In 2018 I had many conversations with women concerning pelvic floor dysfunction issues they were experiencing. Symptoms included incontinence, prolapse, low back and hip pain, diastasis recti and more. These are common things experienced by women at various stages of life.
The trend in the conversations was these women said they were ~ "afraid to move".
Women were quitting any form of exercise because of fear of making their symptoms worse, or because they were told to stop what they were doing all together.
The result ... Frustration. Feelings of depression. Anger.
Some even wanted to know if they could take legal action against their doctor for not telling them about pelvic floor dysfunction issues that can arise from pregnancy or in aging.
Sorry, no. For one our medical system (at least in Canada) is a reactive system ... not proactive. You will not get medical help with diastasis recti, incontinence, prolapse or pain unless it is surgically worthy. And chances are, you've had these issues far too long and they progressed beyond the point of no return ... which explains the emotional side.
Two things to note:
We need to stop this line of thinking. Eliminate the fear, and remind ourselves that we move each day. In all angles and directions. We do squats, deadlifts, lunges, rows, overhead presses throughout the day just to live. Think about how you get out of bed. You likely do some kind of sit up or side oblique movement.
Therefore, being fearful of exercise or being told to stop what you’re doing makes absolutely no sense in my opinion. This will only feed on the psychological aspect of pain, and make it much more challenging to get passed the negative thought processes of the mind.
So, what should you do?
First consider what you want to do.
Do you simply want to be able to move each day with ease and free on pain?
Sneeze or laugh without leaking.
Do you want to run again, or get back to your exercise regime that makes you happy?
Whatever it is, the first thing you should do is educate yourself on the function of your body. Specifically, your pelvic floor and core team. Why? Because, your symptoms and the needs of your body and your mind are individual. That’s the number one reason why it frustrates me with programs that claim they will help you ‘beat diastasis recti’. You don’t beat it. In postpartum and age the body evolves. The pelvic floor and core are never the same as pre-pregnancy or in your youth. Furthermore, there isn’t one solution that fixes all.
Then you can better understand what movement strategies among many are best for you and your body.
How do you do this?
See a pelvic floor physiotherapist who can assess your pelvic floor function through an internal exam, and outline the key areas your body needs help.
Find a fitness trainer or program that is educated specifically in pelvic floor and core in movement and exercise, and provides strategies so you can use exercises the matches your individual needs.
In 2014, I decided it was better suited to my clients to go over the practical aspect of the core team first before diving into the physical aspect. It made much more sense to them on what adjustments they needed to make in their daily life or exercise routine to help heal their symptoms. In my opinion this is the most valuable part of what I teach.
Knowledge is power. Knowledge conquers fear.
Finding Your Core Strength: Building Your Foundation & Strength, is my online version of tools and strategies to coach you over 8 weeks towards pelvic floor and core knowledge and healing with a focus on releasing, retraining, and rebuilding function and strength.
My mission is to provide women with a wealth of information concerning their pelvic floor and core health. I don't want anyone to feel as lost as I was many years ago. Stay connected, as I share my stories and provide you with valuable knowledge when it comes to assessing and healing your body.