Today we are going to be chatting about some easy things you can do at home to help with your pelvic health. Lifestyle factors and habits are some of the biggest contributing factors to poor pelvic health and undesirable symptoms. By identifying what some of the causative factors may be, we can tailor an approach to get the most optimal long term results.
Like with everything we see at Total Balance Healthcare, pelvic health patients present to us with a variety of signs and symptoms. Understanding the specifics for each individual person is key when it comes to tailoring the best treatment and management plan. So let’s get into our favourite tips and tricks that you can utilise at home to help with your pelvic health.
Using a squatty potty
A ‘squatty potty’ is a little stool that is great to place your feet on when you are sitting on the toilet. You can use any small stool, or if you don’t have access to one a toilet roll under each foot can work wonders too. Us humans are anatomically designed to go to the toilet in a squatting position. If you have ever seen a baby/infant in nappies try to pass a bowel motion, they will go down into a deep squat position. The idea behind using a stool to rest your feet on whilst using the toilet, is it allows the muscle responsible for holding faecal matter in to relax. As a result it makes it easier to pass a bowel motion and reduces straining. Click on the video here to see Sarah explain the importance of elevating your feet whilst you are passing a bowel motion.
Limiting going to the toilet “just in case”
Toileting habits is a big thing we talk about in a pelvic health appointment. Toileting habits encompasses everything you do in your day to day life surrounding going to the toilet. A lot of us adults have a habit of going to the toilet “just in case”. We find that this habit can be even more ingrained in people who have been suffering from urinary or faecal incontinence. An example of going to the toilet “just in case” is making yourself urinate before leaving the house even though you have zero urge to go. When you do this you are usually straining and forcing urine out and as a result you are not allowing the bladder to do its job properly. As our bladders fill up with urine, the stretch receptors send a message to our brain to let it know that we need to pee. If we force ourselves to go when our bladder isn’t full enough, we are interfering with this nervous system loop, mixing the messages and training our bladder to think it needs to void when it really doesn’t. This can cause urgency incontinence.
Addressing constipation to avoid straining
Anytime we are dealing with incontinence symptoms we always address constipation and bowel health. If our bowels are full with faecal matter, it will place increased pressure on our bladder and as a result change the pressure in our bladder. When this occurs the sphincters which allow us to keep our urine in are under increased pressure and sometimes it can’t cope, thus leakage occurs.
Another reason why addressing constipation is crucial, is because when we are constipated we tend to strain a lot on the toilet. Straining is something we want to avoid at all costs. When we strain we are placing a lot of pressure on our pelvic floor and the structures responsible for keeping us dry. We also want to avoid haemorrhoids and fissures, and straining can cause these things to occur.
Some of the things to help with constipation include having enough water through the day, including fibre in your diet, eating a well balanced diet, exercise and ensuring our gut microbiome is optimal.
Breathing correctly is ideal for good pelvic health. Breathing is something we do 24/7 and knowing how to breathe properly can really help with going to the toilet with ease and limiting straining. Try to make sure you are breathing into your lower ribs and diaphragm as opposed to your chest. This is something that is easy to practice at home and can make a real difference. Aim to complete 2 minutes of breathing exercises, twice a day.
Pelvic floor exercises (specific to you and your presentation)
Pelvic floor exercises are really beneficial when it comes to treating pelvic health concerns. The thing to be very mindful of is what sort of pelvic floor exercises you should be doing based on your specific presentation. Some patients we see in the clinic we need to work on strength, some we work on the pelvic floor’s ability to hold a contraction and endurance and in some other patients we need to only work on the relaxation of their pelvic floor. This is why getting an appropriate understanding of what is going on and then having a tailored treatment plan is critical for ideal outcomes.
Please give these few things a try and you too will see how some simple changes in your everyday life can make big impacts. At Total Balance healthcare Sarah, Loz, and Simmone are super passionate about pelvic health, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic on 9773 8085 if you have any questions. If you want to come into the clinic for an appointment you can also book a pelvic health appointment online.
Have a lovely week.
Bec @ Total Balance Healthcare
Let’s get social!!!!
This blog post is an educational tool only. It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.
Phone: (03) 9773 8085