Tag Archives: Pelvic Floor

Should you have a baby over 40? Essentially Fit Radio Show

Essentially Fit RadioMarianne was recently interviewed by Wess Murray for his Essentially Fit radio show on the subject of “Should you have a baby over 40?”

During the 50 minute show they discussed a number of issues including:

 

  • Why you must take care of your joints during pregnancy.
  • Having a 2nd child later in life: what steps should you take?
  • Exercise after childbirth The pros and cons of having a baby after 40
  • How modern technology has made it possible to have children
  • How to have realistic expectations when losing weight after a baby

Click here to listen to the show

You can also download the show here from I Tunes

Prevent Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) with Better Birthing Techniques.

Pelvic_floor_side_view_larger_fontBy Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

A very common side effect of childbirth is Pelvic Organ Prolapse, POP, some studies show up to 25% of women will develop it at sometime in their life.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

POP occurs when organs such as the uterus or bowels slip down from their normal positions inside of the pelvis.

There are different degrees of how much the organs slip, in severe instances organs can protrude outside of the vagina, especially when performing activities that require abdominal bracing such as heavy lifting, sit-up exercises and even passing a bowel movement.
POP can lead to several complications such as incontinence, pelvic and back pain and sexual dysfunctions.

Prevent Pelvic Organ Prolapse With Better Birthing Techniques:

Did you know that certain childbirth techniques could reduce the risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse (POP)?
The more strain placed on the pelvic floor during childbirth, the more a woman is at risk of developing POP. Choosing better positions, breathing techniques, and timing can benefit both mom and baby.

To read more about this in an article I wrote for the Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, “Reduce the Risk of Developing Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Birth Techniques For Less Strain on Pelvic Floor Muscles”, click here.

Did You Know Physical Therapy Treatment Can Reverse or Reduce the Severity of POP?

In an earlier post I discussed a study that shows that  1/3 of the surgeries performed to reverse Pelvic Organ Prolapse fails within 7 years. That is a really bad statistic! click here
What most people do not realize is that physical therapy treatment has been proven to reverse or lower the severity of the amount of slippage, and therefore may be used in the treatment of incontinence, pelvic and back pain and sexual dysfunctions.

Painless Parenting the Radio Show

Move Forward Radio Marianne Ryan PT, OCS is interviewed by Move Forward Radio on the subject of Painless Parenting.

“Parenting provides challenges but it doesn’t have to be a pain. In this episode, Marianne Ryan PT, OCS discusses how to help parents avoid the minor aches and pains – and even significant injuries – that sometimes occur during pregnancy and after childbirth”.

Tell me what you think?

Click below to listen to the show:

Listen to Move Forward Radio’s segment about Painless Parenting or dowload the podcast on Itunes.

Common Pregnancy Pains. Did you know..?

shutterstock_82822033 Pregnant backMoms you are not alone!
Did you know “Fifty percent to 70% of pregnant women experience low back pain during pregnancy. In addition, 30% to 50% of pregnant women report low back pain severe enough to cause lost time from work. It’s more manageable, however, than most women (and their doctors) think”.

Did you know that physical therapy treatment is the best way to get rid of and to prevent back pain while pregnant?

Move Forward PT posted some great tips on how to avoid and treat pregnancy aches and pains:  Click Here

http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail.aspx?cid=8d523b23-9f02-4ac7-a107-c464ae6840b2

One Third of Childbirth Repair Surgery Fails?….Why?

shutterstock_55118254By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Did you know that “a common surgery often performed to repair damage caused by childbirth fails one-third of patients within seven years, a new study shows”?

Yup, it is the surgery women have done to cure incontinence and other problems caused by pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which often occurs as a result of childbirth.

An article written by Liz Szabo, for USA Today, goes on to explain:

1. “In nearly one-third of cases, surgical repair failed or women saw symptoms return”

2. “About 225,000 women undergo some kind of pelvic organ prolapse surgery each year”

3. “Some surgeries can be prevented; pelvic physical therapy can cure many milder cases”

Szabo also mentioned “about one in four women suffer either prolapse or incontinence at some point, and studies show that 11% to 19% of women undergo surgery for it.”

Let me repeat: 25% of all women develop incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. That is one out of four of your female friends!

Cheryl Iglesia of the Georgetown University School of Medicine was quoted in Szabo’s article as saying, vaginal deliveries increase the risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and in the future doctors will need to perform C-sections rather then vaginal deliveries for women at high risk for prolapse.

Yikes! Iglesia’s answer to the problem is more surgery and more C-sections?

What about more physical therapy?

The article does mention that studies show that “pelvic physical therapy, which includes Kegel exercises that strengthen pelvic floor muscles, can reverse many mild cases of prolapse”, but there is no mention on how pelvic physical therapy can prevent POP. There are also studies that show pelvic physical therapy can reduce the level of prolapse, for example reduce a grade 3 to a grade 2, etc.

If pelvic physical therapy can reverse pelvic organ prolapse, why aren’t women knocking down my door to get physical therapy treatment? 

