pelvic physio icon of pelvic floor
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD CLINIC

PELVIC HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPY IN FITZROY MELBOURNE

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is a specialisation of the physiotherapy profession associated with pelvic health.  

 

We treat men and women in Melbourne who may be experiencing issues with bladder control, bowel control, constipation, pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, menopause, and prostate surgery.

Pelvic Health Physiotherapists provide assessment and treatment for people with:

 

  • Pelvic floor weakness and bladder incontinence including a feeling of not being able to “hold on”, of not being able to feel your pelvic floor muscles, or a feeling of weeing when jumping, sneezing or coughing.

 

  • Prolapse where the muscles and ligaments supporting your pelvic organs are stretched or weakened, which causes your organs to drop down.  There are different types of prolapse, affecting the vagina, uterus, bladder and bowel.

 

  • Post natal bladder issues including how to restore your body safely to maximum pelvic floor function, and how to deal with any tearing or damage caused during labour.

 

  • Bowel issues including constipation or loss of bowel control.

 

  • Pelvic and abdominal pain including pain associated with going to the toilet, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, painful sexual intercourse.

  • Coccyx issues including internal treatment and manipulation.

 

  • Pre and post prostate surgery treatment including exercises and techniques to support your pelvic floor.

 

  • Post-menopausal issues including weight gain, painful sexual intercourse, vaginal dryness.

Do I need a Doctors referral to see a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist?

No, a Doctor/GP referral is not needed to see our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.  However, you might initially discuss your concerns with your GP.  You and your GP might agree together that seeing a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist will be useful.  Alternatively, you may just know that your issues fall into the area of speciality of our Pelvic Health Physio, and you can book directly with us.

 

If you have a chronic health issue which a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can assist you with, your GP can provide you with a referral for up to 5 physio sessions per year.  For these 5 sessions, you will receive a rebate back from Medicare for part of the cost of the physio treatment.

How long will the first consultation be?

All of our Pelvic Health Physio appointments are 30 minutes

How to prepare for your first Pelvic Health Physio consultation

At your first consultation, your physio will want to find out exactly what you’re experiencing. This will help them to make an accurate diagnosis and know how to begin helping you.

 

Before your first consultation, you should think about:

  • How long you have experience the problem and whether it is getting better or getting worse

  • Whether the problem is there all the time, or comes and goes (and in what circumstances does it come and go)

  • What you have tried to do to improve things, and whether they have helped

  • Any past medical problems, including surgeries and injuries

  • Your childbirth history

  • Any questions you want to ask, e.g. What caused this issue?  How long will it take to improve?  If I don’t do anything, will my problem get worse or resolve itself?

 

Your Local Pelvic Health Physiotherapist

Silvana Rizk

MENS and WOMENS  PELVIC HEALTH PHYSIOTHERAPIST
(she/her)

Silvana is a passionate women’s and men’s pelvic health physiotherapist with special interest in chronic pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction as well as bladder and bowel dysfunction. She is also interested in working with pregnant and post-natal women, including assisting them to return to sport safely.

 

Silvana has completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, and her Post Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health and Exercise  at the University of Melbourne.  She is currently completing her Masters in Pelvic Health at the University of Melbourne.   Silvana is a certified member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and Continence Foundation Australia (CFA) physiotherapy group.

 

Silvana has worked with diverse cultural backgrounds managing acute, chronic and complex conditions.  She takes pride in working with her patients to reach their specific goals and needs as no two patients are alike. 

 

When she is not at work, Silvana enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and shopping with her two girls. 

Frequently asked questions

What happens in a Pelvic Health Physio appointment?


In your first appointment, our physiotherapist will ask you to explain the problems you are experiencing. They will probably ask you lots of questions and some of the questions may not seem directly related to your problem. But trust them! They know about the interrelationship between all of your pelvic organs. They may ask about your:

  • Bladder function – how often you go to the toilet, if you leak urine, if you have to rush to get to the toilet on time and the feelings you have when you are urinating.
  • Bowel function – how often you go, whether it is difficult or painful, your control over your bowel and any sense of having to rush to get to the toilet.
  • Childbirth history, if relevant – how many children you have had, the types of deliveries and the weight of your babies.
  • Symptoms of prolapse – if it feels like something has dropped internally or if you have any heaviness, a lump or bulging inside your rectum or vagina.
  • Sexual intercourse and any concerns, pains or difficulties you are experiencing.
  • Medical history including other current medical issues, medications, surgeries, accidents.
  • Employment and leisure activities – this will help your physio to understand how the pelvic issues you are experiencing are impacting your daily life.




Does a Pelvic Health Physio perform any examinations?


When seeing a physio for pelvic issues, it is likely that they will want to examine your pelvic floor muscles at some stage in order to provide their best treatment and advice. Your physio will always ask you for permission before performing any examination, and you can, of course, decline. In this instance, your physio will discuss alternative treatment options with you. Examinations take place in our secure physio room, on a comfortable examination bed. You will be provided with modesty coverings and the physio will use disposable sheets and gloves. You can request that the internal examination be stopped at any time, even if you originally consented.




What happens at a Pelvic Health examination?


A typical examination may include: An external examination of the genital area. This can feel awkward at the time but it is important for your physio to check for signs of infection, prolapse and age-related changes. They may ask you to contract your pelvic floor muscles so they can see the external impacts on your body. An internal vaginal examination. Using one of two gloved fingers, they may check the pelvic floor muscles internally, as well as check for any tenderness or signs of a prolapse. An internal rectal examination. Using a gloved finger, your physio may assess the pelvic floor muscles in the rectum, particularly where your problem relates to bowel incontinence or a large tear during childbirth. An ultrasound to check the pelvic floor muscles. The ultrasound probe is generally placed on your abdomen or on the outside of your perineum (between your genitals and anus). A review of your posture, the way you sit, stand and move.




What treatments will the Pelvic Health Physio suggest?


This depends on your specific problem, but generally your physio may suggest specific exercises to re-train your pelvic floor. They may provide bladder training strategies. They may ask you to keep a bladder and/or bowel diary. They may recommend changes to your diet and lifestyle to help alleviate the issues. Our physio may also suggest the use of devices to help resolve your issue. These may be used in your appointment, and you may also have the opportunity to purchase specific devices for home use. The Neighbourhood Clinic stocks a small supply of such devices and your physio can talk about these with you if relevant.




How many times will I need to see the Pelvic Health Physio?


This will be as you and the physio agree, depending on the issues you are experiencing and the recommended treatment. You may only need to see the physio for a few times, with a few weeks between each appointment to allow you to practice the exercises and notice any improvements/changes.




Is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy covered by Medicare?


Sometimes. If you have a chronic health issue which a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can assist you with, your GP can provide you with a referral for up to 5 Medicare-eligible Physio sessions per year. For these 5 sessions, you will receive a rebate back from Medicare for part of the cost of the physio treatment.




Is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy covered by private health insurance?


Generally, yes, but you should check with your health insurer for the specific details of your coverage.





 

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