Hi, I’m Brittany. I’m a physical therapist, wife and mother of two kids I suspect you or a woman you care about is frustrated, embarrassed and hurting. You may feel you are missing out in life because of pelvic floor issues. You’re not alone. One in three of us is regularly peeing our pants when we laugh, jump, or sneeze. Sometimes it even happens just trying to get to a toilet. And one in three of us suffers from pain which makes sex uncomfortable.
I recently heard about a woman who spends 10 percent of her weekly paycheck on pads. Seriously this should absolutely infuriate us. At no time in life should any amount of leakage be considered normal. Common, yes. Normal, no! Thomas Payne once said, “the long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it the superficial appearance of being right”. It’s not right. It’s not normal. It’s not okay.
Despite having the best of intentions, most women’s health services have systematically failed us and continue to do so by focusing treatment on symptoms rather than helping us get to the root cause of the problem. Traditional treatment approaches offer kegel exercises, medication, and surgery. Or we just accept wearing a pad or sacrificing our sex life. We can do better. We must do better. I once heard Oprah Winfrey comment, “if you want your life to be more rewarding you have to change the way you think”. I think it’s time we rethink. Rethink everything!
Here’s a quick quiz:
1. How do you get your muscles back in shape?
- A. Take medication (if it were only that easy)
- B. Have surgery (seriously?)
- C. Start exercising (you got it, sister!) The answer is most definitely C. We are meant to move.
2. What is your pelvic floor?
- A. The bladder (close, but that’s an organ)
- B. The pelvis (almost, but that’s a bone)
- C. A group of pelvic muscles – yes!
The pelvic floor muscles combined with the abdominal and back muscles create what we refer to as the core. So let’s start calling this combination of muscles the Core Floor. And if the best way to get the Core Floor back in shape is to exercise, then the solution is simple—we need to exercise! But here’s the catch: it has to be purposeful movement and in all kinds of directions.
Pelvic pain and leaking are symptoms of a bigger problem and that problem is in your core floor. And the best prescription is movement-based exercise. But all exercise is not created equal, and for most of us it’s not enough to dance to the beat, stretch to the music, or do sit-ups, planks or kegels. For most of us it’s not enough to go to the gym, clinic, or studio, or purchase the next gimmicky fad product or dvd.
While all these activities can be healthy, energizing and even entertaining, they’re not designed to target the specific function of the core floor. The core floor “turns on” in response to certain movement patterns. It’s like flipping a light switch. The body has three main switches that work together to turn on the core floor: the ankle, the hip and the torso. Unless all three are moving together and moving with control, the switch doesn’t flip, leaving the core floor in the dark.
Come out of the dark. It’s time to make yourself a priority. You can fix this. Take the Core Floor quiz and learn your Core Floor score with this FREE Membership to the My Core Floor online fitness program, sponsored by Superior Physical Therapy. Visit NoMorePads.com to sign-up… for FREE!