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Unlock Your Pelvic Health Secrets Today

Pelvic Health is important in a woman’s life because it is responsible for core functions; supporting the joints, excreting waste and sexual health. Pelvic health affects daily activities from getting out of bed, going to the restroom, walking to the kitchen, getting in and out of the car, lifting anything. You see the Pelvic Floor and Pelvic health are embedded in our day to day life and we often overlook this essential group of muscles until dysfunction starts to happen and we start experiencing symptoms. 

The female pelvic floor consists of 3 layers: urogenital superficial layer, the urogenital deep layer, the deepest layer is levator ani and within those 3 layers we have our anus, vaginal and urethra. This system supports our skeleton as well as holds internal organs up and in our bodies. 

As we exert force in our daily lives whether it’s a leisurely walk, high intensity workout, running, hiking, swimming any physical activity our pelvic floor muscles absorb the force. When we excrete urine or feces the pelvic floor muscles relax to allow the waste to leave our bodies. This relaxation and contraction of these muscles is also how a baby moves down the vaginal canal. The same canal is used for sexual intercourse. 

Common issues that are experienced when dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction can be related to any or all of these normal daily activities. 

Some common symptoms include; 

  • Joint Pain: knee, back, hip, ankle, foot even neck
  • Constipation
  • Incontinence: leaking urine, feces or flatulence, or going too often 
  • Pain with intimacy or any insertion into the vaginal 
  • Pelvic pain or pressure

One thing that is often overlooked is that people are predisposed to holding stress in their pelvic floor muscles, it is instinctual so the daily stress we experience from work, family, society etc. that stress is internalized and stored in these muscles because when we experience them our mind goes into fight, flight or freeze all of which can contribute to the “tone” or tightness of our pelvic floor. So when we pair that with a more sedentary or excessively active  lifestyle that combination leads to 1 in 3 women experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, a number believed to be vastly underrepresented because most women believe pelvic floor issues stem from age, weight or are expected during pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. 

There are different factors that affect Pelvic health including; physical activity, diet, hydration, hormones and trauma, physical, mental and emotional states. Significant shifts in hormones such as during pregnancy, postpartum and perimenopause is often times when people notice a more dramatic change in their pelvic health. Other lifestyle factors can contribute like smoking, alcohol, caffeine, STI’s and other infections. Even clothing can contribute to pelvic issues, things like corsets. 

So to recognize the red flags or early signs of of pelvic floor dysfunction take note; 

  • If you experience a sharp deep pelvic pain during a certain movement that you have to navigate through
  • If you dribble urine on the toilet seat when you stand even though you wiped
  • When you can’t wipe clean after pooping or feel like you can’t get all of the stool out
  • If you’re not having a bowel movement everyday 
  • If you’re having any joint or back pain that is consistent and not directly related to an incident
  • Pain or discomfort with penetrative sex or feeling like your partner is hitting something 
  • Leaking urine when you workout, laugh or sneeze 
  • Not being able to hold in a fart

These issues don’t just affect confidence, they affect a person’s quality of life. They limit the experiences people are able to have, can affect relationships, family planning, travel, healthy routines and more.

Pelvic floor physical therapy and wellness plays a role in preventative health. Addressing these signs and symptoms between the ages of 27-50 will help you maintain your core strength to protect your joints as you age. That commitment and prevention in those years will keep you mobile and continent in the later years or your life where most people are struggling to get around and rely on diapers. Most of us want to maintain our health and independence for as long as possible so prioritizing pelvic health is essential. Seeing a Pelvic Expert before you even start having symptoms is truly life changing. The importance of pelvic floor isn’t something we learn in school yet this muscle group is responsible for so many aspects that contribute to our quality of life. Getting a proactive check to learn how to optimize these muscles will keep you from developing pelvic floor issues.

But what is Pelvic Floor Therapy? What can you expect at a Pelvic Floor Therapy Session? Manual therapy is the #1 priority when it comes to pelvic health. Manual therapy should be done by a Pelvic Floor expert and using a gloved finger they insert the finger into the vaginal and map out the 3 different layers, noting where they feel scar tissue, adhesions, high or low tone and any type of descent of the pelvic organs. With this information they will create a holistic plan of care that will include internal manual release, reconnection between the pelvic floor and the breath, teaching you how to relax, contract these muscles and regain that control and awareness but they will also address the body externally, providing manual therapy to areas around the body that might be tight or painful while creating a personalized plan of care to relieve pain, address concerns, eliminate pelvic floor dysfunction and maintain progress all the while keeping your goals in mind to ensure that you can uphold the quality of life you desire. 

