Have you recently been given the diagnosis of pelvic organ prolapse? Grade 2 cystocele? Research suggests 50% of women have some degree of observable pelvic organ prolapse. But guess what, that isn’t a death sentence. It’s not the end of the world. You are so much more than a diagnosis. You can use this as a tool to guide your training and lifestyle. Research supports exercise and lifestyle changes can be an effective approach for symptom management. With a correct approach you can reduce the frequency and bother of symptoms. With these 4 ‘Must Do’ exercises for pelvic organ prolapse we’re focusing on strengthening the pelvic floor, abdominal wall and functional core system. If you’re curious to learn more about what pelvic organ prolapse before starting these exercises. (HYPERLINK What you Need to Know About Pelvic Organ Prolapse blog)
Mind you these exercises are not all inclusive. If you have questions or are unsure about if you’re ready to try these, reach out to a trusted pelvic floor physical therapist to assess your movement, strength, mobility to see where you’re at and customize the exercises for you.
Core Brace with BKFO
Brace with block squeeze
Bridge with banded ABD
You might be wondering why there are pelvic floor stretches in a blog about pelvic organ prolapse. There’s actually a correlation between an overactive pelvic floor and prolapse. If the muscles in the region of the pelvis are overactive they will be less efficient and effective when they contract which can lead to dysfunction with peeing and pooping and also less ability to live out their role as a support to our dynamic core and pelvic region. Our muscles are meant to contract and relax, if you have an overactive pelvic floor you’re expecting your pelvic floor to be fully functional from a limited range of motion and limited ability to contract. Try out some of our favorite stretches and remember to breath and be mindful of what’s going on in your pelvis, hips and core.
Favorite stretches for the pelvic floor include: Child’s pose, Knee to Chest Stretch, Butterfly, Pigeon, Deep squat, Piriformis stretch, Cossack lunge, and Spiderman lunge.
Child’s Pose example
Knee to Chest Stretch Variation
Spiderman Lunge example
Perform any one of these relaxation activities before AND after your high intensity activity. This will address any tightness before the workout to ensure appropriate muscle function during the workout, and address any tightness that is present afterwards because of the workout.
We recommend modifying exercises that increase symptoms. This may mean decreasing the weight, decreasing the speed or decreasing the intensity or duration of the exercise or workout. If you’re unsure of examples of modifications or would like further guidance and coaching reach out to work with our Pelvic Health Physical Therapist. We offer online sessions and in-person sessions to help!
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Symptom Management Strategy:
Ladies, this symptom management strategy can be a game changer. Try to elevate your pelvis, this is especially helpful for those of you experiencing increased pelvic or vaginal pressure at the end of a day. This can be done using a pelvic wedge or multiple pillows under your pelvis (see below), and can help reduce swelling and pressure in the vulvar and vaginal regions. This can be used in combination with a heating pad on your low back if you also have low back pain, or ice to your pelvic floor if you have a lot of vaginal or vulvar pain. We typically recommend you do this for about 10 minutes per day and remember to get some nice breathing practice in while you’re there.
Pelvic Elevation Example
Work with our Pelvic Health Physical Therapist. We offer online sessions and in-person sessions to help!
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