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Pelvic Health Physiotherapy

Message From Ashbourne

At Ashbourne Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Centre we have been providing a specialist Pelvic Physiotherapy service to women from Ashbourne and the surrounding area for over 20 years.
Gynaecological conditions such as stress or urge related urinary incontinence, bowel related incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic pain are all conditions that impinge greatly on the daily lives of those affected. It can lead feeling of loss of control and isolation for some.
Physiotherapy can help to restore that control and empower you to manage your conditions and return to the activities you want. In many cases we can help and provide real improvements for suffers. We have Specialist Physios who have an interest in Pelvic Pain and related conditions who would be happy to discuss how physiotherapy may help you. Please contact the centre to arrange an appointment with Gillian or Elizabeth or ask to speak with one of us if you want to discuss further.

Physiotherapy can be invaluable in offering help for a variety of conditions related to pregnancy such as:
  • Hip pain
  • Back and sacroiliac pain
  • Sciatica
  • Symphysis Pubis Dusfunction
  • Diastasis of Rectii (separation of the tummy muscles postnatally)
  • Incontinence
Treatments that may be of benefit include:
  • Acupuncture
  • Manual therapy
  • Exercise and advice
  • Biofeedback from ultrasound or EMG postnatally

Pelvic Floor Muscles

Up to 60% of all women experience a problem with their pelvic floor muscles at some time during their life. The most common problems are leaking with activity, sneezing or coughing (stress urinary incontinence) and pelvic organ prolapse (a feeling of something coming down in the vagina).

All the bladder, bowel and sexual functions require good pelvic floor muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles are important in posture, and with the abdominal muscles, help to support your spine.

6 in 10 women have problems

Not all women with symptoms have weak pelvic floor muscles, but sometimes they need to learn to use their pelvic floor muscles in the right way and at the right time.

Why do problems occur with the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles can be weak, overstretched, slow to work, too tight or torn just like the other muscles of your body.

Problems can be caused by:

  • Childbirth
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Heavy or repeated lifting
  • High impact exercise
  • Being very overweight
  • Smoking
  • Menopause

Other conditions which affect the muscles may have an effect on the pelvic floor muscles e.g. neurological conditions and diabetes.

Other Symptoms You May Feel


  • leakage with coughing, sneezing and activity which may include sexual intercourse (stress urinary incontinence)
  • urgency – a sudden need to go to the toilet that may include leakage (urge urinary incontinence)
  • going to the toilet too often (frequency)
  • getting up at night to go to the toilet (nocturia)


  • leakage with activity or urge (anal incontinence)
  • difficulty getting clean after bowel movements
  • leakage of wind


  • a feeling of something coming down, or heaviness (pelvic organ prolapse)
  • pain which can be vaginal or sometimes abdominal
  • lack of sensation during sex

Pelvic floor muscle training improves both symptoms and severity of prolapsed in women with Pelvic Organ Prolapse

(Braekken et al 2010, Hagen et al 2009, 2011, 2014, Frawley et al 2012, Hagen et al 2014)

Pelvic Physiotherapy can offer help in all of the above by offering an assessment and explanation of your condition, after which with your therapist you can help you plan your rehabilitation. This may be as simple as re-educating your drinking and toileting habits combined with a home exercise programme or in some cases you may require more help.


EMG & Ultrasound

Here at Ashbourne after hearing your history and assessing your function we will plan your treatment with you and set the goals you wish to achieve. A significant time will be spent on education and advice in order that you can understand your problem and how to help yourself. Most treatments involve exercises that you will be asked to work on at home, between clinic visits, but often it is helpful to use biofeedback in order to educate in the most effective way to recruit the muscles that may be struggling. We use both ultrasound scanning and electromyography (EMG) to enable women to visualise the pelvic floor and abdominal muscle activation. This can be both in the clinic and, with the use of a portable EMG machine, at home in some cases.

