Getting back into sport (and sex!) after Pregnancy, with the health of women’s health physiotherapy

On Monday 3rd August, I was fortunate to find myself in sunny Brisbane and I took the opportunity to interview Lori Forner, Women’s Health and Continence Physiotherapist. I wanted to ask her all the basics about what these clinicians do and how they help women.

The interview is broken into 2 parts:

    1. What Women’s Health Physiotherapists actually do, how they rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles and the outcomes that they can achieve
    1. A couple of case studies that Lori has kindly put together to demonstrate how physiotherapy treatment has enabled these clients to return to important activities

Who is this video for?

      • Any health or fitness professional who deals with the antenatal or postnatal population (including GPs, physiotherapists and personal trainers)
      • Anyone who suspects or knows that they have some kind of pelvic floor problem and isn’t sure if physiotherapy can help
      • Women who want to run or play sport again after giving birth

The video breakdown

My intention was to interview Lori for about 30-40 minutes, but there was so much good stuff that we managed to talk for over an hour! I have put the video breakdown below, so that you can skip to the relevant section if you prefer. Obviously I think all of the information is important but if you would just like to learn about prolapses, for example, then skip straight to that section

StartIntroductionAbout Lori and the interview topics
6 MinutesWhat a Women’s Health Physiotherapist does• The demographics of the clients that Lori treats
• Some of the other conditions that they treat that perhaps the general public is less aware of
• Some of the common complaints that they see in the pregnant and postnatal population
• How it can help women who have overactive pelvic floor muscles relax and have a better birth experience
16 Minutes 35 SecondsWhat Is Normal In Those First Few Weeks After Having A Baby?• At what point should things settle down and continence be established?
19 Minutes 45 SecondsThe Assessment Process• When a client comes to see a WH physiotherapist, what are some of the questions they will ask?
• What do they do in the actual physical assessment?
• Real time ultrasound or internal examination?
27 MinutesPelvic Floor Rehabilitation• Some of the useful gadgets that can help
• Progression of pelvic floor exercises – from basic muscle contractions through to exercises on one leg and with bands.
• The importance of going beyond basic kegels and helping women return to function
37 Minutes 17 SecondsProlapses• How common are they?
• What are some of the risk factors?
• How does pelvic floor muscle retraining help reduce symptoms and even potentially the grade of prolapse?
• Who needs surgery and what is the recurrence rate after surgery?

45 MinutesPessaries• What are they and how do they work?
• What do they look like? How often do you use them?
• Who can fit them?
• How can they help with symptoms of prolapse or incontinence?
51 MinutesWhen Can I Run or do Sport Again?!• Why the answer is so difficult
• Some of the variables you can manipulate when getting back into running
56 MinutesCase Study #1 – Pain With Intercourse• Client who had painful intercourse, even prior to pregnancy
• How relaxation, trigger point release and advice enabled this client to enjoy intercourse again
1 Hour 2 MinutesCase Study #2 – Postnatal Weak Pelvic Floor• Client who had a grade 3 tear and stitches who was keen to get back into bootcamp (?!) At 4-weeks postnatal
• How the use of pessaries and pelvic floor rehabilitation enabled this client to get back into the activities that she enjoyed
1 Hour 10 MinutesDetails About Lori Forner• How to find Lori in Brisbane: Ground floor, 280 Adelaide St, Brisbane for more information about Lori and to access her podcast with Antony Lo (The Physio Detective)

How do I get help from a Women’s Health Physiotherapist?

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