How To Identify Pelvic Health Issues At Home
Pelvic health discomfort and pain are often ignored. If you are concerned about your pelvic health trust your instincts and investigate further. If your discomfort is impacting your quality of life, seek help. Here is a quick resource to determine if you may need a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist.
Symptoms You May Experience
pelvic pressure | feeling of pelvic weight | poor breathing | belly pooch | urgent, frequent, or incomplete urination| leakage with cough/sneeze/laugh | constipation | hip/groin pain | low back pain | difficulty picking up/holding/carrying baby/child| postural fatigue | pain with nursing/holding baby | discomfort with exercise | pain with sex or tampon/menstrual cup insertion
At Home Pelvic Awareness Check List
Breathing: As you sit or lay down on your back, (here or at home) can you feel a diaphragmatic breath. The belly gently expands first (do not push out) and then the chest rises. Try to slowly lengthen each inhale and exhale each repetition. Can you recognize your pelvic floor ‘relaxing’ or lengthening as you inhale?
Check your Posture (canister stacking) using a mirror: Think of your pelvis, rib cage, shoulders, and head as rings. Do you stack vertically? Is that hard to do? This changes the pressure system and may impact the pelvic floor if it is difficult
Notice the PF. Are you able to feel a gentle squeeze and lift? If you feel comfortable, try to feel it with a finger externally or internally. Try in many positions: supine, sitting, standing
Track your liquids in and voids out and timing. Normal voiding is every 2-4 hours with only 1-2 voids per night (this changes as you get older)
Write down your symptoms for a day or two. In isolation, one symptom is nothing to be concerned about. If you are experiencing one or more symptoms or have difficulty with the above, potentially seek treatment. It could be a simple change to improve the quality of your life.
Tips for Managing Your Pelvic Health
Hydration! Hydration! Hydration! (especially nursing mamas but all of us!)
Breathing using the diaphragm
Posture checks in the mirror and when you lift baby/toddler/anything
Controlled relaxation with inhalation then incorporating submaximal contraction with exhale
Voiding posture (squatty potty) & breathing through voids
Diastasis recti? Protect first! Roll to side, abdominal brace, splinting for BM, caution with lifting. ABSOLUTELY no crunches until you can control the abdominals
Take caution to prevent downward pressure with lifting/exercise
Follow durantpelvicpt on Instagram for information and exercises
PF evaluation: at your comfort, individualized care
Visit our Pelvic Health Guide for exercise videos, health articles, and more free resources.
About the Author: Francesca Durant
Co-owner of Durant Physical Therapy and Centered Body Pilates, Francesca Durant is an experienced physical therapist and Pilates professional with specialized training in pelvic health from Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute.
Could you benefit from an assessment of your breath or pelvic floor?
Francesca is accepting new patients at Durant Physical Therapy, call 860-430-2344 now to schedule a health assessment. Durant Therapy accepts insurance for pelvic health issues and will assist you on your path to recovery.