Why? Because I don’t think we take postpartum recovery seriously in our country. Women traditionally receive excellent prenatal and obstetric care during delivery, but postpartum care is lacking. 6 Weeks after delivery, women are usually given a pat on the back and told “good job done” and that they can resume sexual activity. What about postpartum rehabilitation? In our country women are left to fend on their own after delivery.

In other countries, such as France, they take postnatal care seriously. Did you know all French women receive free physical therapy after they give birth. I have been told by some of my patients that postpartum physical therapy is “mandatory” in France and they go for about 20 visits focusing on rehabilitating the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles after every baby they deliver. 
In a light hearted article written by Claire Lundberg, “The French Government Wants to Tone My Vagina”, for Slate Magazine, Lundberg discusses the positive experience she had with the French postpartum rehabilitation program called la rééducation périnéale and how she was glad “a medical professional was paying attention to what happened down there.”

What about more physical therapy after one of these surgeries?

Did you know that after having surgery for pelvic organ prolapse most women do not receive pelvic physical therapy?

I recently asked a urogynocologist, who refers patients to my practice, why she did not refer her patients to physical therapy after preforming these types of surgeries. The answer was that she did not think it was necessary, and was not convinced that physical therapy would help the patient recover. 
It is common practice to go for physical therapy treatment after surgery on other body parts, like the shoulder or knee; why isn’t is considered part of the rehabilitation process with pelvic surgeries? 
If surgeons started sending their patients for physical therapy treatment after prolapse surgery; doesn’t it follow logic that it would help them reach better outcomes? Maybe physical therapy treatment could prevent surgical failures? 
(Just in case you didn’t know, you can go directly to a physical therapist without a doctor’s referral in most states.)

More surgery is not the answer. More physical therapy is the key to solving pelvic organ prolapse. 

References:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/22/common-pelvic-surgery/2325055/

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2012/02/postnatal_care_in_france_vagina_exercises_and_video_games.html

 

Moms Want to Run Again? Read This.

This is a great video by one of my colleagues, Julie Wiebe PT … she teaches ladies how to get that “running grove” back on:

Are you trying to get back into running? Do you have a little problem “down there”, like incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse? Are you a mom and anxious to get your baby body back in shape? Watch this video for tips on how to safely return to running.

Learn how to lean into the hill or down the hill when you run.

If you are a city dweller like me, don’t worry if you use a treadmill, just increase the incline slightly and you will be working out your “Core Muscles”.

Want a Flat Tummy? Don’t Do Sit-Ups or Crunches (Part 1)

Sit Up

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Is it your New Year’s resolution to have a nice flat tummy?

Think twice before you crunch!

I bet you didn’t know that sit ups and crunches can damage your pelvic floor muscles which prevents you from getting that flat tummy look.

This blog is part of a 3 part series on how to develop a flat tummy without doing abdominals crunches. We will teach you some safe exercises which will help you get that desired result.

For most of us, abdominal crunches are on life’s list of things we know we really should do, but are not really that much fun – like flossing our teeth or sprinkling flax seeds on everything we eat.  Well, maybe what I am going to tell you will be good news – ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES CAN BE BAD FOR YOU!

The problem is not so much what these types of exercises are doing to your six-pack abdominal muscles, but the effect they are having on your pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles. These two muscle groups work together to help keep the lower part of your body stable so you can move more efficiently.

Your pelvic floor is shaped like a little hammock connecting the back and front of the pelvis; and it is meant to act like a trampoline. It is composed of a group of muscles whose job it is to support our abdominal contents, maintain bladder and bowel control and support healthy sexual function. When the pelvic floor muscles contract your deep or lower abdominals should contract at the same time, forming the base and front part of your core muscles. 

When you do a sit up or, an abdominal crunch,  the pressure in your abdomen rises. Your pelvic floor should contract strongly and automatically, like a trampoline, to match the increasing pressure.  If you have weakness in your pelvic floor, the increased pressure will hone in on that area, and can worsen the weakness and cause serious problems, including problems with bladder and bowel control, organ prolapse and pain in the pelvis and lower back.

Also, performing sit ups or crunches can cause your upper abdominals to become over trained and much stronger than your lower abdominal and pelvic floor muscles; resulting in muscle imbalances. If this happens, each time you perform a sit up, the upper abdominal wall tightens and causes funnel pressure which presses down on the lower tummy and pelvic floor muscles. So, you run the risk of developing a little pot belly and a droopy pelvic floor.

The pelvic floor and your deep abdominal muscles are not normally trained to withstand the prolonged pressure created by repetitive crunches. It’s an endurance problem. Pelvic floor muscles can fatigue easily and lose its “trampoline like” effect of matching the downward pressure placed on it by the internal organs.tooth_paste

Take a toothpaste tube; make sure it’s fairly full. Now make it do a crunch – go right ahead and bend it in half! The lid represents a strong pelvic floor. Okay, now do it again with the lid off. Get the picture?

This doesn’t mean you get out of exercising your abdominal muscles altogether!

In the next 2 posts you will learn a great way of working out your abdominal muscles while keeping your pelvic floor safe.

Ref: http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au

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