About Pelvic Health
Pelvic health physiotherapists specialise in assessing and treating the musculoskeletal system. Whether it is for pain during pregnancy, recovery from birth, issues with bladder or bowel continence, prolapse or the management of pelvic floor function before and after surgery, pelvic health physiotherapy can help.
Although it is common, women need to know that it is not normal to have heaviness or pain in their pelvic area or lack of bladder or bowel control. Pelvic health concerns can be difficult to discuss with family, friends or even health care professionals, so it is empowering to be able to self-refer for physiotherapy intervention.
Positive Pelvic Health was established to enable women to access physiotherapy assessment and rehabilitation, to understand what is happening within their pelvis and body, and how to achieve their health and wellness goals.
A physiotherapy assessment with me involves thorough history taking alongside other techniques such as postural analysis, muscle function testing, and reviewing movement patterns and breathing techniques. Specific pelvic floor muscle assessment can be completed by visual observation, vaginal palpation and/or measurement of muscle activity.
Treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction must be individualised, but generally consists of:
Improving upward support of the pelvic organs via functional exercise programmes. This may include the use of electromyography (EMG) biofeedback to help retrain the pelvic floor muscles and improve a woman's awareness of them contracting and relaxing.
Reducing downward strain on the pelvic organs through reducing heavy lifting, eliminating constipation, managing respiratory conditions and maintaining a healthy bodyweight
Symptom management and lifestyle changes; including education regarding normal bladder and bowel control, how to void more effectively, how to manage urgency and use pelvic floor activation when sneezing, coughing and laughing. Diet modification, fluid intake information, lifting and postural advice can be provided alongside information regarding breathing techniques. Regular physical activity, managing stress and how to have pelvic floor awareness during activities of daily living encourages a fully holistic approach.
I work as part of a multidisciplinary team, in Brandon Street Practice in Wellington and Body of Work in Lower Hutt, to ensure a holistic care plan is developed and a ‘whole person’ approach is utilised. What drives me in my role as a pelvic health physiotherapist, is being able to help women make a significant difference to their health and general quality of life. It is when a woman tells me that she has ‘got her life back’ that makes it all worthwhile.
Alongside physiotherapy, I facilitate breastfeeding ante-natal classes and provide voluntary breastfeeding support throughout the Hutt Valley to mothers and their whānau. I am also a mum to three thriving boys, wife to Martin, and enjoy being dedicated to the communities that I work within.
About Jennifer Dutton
Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
BSc (Hons) Applied Biology
Jennifer qualified as a physiotherapist from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2005 with first class honours. She has practiced in New Zealand since 2008.
Jennifer works as a pelvic health physiotherapist and has a broad base of experience in postural and biomechanical analysis, musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain.