Women today are more competent and independent as compared to those of the previous era. They have redefined gender roles, claimed more authority and freedom for themselves and proved their potential to the fullest. However, in the process of fighting for equality and carving a niche for themselves, it’s usually their health that gets neglected. Here are a few benefits of physiotherapy for some of the top health issues faced by women.
Women by nature are caregivers and there are numerous occasions when they tend to neglect their health in order to help a loved one. This neglect can cause a number of health complications as they grow older. Preventive healthcare is much better than taking medications after being diagnosed with a health condition. There are a number of therapy options available like Allopathy, Ayurveda and others. Physiotherapy is one such branch of medicine that can help you prevent a number of health issues when followed diligently.
A simple assessment and structured exercise program by a physiotherapist is often sufficient to prevent these health issues in women across the life span, from the young athlete to the child bearing woman to the menopausal to the elderly.
Women’s Health Physiotherapy refers to the non-surgical therapeutic treatment specific to various health problems affecting women. During the course of therapy, specially designed exercises and equipment are used to help patients restore their normal physical activities.
Here are a few benefits of physiotherapy for some of the top health issues faced by women.
Premenstrual syndrome: A physiotherapist assesses the physical effect PMS has on your body as well as the risk factors that can influence and worsen them, before offering a range of management options and advice. Treatment may include manual therapy to relieve tension as well as related discomfort such as headaches and constipation, relaxation point stimulation, kinesiotaping or electrotherapy. An important part of the treatment is teaching relaxation techniques and advice on self-management and self-care.
Endometriosis: Physical therapy modalities may prove to be a fundamental treatment option for the patient with endometriosis, pre and post laparoscopic surgery, especially if they experience musculoskeletal impairments. Effective physical therapy treatment options include: myofascial manual therapy, pelvic floor muscle lengthening, trigger point release, stretching and flexibility exercises, spinal mobilizations, nerve glides, relaxation exercises and behavioral modifications.
Polycystic ovary syndrome: Physiotherapists can provide a customized exercise program which would help in losing the weight gained due to the storage of estrogen in adipose tissue, lower insulin levels, and dietary changes to reduce consumption of carbohydrates.
Heart diseases: Physical therapy can help to prevent the onset of heart disease, and reduce the negative consequences of heart disease by implementing a treatment program that addresses all the contributing factors of this disease. This may include advice on smoking cessation, an exercise program for weight management and improving cholesterol levels. There are cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients who have had a heart attack or severe heart disease.
Osteoporosis: Post-menopausal women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Physical therapy can help to prevent further bone loss and reduce the risk of bone fractures. Strengthening exercises for your bones is of high importance in maintaining the health of osteoporotic bones. Exercise programs also include weight bearing exercises, flexibility exercises, postural and balance exercises.
Obesity: Physiotherapy has a role to play in the prevention and management of obesity.Obesity leads to restrictions in movement, affecting engagement in physical activity. Exercise and movement is the keystone of the scope of physiotherapy practice. A treatment plan for an obese patient may comprise of a provision of personalized lifestyle advice, prescription, supervision, and progression of appropriate physical activity to increase muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance, to sustain energy output to enhance and maintain weight loss under safe and controlled conditions.
Depression: Exercise has been known to benefit patients with mild to moderate mood disorders, especially anxiety and depression. When performing aerobic exercises your body releases endorphins which are responsible for relieving pain and improving mood. These endorphins can also lower cortisol levels known to be elevated in patients with depression. Additionally, exercise increases the sensitivity of serotonin in the same way antidepressants work, allowing for more serotonin to remain in the nerve synapse. Exercise can be aerobic or resistive in nature, as both are known to be beneficial in a variety of patient types.
Urinary Incontinence - Urinary incontinence, also referred to as overactive bladder, is the inability to control the flow of urine. Leakage of urine occurs due to weakness of the pelvic floor muscles as a result of injury, pregnancy, surgery or lack of exercise. Physiotherapy session includes: Diet modifications to avoid bladder irritation, Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, Methods to reduce the urinary urgency and frequency.
Pregnancy related conditions - Pain in the lower back, pelvic region, rib and thoracic region, headache, neck pain and stiffness, muscle weakness of the pelvic floor, leg cramps, weakened abdominal muscles and bladder, pain or numbness in the wrist and hand, all can also be treated with physical therapy.
At times, the only thing you need is the right assessment to prevent the onset of any kind of health issues.
Your assessment and treatment often depend on your present condition. Whilst these sensitive issues are often difficult to discuss, understanding the onset of your symptoms and how your daily life is affected is vital in directing your treatment.