Women’s physio program helping patients relieve symptoms faster and avoid surgery

Read time

Image for Women’s physio program helping patients relieve symptoms faster and avoid surgery

Photo (from left to right): Physiotherapist Advanced - Genevieve Tremblay, Women's and Children's Services Allied Health Manager - Angela Tully, Medical Director Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Beng NG.

Sunshine Coast Health has launched a new service, that uses a tried and tested evidence-based approach, to fast track access to physiotherapy treatment, for patients experiencing common women’s health issues.

The service brings physiotherapy to the start of the treatment process, for women experiencing Mixed Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse.

This means patients can start conservative management when they are first referred for the issue, rather than waiting to see a gynaecologist and subsequently being referred to a physio.

Early physiotherapy involvement is known to improve its effectiveness in managing these conditions, meaning some women will not require additional medical or surgical intervention.

Sunshine Coast Health Women’s and Children’s Service Allied Health Manager Angela Tully explained these conditions are fairly common in women, but likelihood generally increases with age or if symptoms are left untreated for too long.

“Presenting symptoms can interfere with quality of life and cause significant distress to our patients, both physically and emotionally, so prompt symptom management and improvement is very important to these women,” Ms Tully said.

Since introducing this new model of care, there have already been improvements in both category 2 and 3 Gynaecology outpatient waitlists.

“The Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic is not only beneficial for women with the specific conditions it’s designed to treat, but it also means patients with other concerns can get a gynaecology appointment sooner,” Sunshine Coast Health Chief Executive Peter Gillies said.

“Sunshine Coast Health is proud to be bringing new services on board that both expand and improve the efficiency of our current services,” he said.

“This is an example of the initiatives our staff are driving, to make sure our patients are getting the best care possible.”

The Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic service has already produced success stories, such as one woman who expected to need surgery for her urinary incontinence issues.

After seeing the physio under this program and committing to the home exercises, her symptoms dramatically improved and she now no longer requires surgical intervention.

She said the service and its outcomes have been a major relief, and she has now regained freedom over her life.