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Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic Oakville & Burlington

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic Oakville & Burlington

Exploring the Role of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists


Exploring the Role of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists with a patient

Exploring the Role of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists

What is a pelvic floor physiotherapist? Who could benefit from seeing one?

Our pelvic floor is not exactly a topic that pops up at dinner parties!

It is our goal to shed some light on the essential work that pelvic floor physiotherapists do!

Why do People Need to Know What Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists do?

Understanding the role of pelvic floor physiotherapists is essential because they address sensitive health issues that affect many individuals. By knowing what they do, people can seek appropriate care and support for conditions related to the pelvic floor, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and postpartum recovery. Awareness empowers individuals to take proactive steps towards better pelvic health and overall well-being.

Why is the Pelvic Floor so Important?

pelvic health anatomy

The pelvic floor plays a crucial role in supporting organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum, helping to maintain continence and stability within the pelvis. Additionally, it contributes to core strength, aids in sexual function, and provides stability for the spine and pelvis during everyday movements and activities. Therefore, maintaining pelvic floor health is essential for overall well-being and quality of life.

Important Statistics:

  1. The Prevalence of Incontinence: According to the International Continence Society, over 200 million people worldwide experience some form of urinary incontinence, with women being more commonly affected than men.
  2. Postpartum Impact: Studies indicate that approximately one in three women may experience pelvic floor dysfunction postpartum, contributing to issues like pelvic pain, incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse.
  3. Under-reporting of Symptoms: The National Institutes of Health notes that a significant number of individuals with pelvic floor disorders, such as prolapse or incontinence, may not seek medical attention due to embarrassment or a lack of awareness about available treatments.

Who can Benefit from Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

pelvic health pregnancy

Individuals of all ages and genders can benefit from the expertise of pelvic floor physiotherapists, including:

  • Women;
  • Men (although the pelvic therapists at Sheddon do not currently treat men, they will gladly refer you to someone qualified);
  • Athletes;
  • Individuals with chronic back/hip pain;
  • Individuals preparing for or recovering from pelvic surgeries;
  • Everyone! 

Why Don’t People Understand Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

two girls sharing a secret

Some people, even in our own profession, don’t understand what pelvic floor physiotherapists do. Pelvic health has been so lacking in healthcare historically that the profession is now having to play catch up!

People may not understand pelvic floor physiotherapy for many reasons including:

  • societal taboos and the stigma around private health issues;
  • limited education on pelvic health;
  • misconceptions about its scope;
  • the absence of routine screenings;
  • gaps in the healthcare system;
  • and cultural factors. 

To improve understanding, it’s essential to break down stigma, enhance education, and integrate pelvic floor care into routine health practices. This includes sharing our knowledge with patients, colleagues, and our communities!

What do Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists do?

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist assessment


As pelvic floor physiotherapists, we specialize in:

  • Assessing and treating issues related to the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Helping individuals with concerns like incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction.
  • Conducting assessments, often including internal exams, to evaluate muscle function.
  • Developing treatment plans that involve exercises, manual therapy, and education to improve pelvic health. 
  • Enhancing individuals well-being by optimizing the function of the pelvic floor muscles.

What to Expect From Your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist?

Pelvic Floor exercise

Its our job to create a welcoming environment for open communication, ensuring your comfort and privacy throughout our sessions. A large portion of our physiotherapy assessment comes from a verbal discussion to create a clear picture of the presenting problems and what may be the contributing factors. We then conduct an external evaluation, including posture, breathing patterns, hip mobility, and muscle strength. If you’re comfortable, we may proceed with an internal assessment for a more comprehensive understanding of your condition. With this information, we tailor a treatment plan to address your specific needs and contributing factors, aiming for optimal outcomes in your care journey.

