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Spoiler Alert: you don’t have to pee your pants anymore…

Dr. Kelly Mueller continues to provide virtual services and in-person visits out of our Centered Spine & Joint Red Bank location. Free Discovery Sessions available along with special discounts for Centered Spine & Joint patients! More blog posts similar to the one below included on her website:

Normalizing the conversation around pelvic floor dysfunctions including leaking, pain with sex and other common concerns

Did you know that one in three women will have pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetime? Just because we aren’t talking about these issues over lunch doesn’t mean that they aren’t commonly experienced. Childbirth is an obvious risk factor for issues with incontinence, but it’s not the only cause for pelvic floor dysfunction.

Pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction are other treatable issues that many times go unreported until severe and chronic. Whether it’s pain with intercourse or pain at rest, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles that can respond very well to manual therapy and retraining. Kegels (aka isolated strengthening) are not the answer for these conditions. 

I absolutely love the Pelvic PT Rising podcast recently and Nicole Cozean recently suggested that instead of comparing the muscles of the pelvis to something simple like the biceps, it is better to compare the entire pelvic floor to a trampoline.

If we think about an overly tight trampoline, you can imagine how that would feel to jump on. It wouldn’t have much give and would lack the necessary response to demands placed on it. This is comparable to pelvic pain from tightness. It can have a very poor response to daily demands from pressure above and can be extremely uncomfortable or even unable to tolerate penetration. By teaching these tissues to relax through exercise, breathing and manual techniques, we can alleviate pain and improve the resilience of the tissue. With trauma informed care, we acknowledge that sexual trauma, anxiety and learned behavior are crucial factors that need to be addressed in order to reduce symptoms and ultimately return to “normal” function.

On the other side of this is a trampoline that is not taut enough. Can you imagine bouncing on a loose trampoline? You’ll have lots of give on the way down, but very little spring to bounce you back up in the air. This is more consistent with weakness that we see either over time or postpartum and the issue that occurs with pelvic organ prolapse. This is the area where we may strengthen, but I’d argue kegels are becoming a thing of the past. Our muscles do not function in isolation, so we should not train them as such. In order to improve function, we need to train the body specifically for the desired tasks. This is what I help my clients achieve through no longer just reducing symptoms, but fully returning to daily tasks, desired activities and addressing the underlying issues that started the spiral in the first place.

Our society has spent too much time normalizing leaking after pregnancy and having to wear Depends when we are older. Not enough people are talking about the effect pelvic pain or sexual dysfunction can have on relationships. It doesn’t need to be that way. Even though the pelvic floor functions more like a trampoline than like a biceps, it is still a group of muscles that can be trained. If it’s tight, we can help relax it. If it’s weak, we can strengthen it. And we can always remember that this pelvis is attached to a person that is far more complex than one muscle group.

I see you over there bouncing in your seat and I’m here for you.


Schedule your Free Discovery Session with Dr. Kelly Mueller here:

There is still time to sign-up for the Master Your Core and Pelvic Floor Virtual Workshop with Dr. Kelly Mueller TONIGHT at 8 PM ET and learn even more about this topic while getting your personal questions answered. You won’t want to miss out on this fun, Wine Wednesday!

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