I love hearing client stories, and when we get deeper into what SHE thinks is going on in her body or what SHE thinks feels “off”, I often hear “I don’t know if it’s related but……..” Guess what? It’s ALL related and I’m here to tell you why.
Core-Pelvic health conditions, such as incontinence, diastasis recti, pain with intercourse, prolapse, digestive issues, pain anywhere in your spine or trunk, tightness, and pelvic pain, can be complicated, because there are so many different factors that come into play. But in all honesty, I think that’s the cool part! It’s all connected, which means that affecting something “here” can also affect something “there” in a positive way. We just need to find the root cause of what is going on in YOUR body.
In my opinion, when a woman seeks helps for some of these common issues, there is a magic that happens because overall body awareness and connection improves and often there are what I like to call “sneaky side effects” - things that change that she was not necessarily seeking help with. Since your core and pelvis sit at the center of your body, not only does stability there improve mobility, control, and power in the rest of the body, but it is also closely related to things like your digestion and your nervous system.
You may hear so many different approaches and “rules” about treatment for core-pelvic health conditions..... whether you are talking to doctors, PTs, or Google. Here is my belief: even though there may be a lot to unpack, there are a few key pillars of treatment that I focus on to maximize healing, support, and strength. (And by the way, there is almost NEVER a reason to say "you should just avoid that activity forever")
Here are my top 10 most common pillars of treatment that build upon each other:
Re-Connection: intentionally being able to connect with and use the inner core, without gripping patterns from the dominant muscles. Breathing patterns, positioning, and awareness are important here.
Re-Balance: What’s tight? What’s not kicking in properly? Manual therapy is an important component of re-balancing the system.
Re-Patterning: once we find it, what do we do with it? How do we make sure our body is using effective engagement patterns? What movements do we do frequently throughout the day that can make a big difference in the pressure in our core and pelvis? Exercise looks like life!
Glute Strength: your glutes are your powerhouse and support your hips and pelvis, giving you an effective foundation. Sometimes, even when they are being trained, they are mostly "turned off" due to engagement patterns and posture. Has your bum changed and flattened out since you had a baby? If yes, that’s one example to show you that your glutes are quiet and other muscles need to kick in to do their job
Thoracic Mobility: if your mid-spine is tight, rounded, or too straight not only will your breathing patterns be affected, but there will be more downward pressure into your pelvic floor, making it work harder. Think of a balloon in the center of your body - as your core cylinder - and tighten your grip on the top of the balloon (your ribcage) - what happens at the bottom? Increased downward pressure!
Hip Extension: while range of motion in all directions of the hip is really important because the hip joint is a part of your pelvis, the ability to bring your hip behind you (extension) effectively enables you to walk, run, and stand without extra forces pulling through the front of your core. This is also the direction that most of us are restricted because of all the sitting we do in life.
Ankle Mobility: for the same reasons above, we need to have good ankle mobility and calf length to get our hips in the right position for walking, running, and squatting
Weightbearing through the hands: do you have the ability to move with good core strength when your hands are on the ground? Some examples are planks, hands and knees, pushing open a door, pushing a stroller, etc.
Twists and Curls: these positions are sometimes avoided in cases of diastasis recti, prolapse, and other pelvic health conditions, BUT our bodies need to understand how to do them with good integrity because we do them in daily life!
Challenge the system with impact and weights! We can NOT skip this step! Because…..again….real life.
If you want to explore any of this in your own body or get answers to any curiosities you have, jump on my schedule for a Free Phone Consultation! (I love talking about this stuff!)