncture, Pilates, exercises and advice to reach their goals. She is also trained to use instrument assisted soft tissue massage techniques.
Maria takes into consideration the daily physical strains and stresses that each individual patient encounters, including work postures/work stations, as this is often a key contributing factor to muscle imbalance and pain.
She specialises in sporting injuries, pre and post operative rehabilitation, pre and post natal care, including urinary incontinence and treatment of rectus diastasis. She is also trained in treating patients who have undergone surgical treatment for breast cancer, including cording, scar management and muscle imbalance.
CORINNE LETIZIA MCSP
Physiotherapist, Women's Health Physiotherapist & Clinical Pilates Instructor
Corinne is originally from Australia and graduated from James Cook University in Townsville in 2013. She has experience working in both a hospital and musculoskeletal private practice settings which has helped her to understand the treatment required at all stages of rehabilitation.
Since completing her degree, Corinne has become a qualified Women's Health Physiotherapist and has more recently had experience working in the NHS treating women with continence issues. She also has a special interest in pre and post natal physiotherapy and was part of the team which pioneered an in-hospital post natal Women's Health Physiotherapy service in the private hospital in her hometown.
Corinne has completed an advanced DMA Clinical Pilates course and has experience teaching small group classes as well as one-on-one sessions which can be highly beneficial when creating a tailored program specific to the level and injury of an individual.
Corinne is experienced with 'hands on' physiotherapy techniques such as massage and is trained in dry needling. She is interested in treating acute and chronic lower back pain as well as post-operative orthopaedic and surgical rehabilitation. She is very thorough in her assessments and strives to ensure she provides the highest level of client care.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy Appointments
Booking Time: 45 Minutes
Booking Time: 30 Minutes
Booking Time: 45 Minutes
Women’s Health Physiotherapy FAQs
How Does Physio Help with Bladder Problems?
There are several conditions that can cause loss of bladder control. The most common cause however, are weak pelvic floor muscles. The effects of poor bladder control can vary from being a slight inconvenience to seriously affecting a woman’s quality of life. Most women say they first notice bladder problem during their first pregnancy but that it becomes worse with future pregnancies and vaginal deliveries. Years down the line women’s lives can become dominated by bladder problems causing them to feel self conscious, lose confidence and even become depressed.
Many women adapt their lifestyles and struggle on with a condition that is often easily treatable, not seeking treatment as they feel the only treatment on offer is surgery. This could not be further from the truth.
NICE guidelines recommend physiotherapy as the first treatment option for most people experiencing incontinence or bladder problems.
Physiotherapy focuses on eliminating the symptoms of incontinence, urinary urgency, over active bladder and improving the quality of life of women. This is done through the correct education of pelvic floor muscle training, breathing coordination and advice on fluid intake, bowel control and exercise programmes.
How Do I Know If I Have A Bladder Problem?
For some women bladder problems have become part of their lives and they have adapted their daily routines to manage their condition. Take a look at the questions below and if you are answering yes to any of them, it could be that you are adapting your lifestyle to manage your symptoms:
- Do you leak when you run, jump, cough or sneeze
- Do you empty your bladder more than 6-8 times a day
- Do you have to get up more than twice in the night to empty your bladder
If you have answered yes to most of the questions, then you do not have good bladder control and physiotherapy may be able to help you.
What Causes Bladder Problems?
There are several problems that can cause bladder leakage:
Weak pelvic floor muscles – muscle weakness in this area means there is lack of support for the bladder neck. Leaking occurs when the area is put under strain ie coughing and sneezing. The pelvic floor muscle is an extremely under rated and often neglected muscle complex, luckily it is quite resilient and forgiving. It usually responds positively to an exercise programme.
An over active bladder – if left untreated it can lead to urinary incontinence. The bladder is basically a muscular sack which should only empty when it is completely full. There are a complex set of reflexes that control the bladder and ensure the bladder empties effectively, but sometimes these reflexes do not work effectively causing the bladder muscle to contract without warning, creating a strong urge to pass urine which can result in urinary incontinence.
When Are Bladder Problems Likely to Occur?
There are two main events in our lives that will have an effect on the structure and function of the pelvic floor muscle structure:
After childbirth – problems with both bladder and bowel control are often first noticed during pregnancy and after the birth. Post natally we can sometimes be left with stretched stomach muscles, poor posture and weak pelvic floor muscles.
We sometimes remember to do our pelvic floor muscle training but often with the demands of motherhood we forget about our exercises and our pelvic floor muscles never build up enough strength to provide us with the necessary support when put under strain. As well as this our deep stomach muscles are weak providing less support to our lower back, leaving our spine less supported.
The menopause – hormone levels change during the menopause which can result in a change in the tissue in the vagina, urethra and bladder area leaving us more prone to continence problems.
What Are The Treatment Options?
Specialist Women’s Health physiotherapy is available for the treatment of weak pelvic floor muscles and over active bladder syndrome and is recommended as the first line of treatment, according to NICE.
Physiotherapy treatment options are varied and can consist of:
Exercises – many women only need an intensive programme of pelvic floor muscle training to see a noticeable improvement with their symptoms. Learning to contract these muscles correctly with the lower abdominal muscles is really important.
Bladder training – there are specific techniques that can be taught to train the bladder to hold more urine and therefore need emptying less often.
Biofeedback – equipment can be used to teach us how to use the pelvic floor muscle correctly and effectively. It can also be used to assess if there is any improvement in the strength and endurance of the muscle.
Muscle stimulation – in cases where the pelvic floor muscle is very weak and unable to contract independently equipment can be used to remind the muscle how to work. The equipment stimulates the pelvic floor muscle and as the muscle remembers how to contract exercises are then added into the treatment programme.
Relaxation techniques – anxiety and tension make bladder problems worse. Specific relaxation techniques can help to gain control over your bladder.
General advice – about fluid intake, bowel control, exercise levels and setting achievable goals.
There is so much that can be done and the research has shown that physiotherapy can be effective in the treatment of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapsed, often eliminating the need for drugs or surgery.
What Will Happen In My Physiotherapy Assessment?
Your initial appointment will take 45 minutes. Your physio will ask some questions about your general health and medical history. More detailed questions about how your bladder problems affect your quality of life will also be asked. For example:
- How long have you had bladder problems?
- Do you need to wear a pad?
- How often do you leak?
By asking these questions the physio is able to assess the severity of the problem and decide on the most effective treatment programme.
Routine tests include:
A bladder chart – this is a simple diary which you may be asked to complete over a 3 day period. It provides information about how much and how often you drink, how often you pass urine and how much fluid you are able to hold.
Examination – research indicates that the only effective way to assess the pelvic floor is working correctly is to perform a vaginal examination. This examination is done for several reasons:
- To ensure nothing else is causing your bladder problems (such as a prolapse).
- To ensure you are contracting the pelvic floor muscle correctly. It is possible to make symptoms of incontinence worse if the pelvic floor is not contracting correctly.
- To assess the quality of the muscle so that an exercise programme can be designed specifically for your needs.
If you do not want an internal examination it is possible to learn how to check the muscle yourself.
Once your assesment has been completed, your physio will design your personal treatment programme.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with a therapist before booking your appointment, please contact us.
Where we are
The Clinic & Studio
260 Balham High Road
020 8672 4455
The Therapy Rooms
246 Balham High Road
020 8772 0222
Customer Service Number
020 8672 4455
Open 7 Days a Week
within 24 hours
Our Physios & Osteos are registered with Private Medical Insurance providers such as AXA PPP and BUPA