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The 5 things I learned about Pelvic Health

What business does a man have being in a lingerie store, listening to a Pelvic Power presentation by a female Pelvic Health Physiotherapist for an entirely female audience and… shock, horror, taking pictures?  Well, it just so happens that in my role of support for our practitioners, this is where I found myself.

BraTopia West Springs has been hosting presentations from our group for some time ranging from injury prevention to ‘solving slouchitis’, and most recently, on empowerment for women through Pelvic Health. Lee Macauley, our Pelvic Health Physiotherapist in West Springs put together a formal presentation that engrossed and fascinated the audience, drawing multiple questions.  The main thing I learned?

LEAKAGE IS NOT NORMAL

How’s that for a single sentence to make most men squirm?  But really, be real!  Who wants to wear adult diapers? Who wants to decline intimacy with their partner because they’re in pain? How many women stop running or lifting their grandkids for a hug just because “it’s part of being a woman”.  Well hold the Kegels– it’s not normal.  It is a treatable medical condition.

 

A few years ago as I was about to be a new Dad, I remember the conversations about intimacy changing with the physical changes to our partner’s-soon-to-be-mom’s body changes.  How’s this statistic – most tissues can move about 160% of resting before they sustain damage.  Birth causes about a 260% increase in stretch.  Even a supine (on your back) child birth can cause some tearing.  So yeah, it’s traumatic and there’s going to be at least some damage.  With rest and recovery also comes the need for ensuring the pelvic floor is returning to full function as well.  This is where someone like Lee comes in.  With trained analysis of the tissue and a clinical check of other symptoms, current statistics put pelvic floor dysfunction at 80-100% recovery with a pelvic health physiotherapist.

So number two, if you didn’t get it is

PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION IS TREATABLE

It actually made me think of Frida Kahlo.  Her instance of course was highly traumatic and was not as treatable (if you don’t know the reference go see the Salma Hayek film – it’s based on the true story of one of the most intriguing painters Mexico has ever seen) but it gave me a point of reference on how much dysfunction can affect the lives of real people.  Perhaps you are reading this and you’re intrigued, but you also have some symptoms that you think are normal for you, but are they?  Here’s one I never really expected when it came to incontinence.  There’s variances to both urinary and fecal incontinence.  “Do you have to put your finger in to get all the pee out?”  This is an indication of a spectrum of incontinence.  I’m honestly no longer squirming, I’m more filled with empathy and hope for those who want to not suffer with this!

So isn’t it just a matter of doing the right exercises? Well, surprisingly yes but no but yes.  Am I trying to avoid the question? No! But here’s why Dr. Google isn’t always the best at answering questions either – we are all individuals with extenuating circumstances that differ from everyone else in everything we do.  What did you last injure – think about it.  Was it the exact same as the injury you had before that? No.  Of course not.  There are patterns and protocols to follow, but with all things medical, it is critical to get it checked by the right person.  Here’s the next thing I learned.

KEGELS ARE NOT THE ANSWER TO ALL THE PROBLEMS

In fact, at least 40% of people are doing them wrong to begin with! Seeing the right person means you get a tailored exercise program and hands-on work for your body and your situation.

This leads me to the next point I learned from Lee’s lecture.  Nothing in the body works independently.  Even though we take a wholistic approach, pelvic health focuses on one area.  But what else is right nearby?  That’s right

THE PELVIS, HIP AND LOW BACK CAN BE AFFECTED

Seems simple enough.  That’s because it is.  If you’ve been seeing a physiotherapist or chiropractor for low back pain and it just isn’t getting that last little bit better – ask about pelvic health physio.  Now this one is for men and women.  Back pain doesn’t discriminate and in truth, neither does pelvic floor dysfunction.

So what business does a man have being in a lingerie store, listening to a Pelvic Power presentation by a female Pelvic Health Physiotherapist for an entirely female audience and… shock, horror, taking pictures?  Learning my last and final point, that’s what.

PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION AFFECTS MEN AND WOMEN

Yes, it affects women more frequently just because pregnancy is a common progenitor of some of the conditions, but things like prostate cancer and other surgeries can have an impact on the pelvic health of men.

Take back the diapers, get back to the things that bring you joy and don’t pass it off as normal.  See a pelvic health physiotherapist at select Momentum Health, Evidence Sport and Spine and Innovative Sport Medicine locations today.

Written by Blair Puente, Business Development Manager

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