Recognising Pelvic Floor Health and Continence
Pelvic floor issues, and especially incontinence is not something that often makes the topic of our everyday conversations.
While incontinence is an issue that spans all ages and genders, it’s women, especially those who have given birth, or are going through menopause that are most represented in statistics. It’s welcome news that after a number of years of many women simply accepting weak pelvic floor and the resulting incontinence as part of the package of having babies and of ageing, that exercise professionals are supporting women to recover their pelvic floor muscles and make sure exercise provided is pelvic floor safe.
For many of those with weak pelvic floor muscles, exercise, especially jumping and running can cause bladder leakage, so it makes sense that exercise professionals educate on how to manage this during exercise. However, it’s not just about managing the problem, with many exercise professionals across New Zealand now having these issues front and centre amongst their services, and promoting a multi-disciplinary approach with physiotherapy support as required. It’s now also about strengthening pelvic floor muscles to prevent incontinence in the first place.
A qualified exercise professional understands that not all exercises are pelvic floor safe, and that some exercise options can potentially contribute to pelvic floor problems.
So how do you know you are making the right choices when it comes to pelvic floor friendly exercise? Do some research; many qualified and registered exercise professionals have specific pelvic floor safe exercise programmes for those who need them. They understand it’s not a topic that is easily discussed so will be able to educate you without embarrassment. They may also refer you to a physiotherapist that works specifically in this area.
Pelvic floor education is important as women (and men) realise that this is a problem that you do not have to put up with, or manage and that with appropriate professional care they can restore their pelvic floor strength.
The NZ Register of Exercise Professionals understands that educational resources on issues such as these issues should be available to everyone, so a handy ‘Tell Me More’ Core and Pelvic Floor information guide is available. You can request this guide from your local registered exercise professional. You can also get more information through the www.pelvicfloor.nz website.