Do these 4 steps for pelvic floor recovery and you’ll never have another issue
We need to talk about this…
It’s a funny thing to a lot of people when I talk about the pelvic floor. More than 10 years in clinical rehabilitation means that topics of conversation that seem so normal to me can actually end up a little socially awkward over a coffee or a wine!
Alleviating incontinence, seeing prolapses heal, teaching mums how to run again pain and leak free… it’s a daily part of my life now – which has just normalised the conversation for me.
But – for most people I get that this is not a great dinner topic.
Which is why this 4 part series is super valuable – no one is really talking about this stuff. And we need to.
You need to know about your body post birth. It’s essential to a full recovery. To being pain free, and strong.
Across the next 4 weeks I am going to be taking you through this stuff step by step – so you know your body, you know what to look for, and you know why you are doing it.
These are the 4 steps to complete pelvic floor recovery and strength:
Step 1 – Activation and Release (today’s topic)
Step 2 – Co-ordination with the corresponding muscles on the same neurological loop
Step 3 – Standing patterns with the correct progressions – sequence is everything!
Step 4 – Strength and Endurance ONLY when it’s appropriate
Why Step 1 is so so important….
The very first step is knowing how to switch the muscles on correctly, and then switch them off correctly through a full release. The pelvic floor, like any other set of muscles, will work best when it goes through a full contraction, and a full relaxation.
If you don’t know how to get a full release of the muscles, over time they can end up shorter and tighter, and become what’s known as ‘hypertonic’. They feel overactive and irritated, and you may experience pain during sex or frequent urgency to urinate.
In this overactive position the muscles are shorter and unable to leverage properly during exercise – so they actually still feel weak and fatigue quickly.
Knowing how to complete a full contraction and then a full release is what alleviates this.
If you don’t know how to do it – check out this post here –
Top tip for exercising and your pelvic floor
Your pelvic floor has to be the leader in the exercise. If it’s working, do the movement. Initially it will start off being the weakest link in the chain – so if it fatigues (even if the rest of you feels fine), the best thing you can do for your body is stop.
If you can no longer control or co-ordinate your pelvic floor during an exercise (like a run or a squat) – even if the rest of you can keep going – it’s time to rest.
If you feel heaviness, bearing down, trampolining* or leaking in your pelvic floor, that’s a sign that the exercise is too hard just at this time.
Improvement is fast if you don’t push your pelvic floor too hard. If you push to the point where the tissue is damaged and needs days to repair, over time you can create exercise induced pelvic organ prolapse. Stop when you need to, and you will actually notice improvements every single day.
You don’t need to be scared of exercise – just educated.
Plenty of women run and lift heavy things and are completely prolapse, leak and heaviness free. It’s just a reminder to pay attention to the signs your body is giving you.
Your own body is the best health advice you can be given, if you know what to listen for.
Our last courses for 2018 are starting soon! If you’re a local don’t miss out.
No matter how long ago you had kids – if you wish your core or pelvic floor was different to the way it is – come and check us out. We guarantee results.
*trampolining is the term I use to refer to that bouncing feeling on your pelvic floor – like when you were pregnant and it felt like bub was literally jumping on it like a trampoline. You’ll notice it during impact activities when you land if it’s too harsh for your pelvic floor.