Working Around Pelvic Floor Issues


What Is Pelvic Floor Disorder?

At Your House Fitness, I have trained a few women who have pelvic floor disorder.

Simply, this issue that occurs with women, involves the lower organs to prolapse (drop down) due to weakened ligaments, muscles and connective tissue in the pelvis. Women who suffer from this condition may never be able to recover 100 percent, but various exercises, including some controlled by the conscience, can help control the contents of the pelvic floor stay in place and reduce pressure and discomfort.

The conscience must also work in helping pelvic floor issues from getting worse. Tension and stress and overthinking about the issue can cause muscles in the pelvic floor to become tighter and accelerate the lower organs to prolapse. These organs include the bladder, small intestine, urethra, rectum, uterus, and vagina. The most common cause of pelvic floor disorder is pregnancy.

 

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Causes Of Pelvic Floor Disorder

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can expand or stretch the muscles of the pelvic floor, causing its function to become weakened. Delivery can also cause nerve damage, making it harder for the conscience to control muscle relaxation. After reading this passage, check out Tijana's experience with Tips To Stay Healthy During Pregnancy for more advice on staying more internally healthy and fit during early stages.

 

Obesity

As obesity increases in an individual, so does the problem of pelvic floor disorder. Again, this condition will cause the muscles that support the pelvis to stretch.

 

Old Age & Inactivity

Our muscles will naturally become weakened throughout our body as we get older. This is why its important to train the hips and pelvis, so their function can maintain and reduce the risk of becoming frail or tight. The correct activity is also important. Incorrect exercise can actually counteract the process. Too much heavy lifting, such as jobs related to manual dexterity, can actually put too much pressure on the abdomen and hips, and cause damage to the pelvic support network. Safe exercises to keep your hips and supporting muscles strong can be seen here in video motion.

 

  • Theraband/ Resistance Band Clamshells
  • Inward Gluteal Step Up
  • Theraband Squats
  • Side Squats with Resistance Bands

 

Natural Causes

Some people are born with weak pelvic muscles and will have to train the supporting muscles regardless. The importance is to identify the issue early. Other issues such as constipation can strain the muscles that control the bowels. If you are suffering from bladder issues such as inflammation, its best to check if there is something in your diet that may be causing this reaction. Good advice is to add some simple Superfoods to your diet. These grains or seeds are high energy, tasteless, and even therapeutic. Containing little calories, they can combat three issues that affect pelvic floor disorder; obesity, constipation and inflammation.

 

 

Identifying Pelvic Floor Issues

 

Prolapse

The contents mentioned above will start to feel like they are ''dropping'' downwards in sequence. This pain can feel very uncomfortable and feel ''heavy''. Another symptom complained about is the feeling of something ''pulling downwards''.

 

Urination

There can be different issues with urination. This can either be needing to go more frequently, having trouble emptying the bladder, or accidentally losing self control.

 

Inflammation

 

There may be external inflammation or swelling located near the pelvis, particularity at the bladder or uterus.

 

Correct & Incorrect Exercises With Pelvic Floor Disorder

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Bridge Exercise Helps Strengthen Hips, Abs And Glutes

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Supine Position A

This is the correct position. Lying supine, you don't put any excess pressure on the lower spine or abdominal muscles. This way no discomfort can be caused to the supporting network of the pelvis, which can trigger a prolapse.

Exercises can be performed to strengthen your hips, abdominals and the pelvic floor muscles specifically. The abs must be worked by contracting yet not flexing the midsection. Here are some exercises that are good for the hips, abs and pelvis lying down.

Exercises For Lower Body In Supine Position

  • Bridge
  • Single Leg Lifts
  • Kegels (Great For Pelvic Muscles)
  • Dead Bugs

Working around your upper body can be made a lot easier. Exercises such as dumbbell chest press and chest fly can be done in supine position, and training other dominant muscle groups such as your shoulders and back, can be done in standing position without having to flex or extend the spine.

 

Deadbug Exercise Helps Strengthen Abs by contracting the muscles without flexion

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Tiffany Taylor R.Kin, Your House Fitness

Performing Weighted Bridge Exercise

 

Supine Position B

It's best to avoid all exercises that flex the midsection as seen above.

No sit ups, crunches or twists.

 

Standing Position

Most exercises can be performed. One thing to be considered is that impact is another form of movement that will accelerate pelvic dysfunction. Barbell exercises are not recommended due to a lot of flexion of the spine; dumbbells are safer. High incline, slow running is also an effective way to engage the abs in vertical position.

Avoid

Jumping Squats, Burpees, Deadlifts, Back Extensions, Sprints on uneven surface

Allow

Squats, Static Lunges, Anterior Overhead & Lateral Dumbbell Lifts, Treadmill (High Inc)

 

In prone position, a plank can be held for a considerable length of time but no longer. The gravity in prone position can trigger a prolapse. Support of the knees can help other exercises for this reason.

Allow

Push Ups (On Knees), Gluteal Raises, Hamstring Kickbacks


Ben Walker is a Your House Fitness personal trainer based in Toronto, ON. To view his profile click on his name.