WOMEN OF ALL AGES: Get Your Prolapse and Incontinence Info Here!

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How Your Pelvic Floor Is Weakened

The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles and connective tissue that keep the pelvic organs in place. The pubocyggeous is the main muscle involved here. Together the pelvic floor muscles bear all the weight of your organs when you stand up, so they are acutely affected by gravity. They form a figure-8 around your urethra (from which you urinate), around your vagina and around the rectum. By the ninth month of pregnancy, you have an extra thirteen and a half pounds weighing down on these muscles and weakening them.

DOWNLOAD DIASTSIS RECTI EXERCISE TIPS

Image aBy OpenStax - https://cnx.org/contents/FPtK1zmh@8.25:fEI3C8Ot@10/Preface, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30131690

The Pelvic Floor Muscles Have Three Functions: 

A.) The first is for support.

Think of your pelvis like a brown paper bag. The pelvic floor like the bottom of the bag, and the organs are like the groceries in the bag. So the pelvic floor, or the bottom of the bag, is the support for the contents. What happens when the bottom of the brown paper bag gets wet? It weakens and the groceries fall out.

The same thing happens with your organs when your pelvic floor is weakened. Your organs can fall down, creating a condition called a prolapse. Organs involved in a prolapse can include the bladder, uterus, bowel and rectum. A prolapse is actually caused by two things: the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and by ligament laxity. Here’s the deal with ligament laxity: your uterus is supported in your body by ligaments, which you can envision kind of like pieces of silly putty. When they stretch, they stay stretched out. During pregnancy, when your uterus gets bigger, your ligaments stretch to accommodate its growing size. After delivery, the uterus goes back to its normal size. However, the ligaments are now longer, so the uterus hangs lower in your body, making it closer to the outside.

An important thing you need to know about the pelvic floor is that when you engage the transverse, you also work the PC muscles. The Tupler Technique® ab exercises you’ve already learned also stimulate other muscles to work at the same time. Those other muscles are the rectus abdominis, the lumbar mulitfidus (muscles in between the discs of your lumbar spine) and the main muscle of your pelvic floor. This is called a co-contraction. Working the transverse muscle is very important in alleviating this whole prolapse issue.

I want you to see the connection between your transverse and you PC muscles for yourself: put your hand on your pelvic floor. (Yes, REALLY put your hand there, right now, right over your clothes!) Put the other hand on your belly. With your abdominal muscles relaxed, cough. Do you feel a movement into your hand? Now hold your transverse in at 5th floor and cough. While doing this, you should NOT feel a movement in your hand.

If your transverse muscle is weak, you may still feel some movement in your PC, but it will be less pronounced than it was when you weren’t holding it in. This movement that you are feeling is two things: pressure on the pelvic floor muscle and pulling of the ligaments attached to the uterus. So every time you cough without holding your transverse at 5th floor, you will be weakening the muscle and pulling on the ligaments. The more you pull on the ligaments, the longer they become and the closer to the outside world they get. So now you see how engaging the transverse muscle helps the pelvic floor.

While we’re on the topic of prolapse, I need to bring up the issue of surgical mesh. To put it mildly, if mesh is not always good idea for the repair of a diastasis, it’s simply a horrendous option for a prolapse. The mesh is inserted into an incision made in the wall of vagina and placed on the pelvic floor. This is where things can go horribly wrong, as the mesh can literally work its way back through the vaginal wall and into the vagina, causing excruciating chronic pain and infection. The side of the mesh acts like a straightedge, and along with cutting through the vaginal tissue, during sex it can lacerate a partner’s penis. In a terrible example of adding insult to injury, the displaced mesh can cause increased dysfunction in the bowel, bladder and sexual organs—the very reasons why a woman has gone to repair the prolapse in the first place.

This surgical mesh issue for a prolapse is so dismal that the FDA has concluded that woman who have it are 2.26 times more likely to need repeat surgery. That might be an underestimate, much as I suspect is the statistic that ten percent of patients who receive mesh prolapse repairs experience its erosion into the vagina or other organs. By 2011, the FDA issued a warning that complications from mesh were not rare, and could be grave.

