Friday, May 13, 2011

Pelvic Floor Exercises

A few tips every woman needs to know in regard to keeping her pelvic floor strong. Written by Sarah Jones, CPM, LM

1. Don’t hold a sneeze in. The pressure you place on your Pelvic floor muscle is damaging to your tone.

2. Women should not do Crunches or sit ups. It is better to work on abdominal muscles from the bottom up, such as leg lifts. Lay on your back and pull your knees up till you are in a sitting position. You can place your hands on your thighs and put counter pressure. This will work on your abs while also protecting your pelvic floor form further weakening.

3. Don’t hold your bladder for long periods of times or force yourself to go just because you see a bathroom. When you have to use the toilet go right away and don’t try to hold it for long periods. Years of holding the bladder or forcing it to release when you don’t have the urge can damage bladder control.

4. Avoid straining when having a Bowel Movement. Forceful pushing when using the toilet is detrimental to the pelvic floor muscles. You may want to use a stepping stool for your feet to get you into more of a squat therefore reducing the strain on your pelvic floor.

Keeping up with bladder control.

Start with the four rules above. As soon as you have the urge to go and you dont think you are going to make it on time start with 5 quick kegels and then get to the toilet quickly. (Quick Kegels are contract and release as quick as 1 and 1) To increase your quick muscle response for bladder control you need to do quick kegels for 60 seconds after you have already emptied the bladder. It just takes 1 min extra of your time on the toilet after every bathroom break to build the bladder control back. This needs to be as important as washing your hands after using the restroom. This will keep you from having to wear depends one day.

Keeping up with good muscle tone for life.

Some of you may want to know why is it so important to do your Kegels on a regular basis. I am not only here to tell you why it is important but also teach you the proper way to do them so you are not further weakening the muscle.

Common complaints:
Painful intercourse
Cyctocele (This is where the bladder muscle is so weak it bulges in the vaginal opening when any downward pressure is given.)
Rectocele (This is where the rectal wall is so weak it bulges in to the vaginal opening when any downward pressure is given.)
Constant pressure in the pelvic floor area after having a baby.

Prolapsed Cervix or Uterus.

Proper way to do Kegels
Start off slowly to work on slow response and gently build your muscle back up. Don’t over do your kegel exercises or you may further fatigue the muscle. For example after one of my clients has a baby I will tell her to start off with doing 10 kegels every time she sits down to nurse, holding it for 2-4 seconds and relaxing it for just as long as she holds it. It is important to always relax it as long as you hold it to avoid tiring it out. Some women are ready to start at 5 seconds and begin building up to 10 slowly over the course of several months, but most women after just having had a baby will start at a 2 sec time and build every other month to get to 10 sec. I tell my clients to never do more then the 10 in a sitting, thus giving the muscle a chance to slowly recover.


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