Pucker Up Your Pelvic Floor

As we approach Valentine’s Day, specialist Physiotherapists are again running the ‘Pucker Up Your Pelvic Floor’ campaign. The aim is to raise awareness that specialist physiotherapists can help with sexual problems.

The media is beginning to discuss pelvic floor problems and sexual difficulties a little more, however the fact that physiotherapy can really help is rarely mentioned.

See the BBC news article here: ‘Sex is painful for nearly one in 10 women study finds’

Most people associate pelvic floor exercises and physiotherapy with reducing bladder problems, however research also shows that strengthening, toning and knowing how to relax the pelvic floor muscles has an impact on sexual enjoyment and performance too. Pelvic floor treatment can help strengthen the muscles and improve blood supply and nerve activity. All of these lead to greater pleasure.

Appropriately trained pelvic health physiotherapists (who will be full members of the POPG – Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Organisation), specialise in the assessment, examination and treatment of the pelvic floor.

So whether you are struggling with painful intercourse, vaginal tightness, lack of sensation, orgasm problems or urinary leakage physiotherapy treatment can often really help.

You can access helpful, evidence-based booklets about the pelvic floor from the POGP website POGP leaflets

Carolyn Lindsay has postgraduate training in assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor. She has been a specialist physiotherapist since 2004 and regularly (and successfully) works with patients who are struggling with painful, or unsatisfactory, sex. She continues to work towards her diploma in Psychosexual Medicine (with the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine).  All treatment (as with any physiotherapy treatment) is completely confidential.

She is also a Mummy MOT practitioner – offering postnatal checks (including pelvic floor checks) for Mums.


If you would like to book an assessment, or discuss how physiotherapy can help then  Contact Carolyn Lindsay here


Small Park Big Run

IMG_0008I’ve had a brilliant time over Saturday and Sunday massaging runners who were taking part in Small Park Big Run. This 24 hour event took part in Meersbrook park with continuous circuits being run in shifts by multiple entrants.

People of all ages took part, doing from half hour stints up to more than full Marathons – which if you consider the hill in Meersbrook park is pretty amazing. Well done everyone!! Don’t forget that you can use your 50% off vouchers until the end of the year. Vouchers can be used for treatment by me (Physio, Massage or Medical Acupuncture), or my colleagues at the Treatment Space: Kat (Traditional Acupuncture) and Rachel (Sports and Remedial massage).

The run aimed to raise awareness of the movement restrictions faced by Palestinian people on a daily basis. And also to raise money for two charities supporting women’s university scholarships and children’s projects. There was also a free community fun run which linked up with a children’s run in Gaza.

Time lapse of the event Where you can briefly glimpse me working in the back left of the white tent.

Well done to all the amazing organisers – some of whom stayed up for the whole time and many ran too. As well as raising money and awareness it was also a lovely community event full of friends and neighbours, so it didn’t even feel like work.

If you’d like to know more about the charities supported by the run you can go the webpage Small Park Big Run


Exercise during pregnancy and in the postnatal period

Recent media articles have outlined how women may be looking at the wrong sources for information about exercising during pregnancy and the post natal period.

Women can feel a lot of pressure when looking at social media posts and images of exercise during and after pregnancy. It’s also difficult to judge the quality of the information being put out.

This Guardian article outlines some of these issues. Instagram-filtered images of celebrities ‘put pregnant women’s health at risk’

A certain amount of scepticism can be useful when looking at pictures and reading information from celebrities. Striving to match an airbrushed image is always going to be impossible for real women. Our individual situations are all different, so it is better to look for reliable information, based on research evidence and follow this. The follow sites are evidence-based and regularly updated and can be trusted to give appropriate and relevant information:

‘This girl can’ adverts show real women exercising

NHS choices – This is great for general exercise and advice and specific advice around pregnancy NHS Choices: Exercise in Pregnancy

Another source of free information, based on the most recent research is the patient information leaflets from the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Organisation).

There is a leaflet on safely exercising during pregnancy and one for postnatal recovery.

The full list of leaflets, including leaflets on pelvic floor exercises can be accessed here 

You can also get individual advice and support.

Carolyn is a qualified fitness instructor so is able to offer exercise and advice from both a physiotherapy and fitness instructor perspective.

Contact her for advice on:

  • Exercising with a medical condition or injury
  • Starting exercise for the first time
  • Exercise for weight loss
  • Safe exercising during pregnancy
  • Effective and safe postnatal exercise to get back into shape
  • Improving mood and psychological state through exercise
  • Improving bone density



The Mummy MOT

Mummy Mot LogoI am very excited to be offering The Mummy MOT in Sheffield. This thorough postnatal check reviews a Mum’s posture, tummy and pelvic floor. The aim is to pick up potential problems and enable women to start on appropriate functional activity training. This helps Mums to get back to what they want to be doing – whether it be normal daily activities, or high level sport.

