Frequently Asked Questions

 

A womans body goes through many stages over the years from puberty to pregnancy and menopause.

As a physiotherapist my role is to support you through these changes to build and maintain physical strength to allow you to live life the way you want to. 

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General

What is pilates?

Pilates is a low impact physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. It consists of moving through a slow sustained series of exercises using abdominal control and proper breathing.

Pilates increases muscle strength and tone particularly of your abdominals muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the core muscles of your body). It improves physical co-ordination and balance and body awareness. It is a safe exercise routine for ante and post natal stages and for the safe rehabilitation of joint or spinals injuries.

what issues do you treat?

Over the last 17 years I have been very fortunate to work across a wide variety of physiotherapy areas. But my two great passions are sports and women's physiotherapy, this allows me to offer a unique service that combines my skills of treating joint/muscular injuries during pregnancy but also any issues that may be experienced after birth such as leakage or prolapse and how to return to exercising safely. The journey continues as many women do not experience issues until menopause where I am able to offer support and conservative management options to allow you to live the life you want to.

What do i need to bring/wear?

Wear comfy clothes that allow you to move. No shoes are needed and I provide all equipment. Just bring a bottle of water and come as you are.


Pre Natal

can i exercise while I'm pregnant?

Absolutely and it is really encouraged:

The Australian Physical Activity Guidelines state "that all women who are pregnant without complication should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle. A reasonable goal should be to maintain a good fitness level without trying to reach peak fitness."

can I run while I'm pregnant?

If you are in good health and your pregnancy is uncomplicated the answer is usually yes. If you were a regular runner before, carry on running while you are pregnant, it's an easy and efficient way to work your heart and body. However, if you did not run before your pregnancy now is probably not the time to take it up.

What exercise can I do while I'm pregnant?

Exercise can include: walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, low impact aerobics, aquaerobics, yoga, pilates and strength training. Specific activities to avoid would include contact sports, high altitude exertion, downhill skiing and scuba diving for example.

When should I stop exercising whilst pregnant?

If you experience any of the following whilst exercising:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased foetal movement
  • Dizziness
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful uterine contractions
  • Vaginal bleeding

Post Natal

When is it safe to start exercising after the birth?

If you have had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery it is generally safe to start completing some light exercise 1-2 days after the birth. This would include gentle walking, gentle abdominal exercises and pelvic floor exercises. If you are unsure as to how to complete these it is best to seek advice from a specialised Women's Health Physiotherapist. When you have stopped bleeding you can also try a gentle swim.

If you have had a complicated birth or a C section talk to your Obstetrician or Women's Health Physiotherapist about when to commence an exercise program. This is normally around the 6-8 week mark.

How soon can I run after having a baby?

There is no real research that shows exactly how long women should wait to run after giving birth. Experts say the amount of time it takes to return to pre-pregnancy fitness is directly related to how active you were before and during the pregnancy and it also depends of the type of birth you experienced. The time frames can vary from 6 months to a year and the expert advice universally states  - Take It Slowly.

can I bring my baby to class?

Yes, babies are welcome! For the post natal class I provide a mat and some toys for them to play with and do my best to allow you to focus on the class. You are very welcome to go as slow as needed, care for and feed your baby at any time during class.


Women's Health 

is it normal to leak when I sneeze or run?

Having urine leak while you are coughing or sneezing is a medical condition known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Around 13% of women between 19-44 will develop SUI and 36% aged 45-65 will develop the condition. It is caused by the weakening of the muscles that keep urine stored in the bladder. These muscles, known as the pelvic floor muscles, are unable to fight the downward abdominal pressure when you laugh, cough, sneeze or run.

The good news is that it is a very manageable condition though specialised pelvic floor physiotherapy and it is never too late to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you are experiencing any problems it is best to start as soon as possible to prevent it having a greater effect on you living you life.

what is a prolapse and how can physiotherapy help?

Your pelvic organs are made up of the bladder, uterus and rectum. These organs are supported in place by a network of connective tissue (fascia and ligaments) and pelvic floor muscles. Sometimes, particularly following childbirth, this connective tissue can be damaged and this alters the support to the organs and overtime they may begin to bulge or sag onto the vagina walls. You may experience a heavy sensation or dragging in the vagina, you may feel a bulge or a lump, your bladder may not empty as it should, you may find it hard to empty your bowels or you may have recurring urinary tract infections.

Prolapse can often be treated without surgery. A simple approach would involve pelvic floor muscle training where a program is developed for your individual needs. Lifestyle changes such as improving diet, fluid intake, losing weight and targeted exercise program for supporting muscles that includes abdominals and buttocks. Being aware of good toileting habits to avoid straining and the option of using a pessary (silicone rubber device that fits into the vagina) to help support the pelvic organs.