Meet our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists


Sandra Al Ali physiotherapist Oakville


Sandra is a dedicated physiotherapist who holds a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and an Honors Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University. She is passionate about collaborative treatment approaches, focusing on creating personalized plans to facilitate her patients’ return to activities they love. Her methods include hands-on manual therapy, educational guidance, and tailored exercise prescriptions.


Madeline Aarts physiotherapist Oakville

Madeline is a highly qualified physiotherapist with a passion for learning and a deep commitment to helping her patients achieve optimal health. She holds a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Guelph. Madeline uses evidence-based treatment strategies tailored to each individual’s needs. She emphasizes education, hands-on techniques, and exercise-based approaches to empower her clients in their rehabilitation journey. With her dedication to ongoing learning and genuine concern for her patients’ well-being, Madeline builds strong therapeutic relationships and guides her clients toward achieving their rehabilitation goals effectively.

“My reason for choosing pelvic health physiotherapy is driven by my desire to make a meaningful impact on individuals’ lives, and addressing intimate health concerns with personalized care. I find fulfillment in the diverse patient interactions, the challenge of complex cases, and the opportunity to provide preventive care. Advocating for open conversations and collaborating with other healthcare experts adds depth and purpose to my work, creating a fulfilling and evolving career journey.” Madeline

3 Things to Look for in Choosing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

  1. Specialization and Expertise: Look for a physiotherapist with specialized training and expertise in pelvic floor health to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed for effective assessment and treatment.
  2. Communication and Comfort: Choose a physiotherapist who prioritizes open communication, creating a comfortable environment where you feel at ease discussing intimate health concerns.
  3. Personalized Approach: Opt for a professional who offers personalized care plans, tailoring interventions to your specific needs and goals, recognizing that each individual’s situation is unique.

Take the first step towards optimizing your pelvic health! If you’re experiencing discomfort, pain, or have concerns about your pelvic well-being, schedule a pelvic floor physiotherapy assessment today. We would be happy to provide personalized care, addressing your unique needs and guiding you towards a path of improved comfort and well-being. Prioritize your health and take control of your pelvic wellness journey now. Your body deserves the attention and care that pelvic floor physiotherapy can offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pelvic floor physiotherapy?

Pelvic floor physiotherapy is like regular physiotherapy but with advanced training so we can assess inside the pelvis (vaginal and/or rectal exams). We treat bladder, bowel, sexual and pregnancy / birth related conditions. We also treat a lot of chronic pelvic conditions, such as chronic back, tailbone or SI pain, endometriosis and post pelvic surgeries.

Is Pelvic Floor Therapy only for Women?

Certainly not! There are many male conditions that can be treated with pelvic floor physiotherapy! For example, it is common to experience incontinence following a prostatectomy. In addition, males can also experience pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and bowel/bladder dysfunction. Unfortunately, the therapists at Sheddon do not currently treat males patients, however we are more than happy to refer you to someone qualified.

Why internal you might ask?

Internal assessments allow for a precise evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles, helping to identify specific issues, create individualized treatment plans, and address pain or dysfunction. While it may seem uncomfortable to some, these assessments empower patients with a deeper understanding of their pelvic health, contributing to more effective and targeted interventions. It’s important to note that these assessments are conducted with sensitivity, respect, and informed consent.

What if I am not Comfortable with an Internal Exam?

Just because you see a pelvic floor physiotherapist does not mean you have to consent to an internal exam! Pelvic floor physiotherapists are well educated to complete a thorough assessment externally if this is more comfortable for you. Adding an internal component provides the pelvic floor physiotherapist with better insight to the presenting problem which therefore may assist in creating a fully individualized treatment plan.

Are You Just Going to Tell Me to Do Kegels?

Many of us are aware of what ‘kegel’ is, and it is easy to think that completing this ‘simple’ exercise may solve all of our pelvic floor problems. In reality, kegels are not always indicated for pelvic floor problems, in fact they may even do more harm than good especially when not performed correctly. Before beginning an incorrect exercise, consult with a pelvic floor physiotherapist to ensure this exercise is appropriate for you.


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