Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Dysfunction of the pelvic floor is complex:

  • Inability to contract fully (hypotonicity/underactivation)
  • Inability to release fully (hypertonicity/overactivation)
  • Inappropriate timing of the contraction
  • 23-40% of women vasalva instead of a proper contraction (Bump et Al 1991)

Types of dysfunction (most common):

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
  • Pelvic girdle pain
  • Back pain
  • Diastasis Rectus Abdominums (DRA) “Mummy Tummy” or “pooch” that won’t go away no matter what exercises you do!

DRA Statistics

Boissonnault & Bleschak 1988

  • 27% of women in 2nd trimester have DRA
  • 66% of women in 3rd trimester have a DRA
  • 53% persist immediately post partum
  • 36% remain at 7 weeks post partum

Coldron Y et al 2008

  • Spontaneous healing of IRD only occurs in first 8 weeks
  • No further improvements were noted without intervention
  • Inter-recti distance remains unchanged at 1 year

Risk Factors for pelvic floor dysfunction:

  • Posture and alignment
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Injury
  • Age
  • Weight/Obesity
  • Previous low back pain
  • High intensity activities and repetitive abdominal training
  • Gymnastics and Dance
  • Heavy lifting
  • Surgery

Causes of Core Dysfunction:

  • Pregnancy
  • Posture
  • Hormones
  • Childbirth – Vaginal and C-section
  • Return to high impact exercise too soon
  • Previous injuries
  • Return to High Impact Exercises

    • Desire to get back to ‘normal’
    • Crunches and running are often first choices
    • No regard given to restoring deep system
    • Impact on a weak structure will only break the structure down

    “Mommy and bootcamp do not belong in the same sentence”
    – Kim Vopni

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