X, Y and Z’s of Pelvic Health

Pelvic floor consultation

X, Y and Z’s of Pelvic Health

by Grainne Donnelly of Absolute Physio https://www.absolute.physio/

Back in 2016 the wonderful Michelle Lyons talked us through the A, B, C’s of pelvic health and wellbeing. You can check out this blog here
https://evbsport.com/abc-of-pelvic-health-for-runners/ . Considering that it is World Health Day today, I thought it would be good to build on the importance of pelvic health and wellbeing….so I will refer to the X, Y, Z’s of pelvic health.

X – We all know that pelvic health is eXtra special….right?

Pelvic health is one of those topics that is starting to become better understood – thanks to all the wonderful health and fitness professionals as well as pelvic health ambassadors, like EVB founder Yvonnne Brady, who have used their voices and platforms to increase awareness and understanding for its importance and relevance to women through ALL stages of life

Y – Why is it so important?

Pelvic health refers to the function and well-being of the muscles, nerves and connective tissue in the pelvic region and how they inter-link and communicate with our brain. The pelvic floor muscles, nerves and connective tissue play an important role in pelvic organ support, continence (control of our bladder and bowel) and sexual function. Dysfunction in any of these roles can have a significant impact upon a woman’s quality of life. We are all aware that engagement in regular physical activity is a public health priority due to its established benefits across physical and mental health for both prevention and management of many disease processes. Did you know, however, that pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence is one of the main barriers to maintaining engagement in exercise for many women.

Z – Zzzzzzzz

Sleep is just one of the many factors that we discuss in the recently released guideline that I co-authored with Emma Brockwell https://physiomum.co.uk/about/ (a pelvic health physiotherapist like myself) and Tom Goom (https://www.running-physio.com/ Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and Running Injury Specialist) – Returning to running postnatal – guidelines for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population. While the guideline is aimed at health and fitness professionals it is packed with useful information and guidance suitable for any postnatal woman considering getting back into exercise. You can access you free copy here.

As well as recommending that every postnatal woman should access a pelvic health evaluation with a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist prior to returning to running, the guide outlines other important factors to consider for readiness for high impact exercise. Examples of other factors include diastasis recti, psychological wellbeing, weight, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) and not forgetting the role of supportive clothing including sports bras, footwear and clothing that offers abdomino-pelvic support like EVB’s range.

For more information outlining why each of these considerations are important please check out the full guideline.

Gráinne Donnelly

Advanced Physiotherapist & Team Lead for Pelvic Health

NHS and private practice (ABSOLUTE.PHYSIO) https://www.absolute.physio/

Co. Fermanagh

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