Cristiane Carboni, ICS Physiotherapy Committee member, recently interviewed the pelvic floor physiotherapy team that will be attending the Olympic games 2016. This team of specialists will be providing therapy for the pelvic floor muscles of the Olympic athletes. ‘They are an amazing group!” said Christiane, “and we are so pleased that they have taken the time to tell us about their daily work within this area of pelvic floor physiotherapy.”
The team is composed of three pelvic floor physiotherapists: Camila Garcia de Carvalho, Liris Wuo and Aline Rosseto. Their medical director is gynecologist Maita Poli de Araujo who has proposed a new nomenclature for dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction in athletes. All three therapists are from the Gynecology Sport sector of the Federal University Medical School of Sao Paulo/ UNIFESP.
Pelvic floor dysfunction in athletes and disabled athletes is increasing every day in different countries. It’s seen in different age groups with urinary incontinence the most common problem. Involuntarily loss of urine negatively effects sport performance as well as overall quality of life.
The Sport Gynecology Clinic is conducted by a multidisciplinary team of pelvic floor physiotherapists, gynecologists, nutritionists, physical educators and psychologists. All athletes undergo an assessment with physiotherapists specialising in the pelvic floor. This assessment consists of history taking and physical examination. The physical therapists interview athletes regarding their training program, fluid intake, symptoms of filling and voiding, sexual health, gynecological history and bowel habits. The physical exam includes assessment of joint mobility based on the Beighton Scale. Studies indicate that joint hypermobility may be related to the presence of urinary incontinence. The athletes are examined in lithotomy position with a complete assessment of reflexes and sensitivity in the perineal region. The examiner completes a functional evaluation of the pelvic floor muscles using the Perfect Scale. After the individual evaluations, the athletes are gathered in a gymnasium to participate in the Sport Pelvic School. This project aims to educate the athletes about the anatomy and function of the pelvic structures using lectures and activities for body awareness. The exercises are based on the Pelvic Sports Program, which has been shown to be effective for improving the function of the pelvic floor muscles in athletes.
Throughout the Sport Gynecology Clinic evaluation, a large number of athletes are found to have micturition disorders. The physiotherapy team proposes a treatment protocol based on optimal function and focused activation of the pelvic floor muscles especially before efforts made in training via the Knack protocol.
We wish all athletes participating in the 2016 games, good luck! And thank you to all the medical professionals assisting in the games!
Article by the Physiotherapy Committee