Ultrasound images showing the deep abdominal muscle, transversus abdominus in its relaxed and then contracted state. Ultrasound scanning allows us to see the deeper muscles of the abdomen and the pelvic floor an visualise their movement in real time. Many of our patients have found this invaluable in re-educating their control.

EMG involves the use of a small electrode which can pick up the electrical activity of the motorneurone units as the muscles are activated (a little like ECG does with the heart). This shows a read out on a computer screen which enables us to see not only when the muscle is working but at what level which is very helpful when the problem is related to control of the muscle rather than just strength.
Pelvic pain conditions, with no systemic cause, often cause misery to the sufferer. Often they may be related to musculoskeletal dysfunction or to pelvic floor muscle issues and general instability which is why we feel that as physiotherapists we can be in an ideal position to assess and manage
Please contact the centre to arrange and appointment with Gillian or Elizabeth or ask to speak with one of us if you want to discuss how physiotherapy may help you.


Deep addominal muscles (relaxed)


Deep abdominal muscles (contracted)

Specialist Physios


Dr Gillian Campbell

Dr Gillian Campbell BSc Hons, PhD, Reg with HCPC, Full Member of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP).


Elizabeth Griggs

BSc (Hons), MCSP, Registered with the Health & Care Professions Council, Affiliate member of POGP.

Useful Links

Pelvic Pain Foundation
Pelvic, Obsteric And Gynaecological Physiotherapy
Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercise

A Short Guide To The Conditions Associated with Pelvic Floor Weakness And Its Rehabilitation:

Pelvic Health Information Leaflet
Vaginal Dryness
Urogenital Problems
Migraine & HRT
Complementary & Alternative Therapies
What our customers say

Don’t just take our word for it!

See what some of our happy customers have to say about us.

"Brilliant and friendly service. My physio is so lovely and makes you feel comfortable in what can sometimes be embarrassing situation. Highly recommended."

"Totally invaluable and superb!!! Wonderful service always from reception and helpful, caring advice always given from physio she is wonderful - a very knowledgeable asset."

"This is an excellent service and the first time that I've felt really listened to."

"Excellent and efficient also very friendly. The Practice is extremely well run. The physio offers a very professional and competent treatment. I have recommended them to many people. We are very lucky to have this fine facility in Ashbourne".

"Brilliant and friendly service. My physio is so lovely and makes you feel comfortable in what can sometimes be embarrassing situations Highly recommended."

"This is an excellent service and the first time that I've felt really listened to."

"I feel that my particular aspect of women's health(vaginal prolapse) is 'hidden' health problems which is much overlooked and under resourced. Your service invaluable in dealing with this issue with understanding and consideration coupled with constructive advice and effective treatment. It should be more widely advertised and available. Professional competent and knowledge but with a human face."

"I have received excellent, compassionate and considerate care throughout my treatment. Staff are knowledgeable can direct you to information available on web. The care I have received has been invaluable and made my life liveable again and avoided surgery that would have most likely made the symptoms worse."

"We are very fortunate to have this service in Ashbourne, and I have already recommended it to several people. Nothing is too much trouble for my physio, and you feel very supported while in her care. Thank you and well done! Professional, relevant, valuable. Reassuring, progressive, holistic care that continually worked towards the goals."

"An excellent service that has really helped me. As a user of the service for pelvic floor rehabilitation, I found the service to be particularly supportive, caring, encouraging and discrete. I would highly recommend this service". "Fantastic service, would definitely recommend to anyone in the same situation."

"Totally invaluable and superb!!! Wonderful service always from reception and helpful, caring advice always given from physio she is wonderful - a very knowledgeable asset."

"I received many useful pieces of information that I have passed on to several of my women friends and also to my two daughters. So the service I received has benefitted not only myself, but a number of others. The service I received was excellent and has made a big difference to my life. Thank you. "

Are You A New Patient?

If you have not visited us before and have not experienced physiotherapy before you may be unsure what to expect. We're here to help.

Please give us a call and one of our experienced team will be able to answer any questions or queries you may have.