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

http://stopatone.nos.org.uk/

 

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,

Carolyn

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.

Carolyn

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.