After a solid 6 months of returning to running & exercise I experienced a pelvic floor flare up that left me completely sidelined. It was excruciating pain and really hard to identify and control. I'm hoping that sharing this can help one of you out there who may (god bless you) be experiencing similar discomfort.
Here’s the 411 on Pelvic Floor:
- Your pelvic floor is one of the muscles that forms your “deep” or “inner” core.
- It supports your bladder, womb (uterus) and bowel (colon).
- It is connected to your diaphragm, multifidus, and transverse abdominis and can be influenced and affected positively and negatively by tight hips, hamstrings, groin and glutes.
About Strengthening Your Pelvic Floor:
- You can have a strong pelvic floor and still have issues. But, if you’re pain free, typical exercises for “pre-hab” include kegels, hip and glute strengthening and core work.
- Sounding counterintuitive, relaxation of the muscles is actually just as important.
- Learn how to breath into your pelvic floor, expanding and relaxing the muscles.
Signs you may have pelvic floor weakness or dysfunction:
- Deep pain in your groin/pelvic region.
- Urinary or bladder incontinence. (Do you pee a little every time you sneeze?)
- Pain during sex.
What to do if you suspect an issue:
- Make an appointment with your OBGYN and get a referral to a PT.
- Avoid above strengthening exercises until pain subsides.
This article first appeared at Womens Running Magazine Online. Read the full story here