“I pee when I jump.”
“I have to cross my legs when I sneeze so I don’t pee myself.”
“When I squat, it feels like my insides are going to fall out.”
“Should I do pullups when I’m pregnant?”
“Don’t make me laugh so hard, I’ll pee myself!”
“It kind of hurts my belly when I do sit-ups.”
These are all comments and questions that I hear every week from women at Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness or just women in my life. It is so common. It is so common that women as a whole have come to believe that urinary incontinence or even pelvic floor pain is an inevitable reality.
One of the most surprising facts is that younger and younger women are being treated for pelvic floor issues. You do not have to have had a pregnancy or birth to deal with these issues. I even read random comments on social media where women are venting about these issues. I love that they are talking about the issues and having humor about these things is necessary however, I wish all women know what it’s taken me a long time to learn (and am still learning)—that you do not have to live with these issues!
So why do so many women experience pelvic floor dysfunction? I am not a medical provider however, I am a CrossFit Level 1 Coach and a BirthFit Coach and Leader. Through my experience, I have learned that the contributors are multi-factorial. There is rarely a single cause of pelvic floor dysfunction. Often women will experience diastasis recti during pregnancy, trauma during childbirth, or other injuries. Urinary incontinence is also more common as women age. If you haven’t had a pregnancy, birth, or injury, the other contributors might surprise you. Most women assume that they have weakness in their pelvic floor musculature, and while that could be true, it may not be only that you cannot fully contract the muscles, but it could also be the inability to fully release those muscles as well. We must be able to do both to have full function.
Another source is our inability to utilize our internal pressure system or intra-abdominal pressure, which is directly related to breath. We must be able to use our breath to create pressure through the bottom of the pelvic floor, to the top of the diaphragm, and all the way around from our belly button to our spine—imagine an aluminum can! Our muscles are far less useful if we aren’t able to use nasal-diaphragm breath! Let’s not forget to bring up nourishment. What you use to nourish your body matters—and we’re not talking about perfection here, we’re talking about being intentional with eating whole, nutritious foods from quality sources.
Lastly, mindset plays a huge role. What kind of stress do you have in your life? What does your support system look like? How you deal with stress, conflict, and problem-solving can impact pelvic floor dysfunction—REALLY!
Addressing your pelvic floor is intertwined directly with your deep core. Yes, this does mean strengthening your core but, also, and maybe more importantly, core awareness. It’s important to develop core strength (you need it for EVERYTHING) but, it’s also important to develop intention with breath; and bracing and relaxing the core.
If you can relate at all to any of this information, you are a perfect fit for our Women’s Health Workshop. If you are a woman, you are a perfect fit for our Women’s Health Workshop!
At this workshop, myself and Laura Freeman, PT, DPT, will spend an hour educating you on everything to do with pelvic floor dysfunction. We will dive deep into the topics above and more importantly, ways we can address these issues. The second hour will be spent practicing breath, movement progressions, and a mini-workout. Our goal is to promote connection and healing!
Please join us on Saturday, April 29, 2023, from 9:00-11:00am at Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness, Home of CrossFit Lincoln; in partnership with Lincoln Orthopedic and Physical Therapy (LOPT). Your registration includes a FREE goodie bag!
Can’t wait to see you there!
BirthFit Coach & Leader
CrossFit Level 1 Coach
Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach
For more information contact: [email protected]