Women's Pelvic Health

Bladder Pain

Do you have pain in your abdomen, bladder or urethra?
Does it hurt when you need to urinate?
Are you bothered by urgency or needing to urinate often?
Have you been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome?

Bladder pain is a condition affecting many people in Australia.  Common diagnoses we see are Interstitial Cystitis, Bladder Pain Syndrome, and Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections.  
To support your recovery from bladder pain, it is recommended that you have a multidisciplinary team assisting you, often involving a urologist, GP and pelvic floor physiotherapist, and sometimes a pain physician and psychologist.  
Physiotherapy treatment for bladder pain targets your whole body, to alleviate symptoms and enable you to live a productive, active life. This includes many strategies which will set you up with good lifelong habits.

What is Interstitial Cystitis / Painful Bladder Syndrome?

Painful bladder syndrome is the term used to describe persistent pain in the bladder or urethra in the absence of infection or other identified pathology.  Interstitial cystitis is a subtype of painful bladder syndrome, where specific inflammatory changes are found in the lining of the bladder on cystoscopy or bladder biopsy.  
The exact cause of painful bladder syndrome and interstitial cystitis is not known.

Common symptoms: 

Some people with bladder pain will experience regular symptoms, whilst others will only experience symptoms during ‘flares’.  
Some common symptoms experienced are:
    Lower abdominal or urethral pain with urination or bladder filling 
    Needing to urinate more often, with or without urgency 
    Vaginal and vulval pain 
    Sexual pain 
    Abdominal and pelvic pain 
    Irritable bowels 

How We Can Help:

Our experienced Physiotherapists understand this complex problem and will work with you to improve your quality of life.  We take a wholistic approach addressing all aspects that may be contributing to your pain.  
Your physiotherapist will take a detailed history to work out what is causing your pain.  They will help you to understand your pain and how your muscles, nerves, thoughts and feelings and the world around you are contributing.  They will often focus on desensitising and retraining your bladder, improving the function of your muscles and joints in and around your pelvis, calm down the sensitivity in your nervous system, and improve your overall health and wellbeing.  
We work closely with you, your referring doctor and other health professionals to achieve your goals.

What To Expect:

Our caring physios are invested in your overall wellbeing, empowering you to live your best life.  During your treatment with us you can expect:
    Time spent hearing and exploring your story, understanding your unique body, mind and lifestyle factors and establishing goals with you
    A thorough physical assessment, which may include an internal vaginal examination  (if and when you are ready)
    A detailed explanation of what is causing your pain, and what we can do to help 
    Design of a treatment program tailored to your individual needs and goals
    Development of a ‘flare up management toolkit’ to give you strategies to help manage your pain during a flare  
    Bladder desensitisation and retraining exercises 
    Exercises for your pelvic floor muscles 
    Education about healthy bladder and bowel habits 
    Desensitisation exercises, massage techniques and / or stretches and strengthening exercises for your pelvis, back, abdomen or legs 
    Education about the science of pain, to help you understand the relationship between your pain, nervous system, and physical and emotional health
    Advice on lifestyle factors including general exercise, sleep, diet and stress management

Did You Know



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What Is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?

The pelvic floor muscles are at the base of the pelvis and attach from the pubic bone at the front to the tail bone at the back. They are like a hammock and support the bladder, uterus and bowel. They also help control the bladder and bowel and play a role in sexual function.

If the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they can contribute to poor bladder and bowel control and pelvic organ prolapse. If you are unable to relax your pelvic floor you may have problems with bladder and bowel emptying or sexual and pelvic pain.

Our specifically trained Physiotherapists will evaluate the function of your pelvic floor muscles and assess your ability to contract and relax these muscles. Pelvic floor muscle training under the guidance of a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist is recognised as an effective treatment for these problems.

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549 Burke Rd, Camberwell VIC 3124
F: 03 8823 8399