One of my dear friends recently sent a meme to me that said, “A perfect metaphor of my life is ‘someone trying to stand on a hammock.'” Of course, being a physical therapist, the first thing I thought about was my pelvic floor. Do you relate to that? Do you feel as if your pelvic floor has failed you? Do you feel like your pelvic floor is weak and unstable as if someone walking on water or standing on a hammock?
At The Tummy Team, we refer to the pelvic floor as “the floor of your core.” It is a group of muscles running between the pubic bone and the tailbone and supporting the structures in your “pelvic bowl” like your uterus, bladder and intestinal tract. When the pelvic floor muscles are contracted, the internal organs are lifted and the sphincters tighten giving you the ability to control your urine. If the muscles are weakened, the internal organs are no longer fully supported and you may not be able to control your urine. This can be caused by core weakness, poor alignment, difficult child birth and more. If you’re experiencing incontinence, pelvic pain, hip pain, pubic bone instability, prolapse, or pain with intimacy, you could be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction.
Unlike the imagery of an unstable hammock, I like to think of my pelvis as a beautiful dipping pool – the kind you would see in a travel magazine. I imagine a beach ball floating, rotating and moving along the surface tension of the pool. When I imagine reaching out to the ball and pressing down on it, I can feel the response of the water pushing back. It’s strong and reliable- able to hold the weight of the tension. That’s how I picture my pelvic floor responding to the pressure of what life brings.
But that wasn’t always the case. I understand we are often burdened with things that are heavier than a beach ball. Abuse, crisis and trauma may have taxed our bodies. And believe it or not we can carry that tension in any part of our bodies. When you live with pelvic floor issues like incontinence, you can’t live freely. Your mind is constantly testing situations. Will I ever be able to enjoy that glass of wine with friends without worrying that I would not be able to feel myself as well and control my leaking? Will I be able to sign up for that marathon in the spring? Will be able to go to the grocery store without having to stop by the bathroom several times? Will I be able to jump on the trampoline with my kids? What will happen to my intimacy life?
Taking the step to trust our pelvic floor again might feel like walking on water. It is such a permeable surface. Like water, there is a flow in and out. There is a purpose to all this movement and we are asking so much. How can we really trust it? How can we rely on it to hold our body up and support our organs?
There is hope. We ourselves have been on that journey with each other as physical therapists and as mothers. With over 30 years of combined experience, we have put our heads together and studied cases learning what works and what doesn’t work. Core rehabilitation can build strength to help align, support, and lift your internal organs to give you relief from your pelvic floor issues and other problems.
Are you ready to step out? We can help you. We have a clinic in Camas, WA if you are in the area. Due to the uniqueness of our program and the high demand, we have created online programs that have already helped people all over the world. No matter where you are, we can help. You don’t have to live with this anymore.