The #1 Pelvic Health secret EVERYONE should know is that the diaphragm and the pelvic floor have a piston or slinky affect. When we do a deep diaphragmatic breath it will apply pressure to the pelvic floor making it relax. As we exhale the pelvic floor contracts. This movement is essential in maintaining optimal core pressure and connecting with these muscles. 

#2 Kegel’s are not the answer and are actually unnecessary, as I mentioned before most women will store stress in their pelvic floor causing it tp be high tone or tight. By doing Kegel’s or pelvic floor contractions you are actually making those muscles tighter. But a healthy muscle needs to have a full range of motion so because our bodies are already experts at tightening these muscles our job is to connect down and relearn how to relax and bulge these muscles. As we exert force in daily life our pelvic floor muscles, if they’re healthy, will absorb the force and contract naturally without us having to bust out 100 kegel’s a day. Yes this goes for leaking urine AND pain with intimacy. 

#3 Hydration is key, by hydrating properly you are providing blood flow back into all of your muscles, reducing the acidity in the bladder which can cause urgency and stimulating the colon so that stool can leave the body easier. 

A pelvic floor and core can be healthy at any size or age. And in that same hand pelvic floor dysfunction can affect women of any size or age. 

Pelvic health needs to be focused on so that we can prevent issues throughout our lives and it needs to be committed to for life. Addressing issues with a Pelvic Floor Specialist and then never going again doesn’t account for the fact that our bodies change and our lives change so maintenance is the second most important to prevention. I recommend an annual check up if your asymptomatic but if you’ve recently recover from pelvic floor dysfunction I suggest a monthly maintenance appointment. Especially if you intend to get pregnant, start a new fitness routine, take on more stress or intend to travel. 

Here at Body Motion Physical Therapy we have helped thousands of women and every story is our favorite! But here are some amazing real life success stories 

Alex
“I remember coming to you for the first time after I delivered my first and just feeling honestly devastated about how my body. And like I think I told you at one point that I didn’t realize how much pain I was in until after that first appointment and then how much relief I felt and then subsequently over the coming weeks and months, like, you know what a what a great difference that made and my quality of life and really my willingness to want to try to have more kids. So that was yeah, that was amazing and I do think that,you know, that foundation and then going forward, continuing with that work on the pelvic floor really did make a massive difference in how my second pregnancy progressed and then my subsequent redemption birth as I call it.”

Casey

“I knew as soon as I found out I was pregnant I needed to go see Dr.Allison at Body Motion. She is a friend of mine and an old coworker as I’m a physical therapist myself. Before my first appointment, I was hesitant to spend money for something I thought I could figure out myself, but boy was I mistaken. Of all people, I know this would be worth the investment.

Both Dr. Allison and Dr. Riley worked with me during my time at Body Motion and they did not disappoint! Not only did they teach me a lot, but they gave me the confidence to go into labor without fear. During my pregnancy I had a few complications including prolapse and diastasis recti (abdominal separation) which they guided me through and educated me about how to manage during both pregnancy and postpartum. The thing that terrified me the most was not being able to have another baby in the future, or having to get surgery, but they made me feel at ease. Dr.Allison even contacted my OBGYN, who was not well versed in my particular, rare, form of prolapse.

I’m happy to say that my labor and delivery was not only much shorter than I expected, but despite my previously mentioned problems, went off without a hitch! Postpartum recovery was as seamless as it could have been, and I’m relieved that I no longer have any of the pain or weakness that I had prior to and during my pregnancy. I know I can thank the ladies at Body Motion for that. They have really opened my eyes as to what hands on and personalized therapy can do for a body.

Thank you Dr. Allison and Dr. Riley for your magic touch and guiding me through what could have been a scary process with ease.”

By addressing pelvic floor dysfunction now you will be protecting your future self, your freedom, your family, your dreams. The women in the generations before us were not given this support and are suffering. We as a society can change the course of women’s health and the first step is with ourselves and then sharing our experiences with the women around us. 

Reach out to book a Free 30 Minute Discovery Visit with a Pelvic Expert Today and Take The First Step On This Journey To Holistic Health and Wellness. 

AUTHOR

Allison Feldt

Body Motion Physical Therapy

"We Help Women Through Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum and Beyond So They Can Live Active, Confident, Healthy Lives Without The Need For Medication Or Surgery"
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