Approachable Fitness & Physical Therapy
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction - More common than you might think
Sat, Jul 11 2015 04:17 | Antenatal, Back Pain, Exercise for Older Adults, Exercise in Menopause, General Health, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Physiotherapy, Pilates, Postnatal
HAVE A LOOK AT THE NEW PELVIC FLOOR WORK - IT
AFFECTS MORE PEOPLE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: What is it, why do you have it and how can you correct it?
To start with, new research in 2014 shows that 80% of women will have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) at some point in their life and 30% will have stress incontinence. Men are also affected by PFD, frequently as a result of prostrate problems, although this is talked about much less.
What is Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
A dysfunctional muscle is one which will not contract nor release so it tends to be both tight and weak, and consequently, unable to function correctly.
The pelvic floor is the muscle group which forms the 'under carriage' of your trunk. It supports your internal organs, includes the "bathroom" muscles and adds support to the sacro-iliac joint. So it is essential that it functions correctly. If it is dysfunctional it will be tight, short and weak instead of being flexible, long and strong.
Symptoms of PFD may include:
Abdominal separation following pregnancy
Back and Sacro-Iliac joint pain
The contributors to PFD include:
Crunches and sit ups
Wearing high heels
Sitting for too long
What is the solution?
New research has identified that the pelvic floor will not work effectively in isolation, it will function up to 75% better through a specific mix of muscle group activation rather than with the traditional 'kegels' exercises (controlled lifting of the pelvic floor in isolation).
In addition, all exercises should be performed with the pelvis in a neutral position, not in the pelvic tilt position.
The specific mix of muscle group activation is to work the Glute (butt) muscles in conjunction with inner, and outer, thigh muscles. This is the key combination for optimum pelvic floor engagement and improved support to the pelvis.
The best exercises are:
Squats with correct alignment to strengthen yet lengthen the pelvic floor
Shoulder bridge with a small ball between your knees
Curtsey or split squats
Clam type exercise using fast and slow twitch pelvic floor activation
Check with an exercise professional to ensure that your technique is correct as this is essential to gain any PF benefit. The big benefit of this new approach is that by working this specific group of muscles, correctly, the pelvic floor will activate automatically.
Exercises to avoid
Any exercise with a pelvic tilt as this shortens the pelvic floor muscle, encouraging dysfunction.
Crunches or sit ups, which increase the downward pressure on the pelvic floor.
High impact exercise.
Pilates exercises such as 'the 100'
Would you like to know more?
Just contact Anne by phone or email to discuss your needs. The correct exercises and techniques are taught in 'I Move Freely' Pilates Classes at The Studio