The Truth About Kegels
Have you been told that Kegels are the answer to your pelvic floor problems?
Misconception: A dysfunctional pelvic floor (pelvic floor weakness, pelvic floor pain, incontinence, prolapse) needs kegels to get stronger.
Truth: Kegels don’t get to the root cause of the problem. The why behind the failure of the pelvic floor muscles is a full-body system problem.
Consider the Full-Body System
Somewhere in the system (the pelvis, low back, hips, leg alignment, ankle flexibility, foot position, posture, etc.), there is a problem and it needs to be assessed and addressed before the pelvic floor can respond. Think about it this way. If your house has a slanted floor. You can replace the floor, get stronger materials, but not fix the problem. The problem might be in the foundation, the alignment of the subfloor, the material under the floor, etc., etc. You have to fix the system.
The pelvic floor wants to live in a strong body. Whole-body strengthening is key. If you’re having any symptoms at all in the pelvis it is a sign that some strength is missing elsewhere and ‘leaking’ through the pelvic floor (no pun intended!) That means that leaking, peeing all the time, inability to hold pee, painful sex, hip or low back pain, pelvic pain, all of these symptoms are in some way due to loss of strength somewhere else.
The key to pelvic floor healing is to find a correct stacked posture bringing the pelvis into its natural position where the pelvic floor can naturally begin to work efficiently.
What does that mean?
Restoring the strength of the muscles around the pelvis, i.e. glut max, glut med, psoas, deep low back muscles, abdominals, helps the pelvis to live in a better position, thus decreasing low back and hip pain. Once in that better-stacked position, the pelvic floor can begin to respond in its natural way to the stressors around it and will work more efficiently. Doesn’t that make more sense than kegels? You can’t strengthen something that is in the wrong position.
Fix the position, fix the system, and then ask the pelvic floor to respond as it should. At Durant PT, your very first exercises will include breathing strategies to address the stacked position between the rib cage and the pelvis and everything will build from there.
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!