What we do

Welcome to Pelvic Health Physiotherapy.

We are based at Bradford Royal Infirmary, in the Physiotherapy department which is located in the main hospital building.

Our team of specialised pelvic health physiotherapists are highly regarded by local GPs and hospital consultants alike, and pride themselves on providing up-to-date evidence-based clinical interventions and treatments. The Pelvic Health Physiotherapy team provide a range of services for male and female patients including those with:

  • Pregnancy-related conditions
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Overactive bladder
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Perineal trauma during childbirth
  • Voiding problems
  • Bladder pain syndrome
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Functional pelvic floor disorders
  • Coccydynia
  • Pelvic pain
  • Dermatology conditions
  • Primary delay in conception
  • Problems relating to prostate cancer

Obstetric patients

Pregnant ladies can experience a range of symptoms that are entirely explainable by normal pregnancy-related changes. These may include low back pain, pelvic girdle pain and carpel tunnel syndrome, among many others. Our education group provides simple self-management strategies. We are specially trained in treating musculoskeletal conditions during and immediately after pregnancy.

For our pregnant patients we also offer a FREE TENS loan service to help with pain management during labour (See useful links for the self-referral form).

Bladder problems

There are different types of bladder incontinence:

  • Stress – when increased pressure of the abdomen causes you to leak
  • Urgency – a sudden need to go to the toilet and you may leak before you get to the toilet
  • Mixed – symptoms of both of the above.

Exercises may help calm the bladder down, reduce urgency, support the bladder and prevent leakages.

Pelvic organ prolapse

This is when a pelvic organ moves down in the pelvis, often causing a feeling of heaviness, increased pressure or vaginal/anal bulge. It may also cause bladder, bowel or sexual dysfunction.

Exercises have been proven to reduce/resolve symptoms and often avoid surgery or make future surgery more successful.

Bowel problems

Bowels can have difficulty keeping control of either solid or liquid stool, or of flatus. Some people may feel urgency and be aware of leakage whilst others may have little or no sensation.

Bowel problems may happen due to a variety of reasons (for example childbirth injuries, cancer treatment or pelvic surgery) and is not always related to age.

Constipation is common and affects people of all ages. Non-surgical treatment and advice is effective in reducing the symptoms of constipation. Emptying your bowels using the correct technique can ease emptying and reduce straining.

Perineal tears

Tears that happen during childbirth can lead to sphincter damage and pelvic floor muscle weakness. This weakness can lead to bladder and bowel problems and prolapse. We can work with you to improve the muscle strength and bladder or bowel control.

Pelvic pain

Pain can be a complicated symptom and can be triggered from inside or outside the pelvis. A full assessment may find the causes of the pain and help to find ways to reduce pain and associated symptoms.

Sexual dysfunction

Difficulty with intimacy including sexual intercourse, can happen due to many reasons (male and female). We are trained to understand these problems and can work with you or psychosexual counsellors to help you reach your goals.

Useful apps

Integrated Care Pathway

The Integrated Care pathway ensures that we work closely with GP’s, continence advisers, and a variety of consultants. We attend regular multidisciplinary meetings with the whole team to discuss complex and interesting cases.

As we are a teaching hospital there may be other members of the multidisciplinary team or physiotherapy students involved in patient care under close supervision.

First appointments

You will attend the physiotherapy department and be greeted by a member of staff. We request that you bring with you a completed bladder diary and a list of your current medications.

Your assigned physiotherapist will then take a detailed medical history from you and ask you questions about your problem. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

You may have an internal examination at this appointment to assess your pelvic floor function and enable the physiotherapist to tailor your treatment to your specific needs. A chaperone can be arranged if requested.

The session is about giving advice and information alongside physiotherapy treatment. A plan of treatment will be formulated between you and the physiotherapist with a clear indication of when you will be seen again.

  • Information leaflets may be given to explain your condition or treatments
  • You are welcome to bring a relative or friend of your choice for support during your appointment
  • You will need to allow up to an hour for this appointment
  • You do not need to wear any particular clothes or bring anything with you.

Treatment

Treatment is focused on conservative management, usually exercises. This is low risk and proven to be highly effective. As most of our patients attend for a 1:1 appointment, your treatment will be tailored to the needs identified in the assessment. You will agree your goals with your physiotherapist so you can jointly work towards them.

Sometimes exercise therapy may be supplemented with other modalities to maximise potential gain. Examples of these include acupuncture, muscle stimulation or medicines. These are fully discussed and agreed upon with you, before being used.

How often will I need to attend and for how long?

This varies from person to person but the majority of patients attend on three-to-four occasions over a period of three-to-six months.

Who we are

Once you have been assigned to a specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist then you will be reviewed by the same clinician to ensure continuity of care, except in unforeseen circumstances. 

We have other team members of fully qualified staff who are specially trained to treat these conditions. These staff may be rotational and therefore we have not listed them all here.

Contact us

Patient queries: 01274 364250

Images

Testimonials

  • “I just want to thank you for all that you have done to help me over the last few months. Some would say it is your job, which it is, but the interest you take in your work and your commitment, understanding and care is clear for all to see.”
  • “I am so much more positive about the long-term outlook and have my confidence back. What you have done has made a huge difference in my recovery. Thank you.”
  • Following my third-degree tear I was in shock both physically and emotionally. Your professionalism, encouragement and just all-round wonderful (but no-nonsense) approach has got me back to a place I doubted would be possible at the start.”
  • My return to full continence was greatly aided by the specialist physiotherapist in pelvic floor exercises for men. I am back playing with the kids, gardening, going to the gym, cutting firewood, camping and walking on the hills. All of my favourite things. You have a wonderful team.”
  • My physiotherapist showed impressive professional and ‘people’ skills in our session. She is indeed a credit to this Trust’s staff and the NHS, like many others. I felt fortunate to be in her care.”
  • I was so full of fear when I came to you, but little by little you talked me down from the ceiling and gently challenged me to do things I thought I couldn’t.”
  • Thank you for all of the information you have shared with me, you wonderful patience, kindness, encouragement and humour. I still have some way to go but there has been such an improvement in my pain levels & anxiety – and most brilliantly I have hope for a pain-free future.”
  • “I want to say Thank you so much for all your help and support. Managing my prolapse without surgical intervention has changed my life! I am so grateful – this is a five-star department.”

Feedback, complaints and compliments

We welcome patient feedback ranging from compliments and comments, to concerns and complaints.

We appreciate at times things don’t always go quite as expected and we would encourage you to raise your concerns to a member of staff in the first instance. In many cases it should be possible to remedy an issue immediately talking to the person you have already been dealing with, or perhaps their manager.

If you are not happy with the care and support you have received within our department, we would urge you to contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Department (formerly PALS and Complaints)

Cancellations

If you are unable to attend your appointment it is important that you telephone 01274 364250 so that we can offer this date to another patient and arrange a new appointment with you.

Please be aware that if you do not attend, or if you cancel and re-book your appointment on more than one occasion, you may be referred back to the care of your GP.

Translators and interpreters

Most of our clinicians can only ask questions and examine patients using English. If patients are not fluent in English a translator may be needed. All our translators are bound by rules of confidentiality.

Either the patient’s GP or relatives may let us know of the patient’s needs. Relevant contact details will also be provided on the appointment letter.

It should be noted that although relatives can be very helpful as translators, we often need to use medical vocabulary which needs a trained translator. People are also often uncomfortable discussing all aspects of the medical history with a relative.

Translators and interpreters are available for the majority of languages and can be arranged for each appointment. A period of 24-hours’ notice is recommended.

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