Pelvic floor health is something I have had a passion for ever since the birth of my first child. After my daughter’s birth, my pelvic floor was just not the same. Jumping and trampolines made me nervous.
At my post-natal follow up, I found I had a cystocele, which is a slight drop of the vaginal wall. As I searched how to correct my pelvic floor dysfunction, the unanimous answer was Kegels.
Here is a little history on Kegels.
Kegels were first published in 1948 by Arnold Kegel. A Kegel exercise is to repeatedly contract and relax the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. The aim of Kegel exercises is to improve muscle tone by strengthening the pubococcygeus muscles of the pelvic floor. For four years, I did Kegels on and off to correct my pelvic floor issues and I saw no change. I thought this was due to having my children too close together, not having enough time to heal, and not doing enough Kegels.
What’s the matter with the Kegel?
When muscles are too tight, they are just as ineffective as muscles that are weak. Kegels often over work the muscles of the pelvic floor, which causes them to shorten. As the pelvic floor shortens, it begins to draw the sacrum towards the pubic bone (front side of the body). This movement creates slack in the pelvic floor muscles, which makes the center of it sag downward. In addition, the pull of the sacrum forward can cause lower back pain. Anyone have an increase in lower back pain since doing Kegels on a regular basis?
Kegels are a short-term solution to a whole body problem. Practicing the tips below are much more effective in healing pelvic floor disorders than any amount of Kegels. Kegels are good for creating a mind/body relationship to the muscles in the pelvic floor and during intercourse, but that is about it.
If you want to understand more about why a Kegels should not be the only part of your pelvic floor repair work, check out this great blog post.
So if the Kegel is not good for the pelvic floor, what is?
- Align your pelvis
2. Align your feet and stretch the legs
3. Standing more (but in good alignment)
4. Stop sucking in (let your belly be a belly and hang out)
5. Start healing your diastasis recti
6. Learn how to engage your transverse abdominal muscles correctly
This book is also a life saver for understanding how to heal pelvic floor disorders and disatasis recti.