Workouts are safe for women with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction! [Guest post from Dr. Erin Williams, women's health physical therapist]

 Dr. Erin Williams is one of the many amazing providers listed on our 'Providers Who Can Help' page. Click her photo to go to that page and find the right person for you!

Dr. Erin Williams is one of the many amazing providers listed on our 'Providers Who Can Help' page. Click her photo to go to that page and find the right person for you!

Exercise can be an intimidating routine to pick back up after having pelvic pain or dysfunction. Fear of urinary incontinence (both urge and stress), increased pelvic pain or re-injury, or just feeling like you are so out of shape that you can’t even start a routine up again, can all be reasons women avoid exercise or returning to the workouts they used to love. Unfortunately not starting any form of exercise out of fear is worse for your physical, emotional, and mental health, and can negatively impact your overall quality of life and well being!  

Exercise not only creates energy and provides physical health benefits for your body but it also releases endorphins which increase mental happiness and improved quality of life! Having pelvic pain, especially chronic pelvic pain, can feel isolating, depressing, frustrating, and limiting to what you can do, but finding an exercise routine that you can perform pain-free can be an actionable empowering choice you have control over!

As a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist I educate all of my clients on exercise they can continue to do throughout their pelvic floor rehabilitation with me as well as how to transition back to what they love doing safely and effectively, whether that is Barrys Boot Camp, CrossFit, yoga, Pilates, or another form of exercise (I currently post the workouts I create for my Pregnant and Postpartum Crossfit class on my Instagram @eewilliams20 so you can follow along too!). 

It is important to remember that correct breathing is the fundamental key ingredient to a healthy pelvic floor! Going for a walk, practicing yoga or joining a meditation class are all three great forms of low impact exercise that “workout” your pelvic floor via the diaphragm for a safe starting point to returning to exercise!

I would strongly suggest initiating a conversation with your Pelvic Health Physical Therapist about wanting to start a workout routine and what would be a good fit for you if this conversation has not already happened. If you do not have a pelvic health PT then find one! If nothing else find a Pelvic PT for a 1 time consultation to talk about where your physical body is now and what type of exercise you are interested in starting and how to get you back to what you love. There is absolutely no pelvic floor dysfunction diagnosis that should prevent you from exercising at all, even if that means starting lying in bed and focusing on intentional diaphragmatic breathing connecting your breath with your pelvic floor! 

Pelvic Health Physical Therapist are the musculoskeletal experts on not just the pelvis but the entire body as a whole. We can assess an individuals readiness to begin exercise by focusing from the midline (abdominals, pelvic floor, back muscles) out to the extremities (shoulder, arms, legs) checking for mobility, stability, and coordination of muscles and joints of the body to make sure the team is working harmoniously without restrictions so you can feel confident starting your exercise!

Pelvic pain and dysfunction should never control your life, you are the decision maker of your body and if you want to get back to a workout or exercise you used to love doing then do something about it this week! The longer you wait to start the more likely you are to talk yourself out of it and be in your negative self talk cycle of all the reasons why you shouldn’t start! Consult with a Pelvic Health PT and be your change! 

*Because I understand finding a high quality healthcare professional (especially PT’s focused on pelvic pain) can often be the most challenging part of having pelvic pain, I offer online consultation focused on bridging the gap of where you are now to where you want to be in the future in regards to your fitness/exercise routine! I can be reached at erin@womenshealthnyc.com or on Instagram @eewilliams20 and look forward to helping reach your health and fitness goals!

© 2018 Inspire Santé, NFP