Prolapse: Is it the end of the World as we know it?
It is a diagnosis that often leaves Women feeling embarrassed, ashamed and depressed, but it simply doesn’t have to be like that. Knowledge is power and movement is medicine – at least in my clinical practice.
I utilize a referral network of healthcare practitioners to establish the correct diagnosis in order to provide the right treatment. Prolapse isn’t treated any differently.
Definition of prolapse: Normally, the pelvic organs—the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum—are supported and held in place by a group of muscles and tissues called the pelvic floor. When these muscles weaken over time, the pelvic organs can droop down and/or bulge into and/or out of the vagina.
In addition to the sensation of feeling an uncomfortable bulge in the vagina, you can experience symptoms such as
pain or pressure in the pelvis, the lower back, or both
urinary problems, like urine leaking or the feeling that you need to constantly urinate
Here is a quick, condensed list of my top 3 tips for rehabilitating a prolapse. This list idoes not take the place of a physical assessment and diagnosis of the pelvic floor dysfunction you might be experiencing. It is simply a quick guide, to help you understand that prolapse is in part a movement disorder and proper rehabilitation/learning how to move efficiently and effectively can greatly increase your quality of life and enjoyment of sport.
Tip 1: Establish a balanced intra-abdominal pressure system. Your breathing pattern must be able to transfer pressure within your entire abdominal cavity equally. Holding your breath...puts pressure on an already weak pelvic floor, making the pelvic organs vulnerable for under load. Alignment of both muscles and joints is key to this initial step.
Tip 2: Be able to use this breathing pattern with everyday movements walking, housework, lifting kiddos, carrying groceries etc without any symptoms. (this is where the basic, foundational rehab exercises work great to get you back to your activities of daily living – not sport, but every day things).
Tip 3: Slowly begin to add load/weights/sport specific training once the above is well established. Progress slowly, slower then ever to allow for you tissues to adapt underload, ensuring your dynamic breathing is in place. Try a sport similar but less intense before progressing to your sport ie: spinning before running, 2 legged squats before lunges.
(This tip is the last and most often missed step in the rehab process)
Even with the very best rehab one may still need to be fitted for a pessary for sport participation. As well, surgery may still be required at a certain point. But personally, I would ensure that I exhausted my conservative care possibilities before doing either.