Embrace Physio

Embrace Physio aims to make a difference in people’s lives. It is saddening to think that so many women put up with problems that specialist treatment could improve or resolve. With today’s busy, chaotic lifestyles, you can find your own health getting pushed further down the pecking order and list of priorities. It’s not at all surprising that we often don’t find the time or energy to address personal and sensitive issues, ones which we continue to hope might just go away!

Often women just don’t know what’s available to them, or where to turn for help. Embrace Physio wants to shed light on Women’s Health problems, to turn the tide on these ‘taboo’ subjects, and enable women to talk openly, honestly and seriously about the problems affecting them. Our goal is to help, educate and empower women to do something positive to help themselves. You will be treated with complete dignity and respect, and all information is taken with the strictest confidence and discretion. It is a very personal service, one where gaining your trust is key, and sharing the journey is a privilege.

No woman should suffer in silence, or go through problems alone. Seeking help or treatment can be difficult when issues are sensitive, potentially embarrassing and sometimes life-changing. Embrace Physio wants to challenge you to take that step, to seek advice and help. We don’t want you to ‘put up with’ or live with ongoing concerns that get in the way of you living your life to its full potential! I bring a lot of empathy and understanding, as I also know what it’s like to be a woman and experience these struggles. If it matters to you then it matters to me.

About Emily

My name is Emily Sturt and I am a specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist based in Derby, with over 14 years of clinical experience.

I graduated in 2001 from the University of Birmingham with a BSc (hons) degree in Physiotherapy and I am Chartered and State Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). I am also a member of the Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy Group (POGP).

My extensive NHS experience has covered all aspects of Physiotherapy. In recent years I have worked within the Obstetric and Gynaecological team at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Here I have been responsible for delivering exceptional care quality, developing the service throughout the trust, as well as lecturing on the Undergraduate Women’s Health Module at the University of Nottingham.  I also currently work alongside a Consultant Gynaecologist at the Nottingham Hospital NHS Treatment Centre, as their Lead Specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

I am a busy working Mum with two small children and on returning from Maternity Leave for the second time, I felt compelled to set up Embrace Physio and reach out to the Women of Derbyshire and beyond. I have a real passion for Women’s Health, and it is my aim to encourage, support and motivate you to make positive changes to your health, wellbeing and quality of life.



Read more about our frequently asked questions to put your mind at ease before making your appointment.

What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?

Women’s Health Physiotherapy is a specialised field of Physiotherapy that focuses on female health related problems, treating all disorders affecting the body, but primarily the back, pelvis and pelvic floor. Embrace Physio is here to support women through all stages of life: during pregnancy; after childbirth; before and after gynaecological surgery; pre and post menopause and beyond!

1 in 3 women experience women’s health problems at some point in their life, often for years, either too embarrassed to seek help, or unaware that there are treatments and help available. Whether it’s pelvic pain, back pain, incontinence, prolapse, pelvic floor weakness, perineal trauma from childbirth, or simply a desire to take control of health and fitness……there is a growing body of evidence that Women’s Health Physiotherapy can help alleviate and in many cases cure these symptoms!

These include: Antenatal and Postnatal problems associated with pregnancy and childbirth – musculosketelal disorders, pelvic girdle pain (PGP), back pain and/or sciatica, pelvic floor weakness, bladder and bowel concerns, post C-Section rehabilitation, perineal trauma and scarring, carpal tunnel syndrome and separation of tummy muscles (recti diastasis).

Gynaecological problems: Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), bladder weakness, overactive bladder (OAB), urge incontinence, pelvic floor weakness and dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal pain, problems with sexual intercourse, pre & post menopause, constipation, bowel control difficulties and post gynaecological surgery.

What can I expect at my first Appointment?

Your assessment and treatment will depend upon your presenting condition.

  • It is essential that I get to know you, and so start by taking a detailed and thorough history of the condition or problems you have been experiencing. Whilst these issues are often sensitive in nature and sometimes difficult to discuss, understanding your symptoms and how your daily life is affected is vital in directing your treatment.
  • Gaining your trust and consent is paramount. I want you to feel completely comfortable with your assessment and treatment, and, in my experience, journeying as a team often gets the best results! Assessment findings and treatment options are always discussed and agreed with yourself beforehand, so you can feel educated, empowered and supported.
  • Treatment normally consists of an initial appointment lasting an hour and, if required, follow up appointments lasting 45 minutes. A brief insight into a physical examination and treatment options are detailed below….

Pregnancy-related conditions

(Physical examination usually involves removing some outer clothing, unless you would rather not).

Assessment and treatment can include:

  • Examination and observation of the movement of your pelvis, spine, legs and other joints as indicated.
  • Examination of your muscles, nerves and ligaments – their activity and function.
  • Hands on treatment where appropriate (including joint mobilisations, soft tissue massage, stretching, myofascial release and trigger point release).
  • Postural and back care advice.
  • Advice on lifting techniques and transfers (including getting in and out of bed, turning in bed, standing up from sitting, and walking).
  • Advice on pain management and other therapeutic options.
  • Teaching strength & stability exercises and stretches.
  • Advice and education on safe exercise during and after pregnancy.
  • Advice on labour and delivery positions (if antenatal) and ways to have an ‘Active Birth’.
  • The provision of support belts, wrist splints and mobility aids (if necessary).

If you are post-natal, please feel free to bring your baby and partner along to the sessions! You are welcome to feed your baby at any point during the appointment as may be required.

Gynaecological problems

Because of the intimate and sensitive nature of an examination, I often spend the first appointment gathering a wealth of information of your gynaecological history and symptoms, and offer appropriate advice, education and opportunities for discussion. An important part of your assessment is an internal examination, although, it’s unlikely that we get the time to do so within the initial appointment. Understandably many women feel anxious and daunted at the prospect of an internal examination. I understand how you feel and it’s completely natural! I have been performing vaginal examinations for many years and I have always gained my patients’ trust and confidence prior to doing so. I pride myself on being gentle, discreet, understanding and empathetic. If however, you simply do not wish to be examined then I will respect your decision and will treat you without one.

Assessment and treatment can include:

  • Examination of the pelvic floor muscle tone, strength, endurance and control
  • Identification of areas of tightness, prolapse, tenderness, altered sensation and scarring
  • Teaching correct pelvic floor exercises
  • Internal manual therapy techniques to relax the pelvic floor muscles (including scar massage, myofascial stretches and trigger point release)
  • Desensitising and massaging painful scar tissue following childbirth or gynaecological surgery
  • Pilates based exercise programs to strengthen the abdominal muscles
  • Bladder and bowel re-education and training
  • Advice on diet and lifestyle
  • Advice on safe exercise
  • Prolapse management advice
  • Biofeedback and electrotherapy, if necessary
  • Advice for intercourse and sexual activity if appropriate

You are more than welcome to bring your partner along to these sessions, or a chaperone if that helps you feel more relaxed in any way.