It was devised by two excellent professionals Maria Elliot (a specialist pelvic physiotherapist) and Jenny Burrell a dynamic exercise professional who saw the need for an integrated approach to rehabing post natal women. This resonated with my own approach. I have increasingly seen the need to integrate functional exercise within my physiotherapy practice and, to this end, have also become a fitness instructor.

As Mums we needs to move! We need to bend, twist, squat and lift and our rehab needs to reflect this. Pelvic floor exercises alone wont get us there. The Mummy Mot is holistic. It looks at the whole woman and helps move her towards her activity goals.

Mums are great at putting themselves last. But to support others and keep our busy lives on track, we need to be functioning well and that’s where the Mummy MOT comes in.

Further information can be found on my Mummy MOT page here


#puckerup your pelvic floor

POGP #puckerup female campaign picture

Your amazing pelvic floor muscles are even more vital than you might think. As well as supporting your bladder, uterus and bowel, helping with bladder and bowel control and assisting your posture, they are also vital for sexual satisfaction.

Training your pelvic floor, including learning how to properly contract and relax the muscles, can have a huge benefit for sex – whether you are struggling with painful sexual intercourse, or a lack of sensation.POGP2 colour (2)

The POGP have free leaflets on working your pelvic floor, that you can access here (for both men and women)

How do you know if your pelvic floor muscles are working optimally? POGP-registered physiotherapists have postgraduate training in proper assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor. They can teach a correct contraction, help relax and release overtight muscles and devise an individual treatment programme appropriate for you.




Carolyn Lindsay has postgraduate training in assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor and is also currently training towards a diploma in Psychosexual medicine with the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine.  She has been a pelvic floor physiotherapist since 2004 and regularly works with patients struggling with painful or unsatisfactory sex. You can contact Carolyn using the details here

Go on…..#puckerup


Effective Headache treatment

Acupuncture plus Physiotherapy for Headache relief.

Recent research shows that acupuncture treatment is beneficial for both migraine and tension-type headaches. Combined with physiotherapy to treat neck and spine stiffness and trigger points, the effects can be even more pronounced.

A recent large research project into migraine headache reviewed 22 trials (with 5,000 headache sufferers) comparing drugs, sham acupuncture treatment and true acupuncture. (Trinh et al, 2016).

They found that acupuncture treatment can cut the incidence of headaches over a monthly period by nearly half.

AACP Logo‘If people have six days with migraine per month on average before starting treatment, this would be reduced to 5 days in people receiving usual care…..and to 3.5 days in those receiving true acupuncture’

This represents a significant improvement in the quality of life of sufferers.

A review of tension-type headaches looked at 12 trials with 2,349 headache sufferers. They found high quality evidence that acupuncture worked better than routine care (medication) or sham acupuncture (Linde et al, 2016)

A recent Cochrane review (January 2016) of 12 high quality studies concluded:

‘A course of acupuncture consisting of at least 6 sessions can be a valuable option for people with frequent tension-type headaches’

GRI_4642For many people headaches are associated with and indeed cause, musculoskeletal problems including postural issues, muscle imbalance and discomfort and neck and back stiffness. These problems are also exacerbated by our modern lifestyles including work stresses and positioning, leisure and use of mobile devices.

Physiotherapy can help with this through postural advice, mobilisation of the spine and soft tissues, exercises and massage.

Combining physiotherapy with acupuncture provides a comprehensive treatment to target contributing causes and the pain of persistent headaches.

Carolyn Lindsay has additional training in medical acupuncture and can combine both treatments within a usual 45 minute treatment session at no extra cost. She works from the Treatment Space in Heeley, Sheffield.

To discuss treatment, or to enquire about appointment contact Carolyn here.

Information about acupuncture for migraines from the Migraine Trust can be found here.

Osteoporosis – the risks and how physiotherapy can help. The Treatment Space, Sheffield.

The National Osteoporosis Society have launched a campaign called ‘Stop at One’ to raise public awareness of osteoporosis and give advice about how to protect your bones and decrease the risk of a break.

You can obtain further information at



People with osteoporosis have reduced bone density and are more likely to have fractures if they become injured. The most common areas are wrists, hips and the spine.


Bone density is mainly build up during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. This can be boosted by eating a well-balanced, calcuim-rich diet and doing plenty of weight bearing exercise. From the age of 35 bone loss increases gradually through the natural ageing process. This is hastened in women after the menopause.


As we get older our balance and co-ordination worsens and this can lead to falls and increase the risk of sustaining a fracture. As well as weight bearing exercises to keep bones strong (improve bone density) we also need to reduce the risk of falling.


Physiotherapy can help with:

  • advice on bone-boosting exercise
  • appropriate exercise programmes for younger  and older people trying to build bone density
  • reducing the risk of falls and improving balance and co-ordination
  • improving muscle strength, flexibility, breathing, posture and mobility
  • safe exercising when you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis
  • recovery from fractures
  • reducing and controlling pain


Carolyn Lindsay is experienced in treating all of the above and has also recently completed fitness instructor training so is able to advise on all aspects of exercise.


