We know that exercise is vital for overall health, but for those dealing with pelvic floor symptoms, it can be a tricky balancing act. In this blog, we’ll focus on addressing two common concerns: heaviness and prolapse. We’ll cover practical tips to navigate these challenges with the hopes of empowering you to stay active! 

Understanding Heaviness:

Heaviness, often associated with prolapse, can be a roadblock for many. The first step is identifying what specific movements aggravate your symptoms. It’s a highly individual experience, and pinpointing triggers is step one. For example, bending over to pick things up might be problematic for one person, while another might feel discomfort after a certain duration of walking.

Once identified, the key is to experiment with variations in your routine. Change how you perform exercises, alter the load, or break up the activity into smaller increments. The goal is to find a way to engage in the activities you love without exacerbating symptoms.

Another tool in the toolkit is the use of a pessary, essentially a supportive device inserted into the vagina. Think of it as a knee brace for your pelvic floor. It provides additional support, allowing you to engage in physical activities with confidence.

The All-or-Nothing Conundrum:

When it comes to prolapse, people often fall into the trap of an all-or-nothing mindset. Some push through, ignoring symptoms, while others are terrified to engage in any form of exercise. We like the middle ground! As avoiding activity altogether can lead to muscle weakening, bone density loss and deconditioning.

Understanding your body and its unique responses is important. Specific movements might be aggravating, but it’s about finding alternatives and making subtle adjustments. As mentioned, it’s about managing forces, altering loads, and, most importantly, staying active for overall well-being.

Additional Strategies:

Pressure management is a key consideration. Techniques like lying down with pillows under the bum post-exercise can leverage gravity to alleviate symptoms. Consistent pressure throughout the day, especially during activities of daily living, can accumulate. Being mindful of how you lift objects or perform daily tasks is another important thing to consider. 

External support wear, such as compression shorts or activewear with built-in gussets, provides additional options. These can offer external support without the need for internal devices (like the pessary!) 

Overall, living with pelvic floor challenges doesn’t mean giving up on the activities you love. It’s about understanding your body, making nuanced adjustments, and exploring supportive tools like experimenting with variations, considering a pessary, or utilizing external support wear. You have options! 

Hope this helps!

Katie Kelly, Physiotherapist & Eryn Matheson, Physiotherapist

Join our community on Instagram here

Local to New Brunswick? Book your in-person (Moncton and Fredericton NB) or virtual appointments:

Reconnect Health Centre Moncton

Reconnect Health Centre Fredericton