Call: 01243 527827

Address: 3 City Business Centre, Basin Rd, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8DU


Women’s and Men’s Health Physiotherapy

Some of the conditions we treat:

  • Male & female urinary incontinence, urgency & voiding dysfunction
  • Overactive / Irritable bladder
  • Faecal incontinence, constipation & defaecation difficulties
  • Pre & Post pelvic surgery rehabilitation
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pregnancy related pelvic girdle & back pain
  • Antenatal & postnatal “MOT”
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominis Muscles (DRAM)
Pregnant Woman

At Chichester Physiotherapy and Pilates, we have two highly experienced Pelvic Health Specialist Physiotherapists; Karen Irons and Vanessa Rose. Like all of our physiotherapists Karen and Vanessa aim to provide affordable, effective, evidence based physiotherapy, using mainly hands on treatment techniques, specific exercise programmes and sound education and advice, to empower patients to take control of their issues.

We are particularly lucky to have Karen and Vanessa on the team at Chichester Physiotherapy, as they have over 40 years of professional experience between them. Both come from an outpatient, rather than a ward background, and therefore have excellent diagnostic and musculoskeletal physiotherapy skills, this means that they are confident in assessing and treating the patient as a whole, not just the pelvic floor!

Men’s and Women’s Health

Male & Female urinary incontinence, urgency and voiding dysfunction

Pregnant Woman

Stress Urinary incontinence (SUI) is the involuntary leakage of urine during a cough, sneeze, laugh, run, or any movement that increases abdominal pressure. SUI occurs frequently after pelvic surgery (eg removal of tumour or prostactetomy), childbirth or during the menopause and is often the result of an inefficient pelvic floor, it can be treated effectively with correct use of pelvic floor exercises.

Increasing urinary frequency and urgency is often the result of an overactive or “twitchy” bladder. Bladder training, lifestyle and fluid advice alongside pelvic floor muscle exercises can help to manage these symptoms.

Faecal Incontinence, Constipation & Defaecation Difficulties

This is often the result of inadequate anal sphincter function and can be improved with correct assessment and supervised anal sphincter exercises. The inability to empty the bowels can simply be the result of altered defaecation dynamics /mechanics therefore a good toileting position and muscle training to improve abdominal effort can help improve emptying, when dietary advice has failed.

Pre & Post pelvic surgery Rehabilitation

Surgery such as prostatectomy, hysterectomy, bowel resection, and prolapse repair can result in increases in pelvic pain and dysfunction of the pelvic floor, leading poorer bladder and bowel control. Physiotherapy can help to strengthen and prepare the pelvic floor muscles prior to surgery (‘Prehab’) giving patients a head start post op. Rehabilitation following surgery, helps enhance recovery and physiotherapy treatment helps facilitate a timely return to daily activities, sport and work.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

This is a bulge of one or more of the pelvic organs into the vagina. The pelvic organs include the bladder, uterus, and rectum. A prolapse occurs when the walls of the vagina, the pelvic floor and other structures which help support the pelvic organs become weakened and stretched. Occasionally patients are able to feel, or even see a protrusion in the vaginal opening. Evidence shows that if pelvic floor exercises are taught and performed correctly, symptoms of prolapse and the need for surgery can be significantly reduced.

Physiotherapy for the Childbearing Years

Fit for pregnancy assessment ‘MOT’ and exercise plan

Patients who have experienced back/pelvic pain or pelvic floor problems in the past are often concerned about the effect that pregnancy will have on their symptoms. We carry out a thorough assessment, before teaching patients the best exercises, and lifestyle modifications to help them prepare their bodies for the effects of pregnancy, we may also offer hands on treatment if needed.

Pregnancy related musculoskeletal conditions

Our physiotherapists have a wealth of experience in assessing and treating musculoskeletal conditions in pregnancy including Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP), Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) Low Back Pain, Rib flare/thoracic pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. They use gentle joint and soft tissue mobilisation techniques, alongside exercises specifically selected to be appropriate during pregnancy, as well as lots of useful tips and techniques for example on how to get a better night’s sleep, or keep fit without aggravating pain.

Postnatal musculoskeletal and pelvic floor ‘MOT’ checks

Pregnancy and childbirth can have a significant impact on the body. Our physiotherapists are experienced in treating issues such as perineal trauma and continence problems, or ongoing pelvic gridle pain. Whether patients have undergone vaginal delivery or caesarean section our physiotherapists can provide the necessary treatment and support to help patients get back to exercising safely and stay fit for the physical demands of motherhood. Take a look at this Ted X Talk by Marianne Ryan, a prominent Women’s Health Physiotherapist to find out more about the effects of pregnancy and childbirth and the benefits of physiotherapy):

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis Muscles (DRAM)

Separation of the abdominal muscles is a common condition during and after some pregnancies, this is known as diastasis rectus abdominis. The abdominal muscles are naturally drawn apart during pregnancy, especially the third trimester, but often this can become problematic after pregnancy when the abdominal wall is weak. If this is the case, the muscles are unable to work properly and can’t respond to daily stresses and strains to support your body as they should. Left untreated this can cause persistent abdominal, back or pelvic pain, poor core stability and pelvic floor muscle problems such as incontinence or prolapse. Traditional ‘ab work’ like crunches or planks will not restore normal muscle activity and can actually cause more harm than good. Our physiotherapists are experienced in treating DRAM and can work with you to devise an exercise and rehabilitation programme to meet your daily needs and return to exercise.

For more information on the conditions we treat and services we offer, or to book an appointment please call 01243 527827 or email us at

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Get in Touch

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Call us on: 01243 527827 or email us.