Dr. Tom Margolis, a pelvic surgeon who specializes in removing transvaginal mesh, compares it to “a giant splinter, trying to work itself out.” He goes on to say, “It’s like a slow death sentence.” (“A Surgical Female Nightmare,” In These Times, June 13, 2012). Needless to say, strengthening the pelvic floor with the Tupler Technique® is a really safe bet.

By Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body (See "Book" section below)Bartleby.com: Gray's Anatomy, Plate 404, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=158672

B.) The second function of the pelvic floor is elimination.

A weak pelvic floor muscle may cause urinary incontinence. The basis of incontinence is all muscular and can also be treated with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Again, muscle memory comes into play here. You want the muscles to be well-toned and engaged at all times, except for when you are specifically making them relax.

C.) The third function of the pelvic floor is proprioception, which is the ability to feel.

A weak pelvic floor muscle may cause urinary incontinence. The basis of incontinence is all muscular and can also be treated with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Again, muscle memory comes into play here. You want the muscles to be well-toned and engaged at all times, except for when you are specifically making them relax.After a vaginal birth, the vaginal canal gets stretched out. Again, this is all muscular, and can be treated with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Without putting too fine a point on it, who doesn’t want this?

So—aside from helping you to deliver your baby, flattening your tummy and strengthening your back, doing the Tupler Technique® exercises will also prevent your organs from falling out; aid in stopping the embarrassment of spotting your pants, and enable you to have more enjoyable sex. Six for the price of one—how can you argue with that?

To learn more about Diastasis Recti & the Tupler Technique® read this article: DIASTASIS RECTI RESEARCH AND EVIDENCED BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM

To view my women's programs click this link: WOMEN'S PROGRAM PACKAGES

Watch the short video below to know what a diastasis is.

Video

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DOWNLOAD DIASTSIS RECTI EXERCISE TIPS

How Your Pelvic Floor Is Weakened

The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles and connective tissue that keep the pelvic organs in place. The pubocyggeous is the main muscle involved here. Together the pelvic floor muscles bear all the weight of your organs when you stand up, so they are acutely affected by gravity. They form a figure-8 around your urethra (from which you urinate), around your vagina and around the rectum. By the ninth month of pregnancy, you have an extra thirteen and a half pounds weighing down on these muscles and weakening them.

Image aBy OpenStax - https://cnx.org/contents/FPtK1zmh@8.25:fEI3C8Ot@10/Preface, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30131690

DOWNLOAD DIASTSIS RECTI EXERCISE TIPS

The Pelvic Floor Muscles Have Three Functions: 

A.) The first is for support.

Think of your pelvis like a brown paper bag. The pelvic floor like the bottom of the bag, and the organs are like the groceries in the bag. So the pelvic floor, or the bottom of the bag, is the support for the contents. What happens when the bottom of the brown paper bag gets wet? It weakens and the groceries fall out.

The same thing happens with your organs when your pelvic floor is weakened. Your organs can fall down, creating a condition called a prolapse. Organs involved in a prolapse can include the bladder, uterus, bowel and rectum. A prolapse is actually caused by two things: the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and by ligament laxity. Here’s the deal with ligament laxity: your uterus is supported in your body by ligaments, which you can envision kind of like pieces of silly putty. When they stretch, they stay stretched out. During pregnancy, when your uterus gets bigger, your ligaments stretch to accommodate its growing size. After delivery, the uterus goes back to its normal size. However, the ligaments are now longer, so the uterus hangs lower in your body, making it closer to the outside.

An important thing you need to know about the pelvic floor is that when you engage the transverse, you also work the PC muscles. The Tupler Technique® ab exercises you’ve already learned also stimulate other muscles to work at the same time. Those other muscles are the rectus abdominis, the lumbar mulitfidus (muscles in between the discs of your lumbar spine) and the main muscle of your pelvic floor. This is called a co-contraction. Working the transverse muscle is very important in alleviating this whole prolapse issue.

I want you to see the connection between your transverse and you PC muscles for yourself: put your hand on your pelvic floor. (Yes, REALLY put your hand there, right now, right over your clothes!) Put the other hand on your belly. With your abdominal muscles relaxed, cough. Do you feel a movement into your hand? Now hold your transverse in at 5th floor and cough. While doing this, you should NOT feel a movement in your hand.

