- Physiotherapy for urinary and stool incontinence and the lowering of the pelvic organs
- Preparing women for pregnancy and childbirth
- Postpartum care
- Diastasis recti: treatment and prevention
Our physiotherapist Olga Swierczek is undergoing specialist training in urogynecological physiotherapy with the accreditation of the Polish Uro-Gynecological Society (PTUG). It is a series of trainings created in cooperation with gynecologists and urogynecologists as well as with physiotherapists dealing with patients with functional problems in the smaller pelvis.
Most women are familiar with exercises that involve contracting the pelvic floor muscles. Often called “kegel” exercises, they squeeze and lift a group of muscles that run from the back of the pelvis to the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. Such exercises are often recommended for people who have problems with urine leakage when coughing and sneezing, or who lose urine while doing sports, e.g. jogging (the so-called SUI – Stress Urinary Incontinence).
THIS APPEARS LOGICAL BECAUSE IF YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES ARE WEAK AND YOU CANNOT STOP A URINE LEAK, IT MAKES THIS SUGGESTION TO SQUEEZE THESE MUSCLES, DOESN’T IT?
And yet not always… In fact, many women who practice sports such as jogging already have quite tense pelvic floor muscles and this can be a real problem.
The pelvic floor can become so tense that in fact the muscles are weakened and tired because they are constantly constricted, causing them to fatigue.When the bladder is subjected to sudden pressure, they cannot react quickly enough with enough force to close. the lumen of the urethra and stop urine leakage.
In these circumstances, the training of the so-called “Kegels” to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles may actually worsen the problem, not solve it.
SYMPTOMS INDICATING YOUR PELVIC BOTTOM MUSCLES ARE TOO TIGHT:
If you have pelvic floor hypertension, it is very likely that you may be experiencing some kind of persistent (chronic) pelvic pain. Pelvic floor pain can be felt in the sacroiliac joints, the pubic symphysis, groin, tendons, buttocks, iliotibial girdle, and the abdominal and lower back muscles. You may have tried some pain-reducing therapy in one of these areas that has proven unsuccessful, and the reason for this may be that the pain is actually at its source in the pelvic floor.
Other common symptoms:
> A sudden urge to urinate urgent pressure
> Frequent urination, even when the bladder is not full
> Problem with urinating – starting to pee
> Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
> Pain in the coccyx
> Painful intercourse or other sexual dysfunctions (e.g. dyspareunia, vulvodynia).
> Habitually pursed lips, furrowed forehead.
WHY IS IT HAPPENING?
The pelvic floor muscles not only help with the holding of urine and stool, they are also one part of your core. It is a group of muscles that work together to support your pelvis and lower back.
Your core muscles must respond smoothly and efficiently to meet your complex, high demands. They are the requirements related to practicing sports or performing everyday activities. If another part of the core is weak or not working properly, your pelvic floor muscles have to work harder to compensate and support your pelvis. Over time, this can make them tense and eventually painful and weak.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
First of all, if you are experiencing any pelvic floor symptoms, visit your GP or obstetrician to rule out any potential medical problems. However, if you suspect that the pelvic floor muscles are overstressed, seek advice from a pelvic floor physiotherapist who will select the appropriate treatment after performing a functional diagnosis. Once you are sure that there are no contraindications, you can begin regular stress relief exercises to help you relax your pelvic floor as well as stretch the muscles around your pelvis and abdomen to restore balance.