This is where we help you take control!
After treating and speaking with many of our clients, we found that many thought it was normal to leak urine while coughing, sneezing, running, and exercising after having 1 or even 3 children. A lot of people have not heard of pelvic health and pelvic floor physiotherapy. Some of these clients were never made aware of the importance of exercise postpartum or even Kegels.
After attending pelvic floor physiotherapy, many of our clients have learned how to do pelvic floor exercises correctly and no longer experience urinary incontinence.
Pelvic Floor Therapy and Incontinence can strengthen and lift your pelvic muscles, providing better support for the bladder and ureters
This is life CHANGING for them!
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can help treat a wide variety of issues such as:
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty with starting or stopping urination
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Painful intercourse
- Pre and postnatal care
- Rectus Diastasus (separation of the abdomen)
- Pain within the pelvic and groin area
- Post-surgical (C-section)
So, what is happening? Are muscles too weak? Too tight?
This is where pelvic floor physiotherapists at Vitality Physiotherapy come in. We are highly trained and experienced physiotherapists that specialize in treating pelvic health and pelvic floor dysfunction. Our practice includes both external and internal physiotherapy to identify if the muscles are too weak or too tight. Just an FYI Kegels are not always the answer.
Why an internal exam? (The question always asked)
The best method for a pelvic health physiotherapist to assess your pelvic floor is internally because it will help identify the strength, tone, endurance, and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. An internal exam could also help with identifying the presence of a pelvic organ prolapse and tenderness on palpation.
These assessment details can only be confirmed with an internal exam which is important for Pelvic health physiotherapists to create an individually-tailored treatment approach and find the root cause of the issues you may be experiencing.
Why is our pelvic floor important?
It’s important that you identify and manage your pelvic floor problems NOW! Think of it like any other muscle group in your body. Like they say… Use it or lose it!
Strengthening your pelvic muscles can also help with the prevention of any of the mentioned issues and can also help with prenatal and postpartum recovery.
If you are suffering from pelvic issues and don’t take the time to strengthen the pelvic muscles now, they could lead to bigger problems like:
- Urinary stress incontinence or fecal incontinence
- Painful intercourse
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Back pain, tailbone pain or pelvic pain
What does a strong and connected pelvic floor mean or feel like? (Let’s start with Joy!)
- You can LAUGH, sneeze, and cough without leaking urine
- You’re able to exercise and run without pain
- You will not experience heaviness, pain or pressure in the pelvic region
- Pain-free sexual intercourse
- You can return to your baseline and more after your pregnancy
4 Pelvic Health Physiotherapy-Based Strategies and Exercises to Connect with Your Pelvic Floor
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Do you usually breathe into your shoulders or your rib cage? Try these out to check…
- Put one hand on your chest, then put the other hand on your stomach
- Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth
Where did you breathe – chest or stomach? (which one did you feel moved more?)
The breathing strategy that is going to benefit you is to breathe into your stomach (or lower rib cage to be exact) So let’s practice breathing:
- Find a comfortable position where you feel relaxed and supported. (We find lying on your back is best with your knees bent to support your lower back)
- Inhale slowly through your nose and slowly feel your belly rise (to a count of 4)
- Exhale slowly through your mouth (like you are blowing through a straw) and feel your belly lower (to a count of 6)
- Keep your chest relaxed the entire time and repeat
2. Pelvic Posture
How do you naturally stand? Do you feel like you shifted towards one side? Do you typically put more weight on one leg than the other? Do you slouch your shoulders?
Let’s consider your pelvic position and rib cage position. Can you stack your rib cage directly over your pelvic while standing on both legs evenly?
Think of a string at the top of your head and you’re trying to pull up to straighten yourself. Try to grow 2 inches taller.
3. Kegels –Can you do a kegel? Or know what is supposed to happen during a kegel?
We see it all the time when asking our clients to do a kegel, most women squeeze as hard as they can only using the muscles around the vagina or anus. The proper way to do a kegel actually involves a lifting component as well. It measures control, strength and endurance by checking how long you can hold the kegel for, and are you able to fully relax your pelvic floor after each contraction?
- Sit in a comfortable position and think about the muscles that allow you to stop urination (holding your pee).
- Tighten these muscles and hold for 5 seconds- it should feel like you are squeezing and have a lifting component involved.
- Then, release the muscle- it should feel like you are fully relaxing. Repeat this 10 times.
- Lie on your back with your knee bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your buttocks and pelvic floor (similar to kegels) to lift your hips to the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds. Relax back to the floor and repeat 10 times.
- Perform this exercise for 3 sets (10x10x10)
So…how important is your pelvic floor? (Spoiler Alert- VERY!)
Pelvic health and the pelvic floor is a very important part of our body that is too often neglected. Think of it like a “canister” system where the pelvic floor along with our diaphragm, deep spinal muscles, and inner abdominal muscles are the “inner system” that helps to regulate our intra-abdominal pressure.
When there is dysfunction in the pelvic floor it can lead to many common issues mentioned above such as urinary/ fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and painful intercourse. Depending on the issue and the severity, most clients report significant improvement or abolishment of their symptoms within just 4-6 sessions.
Where do I start?
If you are experiencing any of the pelvic symptoms mentioned, please do not wait or hesitate any longer to feel better! Call our Vitality Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre- Findlay creek location at 613-425-3500 or click here to book your appointment today.
If you are unsure if pelvic floor physiotherapy is right for you, ask about our Discovery session. The Discovery session is complimentary and is your opportunity to meet with a Pelvic Floor physiotherapist one on one to learn more about what they do, how they can help, and why they would be a good fit for you! It is also the opportunity to be able to explain to them what exactly the issue is and to get a general idea of a plan that would work well for you.