Click here to listen to Cristin’s interview on the Funk’tional Nutrition Podcast.
It seems every weekend from mid-May through fall ushers in a new road race for runners, whether it be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or triathlon. As physical therapists, we see an influx of new patients with running injuries not only of the foot, ankle, knee and spine but also with new complaints of incontinence, pelvic pain and prolapse. It is always our goal to get the client back to running, especially since for many it’s their preferred way to stay fit and also acts as a social, stress reducing activity that they are passionate about. What we find out during the initial Physical Therapy evaluation is that the source of their running injury can be a distant site from where they feel the pain. We often find that a misaligned pelvis or tight hip is causing foot pain or calf strains. Since the pelvic and hip muscles are anatomically and functionally related to the core and pelvic floor, we often see runners with symptoms of incontinence who also have other complaints such as back, hip or foot pain. Therefore the core and pelvic floor is where we begin our focus.
We believe that the awareness of breath and body are fundamental but often difficult concepts to integrate into an exercise program. It is not just about calorie burn and high intensity. This type of exercise can contribute to spinal and pelvic floor dysfunction. The complete action of the pelvic floor is both to relax and contract. If you are only contracting your pelvic floor, you are missing the whole picture. Many of our sessions revolve around improving the mobility and flexibility of the pelvis in order to allow for the optimal pelvic floor health. Here we have put together various yoga poses and stretches that can facilitate a deeper understanding of the relaxation in the pelvic floor.
As pelvic floor physical therapists we educate people about how to go to the bathroom, EVERY DAY. As PT’s, one of our primary roles is to educate patients about the evacuation process. Our therapy sessions are then focused on teaching patients to become aware of their pelvic floor and to RELAX these muscles. Most of our patients are baffled that humans have screwed up such a natural process and relaxation is a key to a good poop! Constipation is a symptom of a more complicated system. Your muscles are one important variable but we spend quite a bit of our time, providing education about other variables involved in this process.
Here we highlight overall constipation, and a few of the important variables that are involved.
Americans love to shop, and we’re quite good at it. We research, we read, we consult, we buy. We are educated shoppers too, because information, mostly online, is right at our fingertips. When we buy a car, we know what the dealership paid for it, what other buyers in the area paid for similar cars, reliability ratings, and what brand of stereo it includes before ever walking into the dealership, so of course we know exactly what we should pay for that car. Why then are we such poor shoppers for our own medical care? Perhaps we aren’t entirely to blame. Given the current structure of our healthcare system, shopping, researching and buying is much more difficult.
2017: This is the year, right.
Please take a harder look at those resolutions because according to science, they will not work. Don’t worry, we can still inspire positive change for ourselves in 2017 and beyond but you have to understand the science behind habits and behavior change. Let me explain further by giving you a little background on how my family has planned for the best 2017.
Many of our initial sessions revolve around the function of the diaphragm and how it has become dysfunctional as related to your current symptoms. Here we explain the basic functions of the diaphragm and its relation to the pelvic floor.