On Wednesday May 31st, 2017, Dr. Tara Sutton, owner and chiropractor at Advanced Vitality, visited Mommy Connections Brampton to discuss Pelvic Floor Conditioning to a group of mom's and mom's to be. There she discussed the importance and the anatomy of the Pelvic floor and how it can be stretched and injured during pregnancy and birth. Dr. Tara further educated and demonstrated to the group at Mommy Connections Brampton about healthy and proper Pelvic floor muscle activation and what activities/exercises to avoid.
A summary of Dr. Tara's Pelvic Floor Conditioning presentation is provided below. We hope you find it educational!
Pelvic Floor Reconditioning and how it can help Prevent these Accidents?
So what is Pelvic Floor Reconditioning?
The pelvic floor in women is a hammock of muscles that holds 3 major organs including:
Certain conditions like being overweight, pregnancy and vaginal birthing procedures stress this muscular tissue making it weak and less able to contract.
This following list could cause you to be at an increased risk for pelvic floor issues:
- difficult birth and delivery
- forceps deliveries
- prolonged labor
- traumatic tears or episiotomies
- diarrhea, constipation, or both
- prior anorectal surgeries
- presence of absence of pain prior to, during, or following a bowel movement.
Chronic tension and/or laxity in these muscles can lead to things like painful intercourse, hemorrhoids, urinary incontinence/leakage and worst case scenario - Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
Pelvic organ prolapse is when 1 or more of the 3 pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, rectum) drops (prolapse) out of its normal place in the lower abdomen. In serious cases, the organ can protrude through the vaginal opening.
Sooooo if you think that peeing a little when you sneeze or laugh is a normal thing and that you should just live with it - think again!
If you have pelvic organ prolapse we want to assure you that there is a growing awareness both online and within health care communities right here in Brampton. If you're embarrassed or think that you may require professional evaluation - please contact Dr. Tara at Advanced Vitality. She will be happy to get you in contact with the right people.
How to achieve a Healthy Pelvic Floor?
These are very important but often performed improperly.
KEY: The relaxation component of a Kegel contraction is equally as important as the contraction itself. Having a "long and strong" pelvic hammock is important to support the organs but still have flexibility and pliability.
3 TECHNIQUES TO HELP YOU PERFORM A KEGEL PROPERLY
Think of "LIFTING" with "SUCTION" from your vaginal opening
Side Lying: finger on perineum and feel a slight lift when you contract
Seated with the heel of your hands on the front of your hip bones and fingers on pubic bone - feel the hands come together and fingers come close together when you contract
Side Lying: internal 1-2 fingers ... back wall of vagina will press against your fingers... spread the fingers and do the contraction and the side walls will contract against your fingers.
Once you have learned how to properly contract your pelvic floor you want to do between 10-20 slow and controlled contractions per day. Contract - hold 3-5 seconds and relax slowly and controlled - it takes practice!
Pelvic alignment and core strength go hand in hand with your pelvic floor!
The bony alignment of the low back, pelvis and hips as well as the muscular and ligamentous tensions that contribute to alignment issues is so important and what we generally see ladies for during their pregnancy here at Advanced Vitality.
So, exercises that are designed to support the alignment of the pelvis and done in conjunction with Kegels are great ways to:
Regain abdominal strength and get rid of the lower belly pooch
Minimize low back pain
Strengthen and tighten up the inner thigh muscles
Provide and support proper nerve and blood flow to the pelvis
Decrease menstrual associated pain.
Try these 4 simple exercises over a 1 month period
10 x for each exercises (with a Kegel contraction)
1) Supine: pelvic tilts and rocks
2) Supine: Butterfly leg and Bridge
3) Seated: forceful belly breaths
(5-10 quick breaths with an abdominal contraction)
4) Child's Pose
(with a Kegel contraction)