GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR PROBLEM
No one likes to talk about the pain “down there,” but pelvic floor dysfunction can make your life miserable. From frequent urination that interferes with sleep, to the feeling that you are sitting on a golf ball, pelvic floor dysfunction is a real pain in the you-know-what. And though it may not be the first topic you bring up at your dinner party, chances are good that at least 20% of your guests have experienced pelvic floor dysfunction. Yep, it’s that common.
Why don’t we hear much about it?
Well, again, would you bring it up at a
dinner party? And besides, symptoms
vary so much that determining that it is
pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) takes
detective work. PFD even eludes many
health care providers.
Some folks describe a feeling that they
have a headache in their pelvis, or stress
incontinence, urinary urgency, or leakage.
Those issues seem easy to pin on a pelvic floor issue.
But if someone has lower back or SI joint pain that does not get better with treatment, chronic hip tightness, or a lingering hamstring pull, pelvic floor dysfunction could be the cause. And with chronic prostatitis or sexual dysfunction, the pelvic floor is often at least part of the issue.
You may remember Kegels, those exercises
to tighten and strengthen the pelvic floor
muscles. When Kegel exercises were
first introduced in 1948, they were the
cat’s meow. Just doing Kegels would take
care of any pelvic floor problems… until
they didn’t. With research, practitioners
and researchers found that many pelvic
Click here to watch the proper way to do
a Kegel Exercise
floor problems were happening because of tightness, and doing Kegels made the problem worse. Having strength in the pelvic floor muscles is important, but so is having flexibility. Being able to relax those muscles is often the first step to feeling better again.
Another problem with Kegels is knowing if you are doing the right thing. Pelvic floor muscles aren’t easy to access and you may think you’re doing it right thing when you’re using every muscle but the correct
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
LOTS of things:
Long hours on a bike without a proper bike fit.
Sitting all day, every day, especially on a hard surface.
A pelvic fracture.
A fall onto your tail bone.
Untreated lower back pain.
Traction on nerves during
childbirth or vaginal
Diastasis recti – where your
abdominal muscles separate
in a vertical line around the
Stress that makes you want to tuck your tail like a nervous dog.
Think of your trunk as a big box. The bottom of the box is the pelvic floor.
Each side of the box needs to have
integrity to create a stable container
from which your limbs move. If there
is a split in the muscle around the
outer abdominal muscle, that “side” of
the box is weak causing other areas
(like the pelvic floor) to tighten up. Or
if you have a lot of lymphatic
congestion around your midriff, your
“container” is not as firm and again,
the pelvic floor may respond by
spasming. Conversely, your lower
back muscles are super tight and the
distortion of the box makes it
impossible to activate the pelvic floor
muscles. Abdominal scars or
adhesions can do the same thing; you
may be so tight that you can’t even
fire the pelvic floor muscles. The
variations are endless.
The really good news:
Pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated
using a variety of techniques that
create balance in the muscles of the
hips, abdomen and pelvis. Working on
abdominal lymph nodes, learning how
to support the large abdominal muscle
that has a tear in it, or retraining
pelvic floor muscles all can be helpful
in treating the variety of problems we
see. Correcting imbalances of the
lower back and pelvis and strengthening afterwards all can help.
We have many tools at our disposal to evaluate and treat pelvic floor dysfunction. The key is determining what is causing what and then tackling the imbalances and dysfunctions one at a time. It may be a long road to complete resolution but it can’t feel nearly as unending as suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.
We’ve learned a lot about treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and we are seeing some remarkable changes. Stay tuned for more on this topic, or contact your therapist if you just can’t wait another minute.
A solution is waiting for you.
A New and Friendly Face
Be sure and say hi to Carol next time you ‘re in
the office. She just joined us as our day-time front
desk administrator. Carol is catching on quickly,
and will soon be able to take care of all your
scheduling needs. An East coast gal, Carol spent
much of her life on Long Island, New York before
moving to New Jersey in 1991. Carol is one of six
kids and she loves family. In fact, in December,
she moved to Colorado to be near her son Phil, and Katie and Kevin (her daughter and son-in law).
Carol loves her animals, Lexy the pug and Sammy the cat. She also enjoys long walks, crocheting, exercise and some favorite TV programs.
And she loves the Colorado weather (even in winter), because the sun is magnificent.
We are tickled pink to have Carol on our team and we know you’ll feel the same way.