You can email any questions, or enquire about appointments by clicking here

Where can I find good information?

When you are struggling with symptoms it can often be difficult to know where to look for helpful information.  This is particularly so if the condition you are suffering feels very private – such as bladder, bowel or sexual problems. Often people then don’t want to talk to family and friends and will resort to internet search engines.

This can be a great way to find valid, relevant information but, if you follow threads and read about other people’s problems it can also be a great way to scare yourself silly. Sometimes an overload of information and ‘worst case scenario’ info can actually contribute to making your symptoms worse – particularly where pain or anxiety are an issue.

The pelvic, obestetric and gynaecological physiotherapy organisation (POGP) has many useful patient information leaflets that you can access online. These are all based on evidence and best practice and written by physiotherapists with a wealth of experience in the field. They include topics such as Pelvic floor exercises (for women and men), recovery following gynaecological surgery and leaflets related to coping with pregnancy and postnatal recovery and safe exercise.  Look under ‘information for patients’ ‘patient booklets’ on the website here

It can be difficult to come and talk to a professional about private matters. I have considerable experience in the pelvic obstetric and gynaecological field and will be happy to listen to and discuss your issues confidentially and in a supportive environment.

Drop me a line via the contact form, or you can find further details here on the Treatment Space Website

best wishes,


Incontinence after childbirth

Around 1 in 3 women develop urinary incontinence during pregnancy (CSP, 2014). It can be related to the pregnancy: due to the increasing weight of the baby during development and hormonal changes that make muscles and ligaments more stretchy, or  due to delivery.  For many women, this problem can continue long into the postnatal period.  Some women don’t seek help until their children are grown. By this time they have suffered in silence for many years and symptoms have had a massive impact on their quality of life:

Mail Online article giving one woman’s experience

Pelvic floor exercises really help!

You don’t need to suffer alone and for a significant number of women treatment can either cure, or significantly improve symptoms.

NICE guidelines recommend that women should do pelvic floor muscle training during their first and subsequent pregnancies. Supervised pelvic floor exercise is the recommended first-line treatment for urinary incontinence. This is something that Physiotherapy and Midwifery organisations have got together to promote (CSP/RCM 2013).

Being referred, or referring yourself to a specialist women’s health physiotherapist can make all the difference. This segment of Women’s Hour discusses the issue:

BBC Women’s Hour

Women’s Health Physiotherapy

If you do feel embarrassed to talk to family, friends or GP’s then speak directly to a specialist women’s health physiotherapist. They can be found via the POGP (Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Organisation):

POGP Information for Patients

Don’t let embarrassment or lack of time stand in the way.  If you are ready to take action, contact me, or another specialist physiotherapist today.


Why talk about the Pelvic Floor Muscles?

A Hidden Problem

pelvic-floorThe pelvic floor is a hidden area which we don’t often talk about.  However these muscles play a vital role in bladder and bowel function, supporting our internal organs, sexual activity, breathing and posture. If they don’t work properly people can experience problems such as bladder or bowel leakage or emptying problems, severe pelvic pain and difficulties with sex. We know that childbirth can affect these muscles, but so can how we hold our bodies, our level of stress and even how we breathe.  So we really should be talking about them a lot more that we do.

As friends, family and colleagues know I am not shy about talking about them (they may wish I was!). I’ll be doing so even more so over the next few weeks because I’ve been on an excellent advanced practical pelvic floor course, run by Irish physio Maeve Whelan. She’s an expert in the treatment of pelvic floor problems and pelvic pain and is truly inspirational. It was so great to have the opportunity to learn from her and from all of the other excellent specialist physiotherapists who attended the course and to move my practice forwards.

You are not alone!

If you are struggling with pelvic floor problems – whether it be a pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, painful sex or difficulty emptying your bowels be sure that you are not alone in your difficulties. These problems are more common than you would think. Even if your friends or family don’t speak about them it is likely that many of them are suffering in silence. For example round 9 million people, both men and women, suffer from stress urinary incontinence, with 1 in 3 women suffering from the condition.

What can be done?

One of the problems about this ‘code of silence’ about the pelvic floor is that people don’t know that effective treatment is available. Evidence shows that physiotherapy is effective for treating incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual pain disorders and pelvic pain. It is recommended by the The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as the first line treatment for urinary incontinence and by The European Association of Urology Guidelines for the treatment of chronic pelvic pain.

It can be surprising to think of physiotherapy in relation to problems like these. But your pelvic floor muscles are a vital part of your body and need to be kept fit and healthy. Physiotherapists deal with how the body functions, with balancing muscles and aiding recovery. The pelvic floor is no different.

POGPThere are specialist pelvic floor physiotherapists around the country. There will be one near where you live. They are an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch. Appropriately qualified physiotherapists will be members of the Women’s Health Physiotherapy organisation POGP – Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy

What next?

Feel free to contact me when any queries or questions about what physiotherapy may be able to do for you. I work from The Treatment Space in Heeley, Sheffield.