About a month ago, I received an e-mail from a woman who had a question related to her incontinence. She had given birth to her child and since then was suffering from a little bit of incontinence. She had seen a physical therapist who had recommended doing Kegels to help with her incontinence issues. One of the things that she mentioned to me was that even after doing Kegels she did not feel any amount of relief and did not feel her pelvic floor muscles releasing or going back down. Obviously the Kegels were not providing any relief and she wanted to know what else she could do. I had asked her what she does for a living most of the day and what some of her activities consisted of. She stated that she works as a secretary so she spends quite a few hours sitting at her desk. Our conversation was mostly through e-mail, so I had mentioned that doing too much sitting was probably on the issues and her incontinence from childbirth was just an underlying issue. I told her that I could help her by addressing some of the issues she was having and provide some whole body alignment exercises she could work on to help with her incontinence.
I waited a week…then I never heard from her again. I wondered why she would reach out to me, asking for help and obviously seemed like she wanted to treat this issue, but was unwilling to take the necessary steps to correct them. I even offered her a free consultation so if she didn’t want to commit to anything long-term, she could at least have a few new tools to help her. Was she maybe looking for a quick fix? Did she think that her issue would be resolved from just doing a few Kegels a few times a day and didn’t have the time to commit more exercises to her already busy day? Yes, in order to wholistically address her incontinence, she would need to address tight muscles in her legs, lack of mobility in her hips and learn how to relax her pelvic floor muscles.
This current culture of sitting is for sure increasing the amount of pelvic floor issues where many women may be suffering either from incontinence or even prolapse and men lower back pain and even pelvic floor and prostate issues as well. But why do we continue to sit? And when we do sit, wouldn’t it help a little bit to at least learn how to sit correctly where you are sitting on your ischial tuberosity and not on your sacrum? I know many people, like my husband, who feel that just sitting on ergo chairs would do the trick and help create more support. We should not be relying on our chair, but maybe more so on our muscles and bones, our resilient structural system.
My teacher, Katy Bowman, does such a great job demystifying the pelvic floor. She recently posted a blog article on too tight pelvic floor which coincides greatly with this post. You can view the blog here. Be sure to also check out the video in her posting on tucking and untucking of the pelvis and see if you are doing that right now while sitting and reading this blog.
- The Bathroom Key: A Strong Pelvic Floor (naturalaspossiblemom.com)
- Finding and Activating the Pelvic Floor (coreconnexxions.wordpress.com)
- Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Chronic Groin, Low Back and Lower Limb Pain. By Elizabeth Kais, M.Ed., CSCS, CHEK (gotcherback.wordpress.com)