Understanding the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor muscles are something we commonly link with women, and often childbirth or pregnancy. It is actually more common to have issues with the pelvic floor than you may think, and stems far beyond simply child-bearing women.

What is a Pelvic Floor?
Your pelvic floor is quite simply a hammock for your organs. Your bladder and bowel (as well as uterus if you are a woman) are held up by this genius casing that connects from your pubic bone through to your tailbone. It is almost a web of muscles that when contracted, move inward and upward, tightening and narrowing the courses through which we pass (eg. Urethra and bowel).

Why is strength in the Pelvic Floor important?
Having a strong pelvic floor is absolutely vital for both men and women. From an incontinence perspective, having a weak pelvic floor can mean not making the bathroom in time, or being unable to trust a sneeze or cough. The main reason pelvic floor muscles becoming weak are linked to women and childbirth is because these muscles are usually way over-worked during pregnancy and the process of giving birth. If they collapse (or prolapse), it can cause ongoing issues for a woman and has the potential to make future child bearing complicated.

How can physiotherapy help?
It definitely isn’t the easiest conversation to have, but if you have concerns about your pelvic floor there is actually a lot that can be done to help. Like any set of muscles, with the right care, training and expertise it can be rebuilt and sometimes become better than before. Techniques for effective movement and bracing can make all the difference, and consistency is key. This means we won’t give up on you, as long as you are willing to keep working at it!

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, working in the cardiac rehabilitation program, heart failure service and mental health unit at Nepean Hospital. And at the ACU Exercise and Lifestyle Clinic working with clients with neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since graduating, Andrea enjoys working with a variety of clients. She has a particular interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions, striving to help people increase their functional capacity to get them back to work, sport or the things they love doing.