If your transverse muscle is weak, you may still feel some movement in your PC, but it will be less pronounced than it was when you weren’t holding it in. This movement that you are feeling is two things: pressure on the pelvic floor muscle and pulling of the ligaments attached to the uterus. So every time you cough without holding your transverse at 5th floor, you will be weakening the muscle and pulling on the ligaments. The more you pull on the ligaments, the longer they become and the closer to the outside world they get. So now you see how engaging the transverse muscle helps the pelvic floor.

While we’re on the topic of prolapse, I need to bring up the issue of surgical mesh. To put it mildly, if mesh is not always good idea for the repair of a diastasis, it’s simply a horrendous option for a prolapse. The mesh is inserted into an incision made in the wall of vagina and placed on the pelvic floor. This is where things can go horribly wrong, as the mesh can literally work its way back through the vaginal wall and into the vagina, causing excruciating chronic pain and infection. The side of the mesh acts like a straightedge, and along with cutting through the vaginal tissue, during sex it can lacerate a partner’s penis. In a terrible example of adding insult to injury, the displaced mesh can cause increased dysfunction in the bowel, bladder and sexual organs—the very reasons why a woman has gone to repair the prolapse in the first place.

This surgical mesh issue for a prolapse is so dismal that the FDA has concluded that woman who have it are 2.26 times more likely to need repeat surgery. That might be an underestimate, much as I suspect is the statistic that ten percent of patients who receive mesh prolapse repairs experience its erosion into the vagina or other organs. By 2011, the FDA issued a warning that complications from mesh were not rare, and could be grave.

Dr. Tom Margolis, a pelvic surgeon who specializes in removing transvaginal mesh, compares it to “a giant splinter, trying to work itself out.” He goes on to say, “It’s like a slow death sentence.” (“A Surgical Female Nightmare,” In These Times, June 13, 2012). Needless to say, strengthening the pelvic floor with the Tupler Technique® is a really safe bet.

By Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body (See "Book" section below)Bartleby.com: Gray's Anatomy, Plate 404, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=158672

B.) The second function of the pelvic floor is elimination.

A weak pelvic floor muscle may cause urinary incontinence. The basis of incontinence is all muscular and can also be treated with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Again, muscle memory comes into play here. You want the muscles to be well-toned and engaged at all times, except for when you are specifically making them relax.

C.) The third function of the pelvic floor is proprioception, which is the ability to feel.

A weak pelvic floor muscle may cause urinary incontinence. The basis of incontinence is all muscular and can also be treated with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Again, muscle memory comes into play here. You want the muscles to be well-toned and engaged at all times, except for when you are specifically making them relax.After a vaginal birth, the vaginal canal gets stretched out. Again, this is all muscular, and can be treated with strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Without putting too fine a point on it, who doesn’t want this?

So—aside from helping you to deliver your baby, flattening your tummy and strengthening your back, doing the Tupler Technique® exercises will also prevent your organs from falling out; aid in stopping the embarrassment of spotting your pants, and enable you to have more enjoyable sex. Six for the price of one—how can you argue with that?

To learn more about Diastasis Recti & the Tupler Technique® read this article: DIASTASIS RECTI RESEARCH AND EVIDENCED BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM

To view my women's programs click this link: WOMEN'S PROGRAM PACKAGES

Watch the short video below to know what a diastasis is.

Video

RECENT ARTICLES

POST PREGNANCY DIASTASIS RECTI TEST & RECOMMENDED EXERCISES
Have you been wondering how to get rid of your postpartum belly? outie belly button? umbilical hernia? Don’t even think...
Post Tummy Tuck… Would the Tupler Technique® exercises be appropriate? | TUPLER TECHNIQUE®
  Updated 06/25/2019| Julie Tupler Usually after abdominal surgery, doctors tell you not to “lift” anything over five pounds because...
WHAT IS A STRONG CORE?  | TUPLER TECHNIQUE® 2021
No matter how much abdominal work you do, you will never ever have a strong core if your abdominal muscles...
Why Can’t I Do Any Other Exercise Program for the First Six Weeks of the Tupler Technique® Program?
As hard as this may be to do, stopping your exercise program and sporting activities for six weeks is crucial...
Will Wearing the Diastasis Rehab Splint® Weaken My Muscles? | TUPLER TECHNIQUE®
This is a question that I am asked frequently.  It is a good question because some abdominal binders do weaken...