ARE YOUR KEGELS DOING THEIR JOB?
It is well documented that both your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles play a crucial role in providing trunk and pelvic stability, while contributing to the maintenance and suspension of your bladder, uterus and rectum against gravity. This needs to occur both at rest, upon movement and under load. If this complex system fails, Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur resulting in symptoms such as urinary incontinence (leakage), rectal incontinence, prolapse (bulging internally of the vaginal wall), urgency and frequency; and sometimes a combination of all the above.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is extremely common in women of all ages for a wide variety of reasons such as poor training techniques, low back pain, SI joint dysfunction, falls onto your tailbone, vaginal delivery, chronic constipation and surgery (C section, hysterectomy etc).
Many things occur during your pregnancy and delivery that challenge the function of your pelvic floor. Unfortunately, not much is done post- delivery to ensure that your pelvic floor recovers fully.
Many women are not aware they have a problem and that something can be done about it!
A BRIEF SELF ASSESSMENT TOOL Do you know if your pelvic floor is working well?
To assess the function of your pelvic floor, try this short experiment:
Palpate your perineum with one hand (place your fingers over your anus and cup the rest of your perineum). Pinch your nose closed and blow your nose.
Note what happens to your perineum. It should move UP and AWAY from your hand. It should NOT descend into your hand.
If it descends or you have any urine leakage you should see a physiotherapist skilled in assessing the pelvic floor for further assessment, treatment and rehabilitation advice.
By Tamarah Nerreter BAH DipKIN MScPT CAFCI, Physiotherapist at Diane Lee & Associates, White Rock/South Surrey BC