Five reasons Kegels aren't helping your pelvic floorApr 21, 2022
Have you tried Kegels? Those exercises where you squeeze 10 times.. Maybe a health practitioner has prescribed them to you? Or maybe you didn't actually know they were called Kegels - the pelvic floor muscles exercises traditionally prescribed for women (and men) who suffer symptoms such as leaking or prolapse, or have just had a baby, or are going through menopause.
These exercises are often prescribed as 'imagine you are stopping the flow of wee' type exercises.
Pelvic floor symptoms are surprisingly common in women - and I say surprising because it's one of those taboo topics that us women either feel too embarrassed to talk about, or have just accepted that nothing can be done about the leaks or discomfort.
Kegels are the go-to for most health practitioners.
But if these exercises were the answer, then why do so many women still have urinary and faecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse?
Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of women with symptoms, most have tried Kegels and still had symptoms...here's why...
1) Many women can't correctly do a Kegel without way more further guidance (other than just squeeze to stop the flow of wee!) - women's health physios reported that when they asked women to Kegel, most could not contract their pelvic floor muscles with just that cue. We can give more visualisations and tools to help women here.
2) We can't spot treat pelvic floor problems - symptoms may not be caused by these muscles, it may be something going on elsewhere in the body. Our bodies are so inter-connected that no part works in isolation, we must take a noes to toes approach - our feet, posture, breath, ribs, as well as outside factors such as stress all impact our pelvic floor symptoms.
3) Muscles need to learn to contract and relax - kegels focus mainly on squeezing - which encourages muscle tension, imagine walking around holding a bicep curl all day - your arm would get pretty sore, and it would also feel stiff and achy, it probably wouldn't do a a good job as an arm. To improve our muscle function, we need suppleness and strength, and
4) Many women with symptoms actually have too much tension in their pelvic floor/core muscles already - meaning the pelvic floor and core muscles cannot function as well. Adding more Kegels to an already tense muscle is more likely to increase symptoms or create new symptoms, than resolve old ones. Lots of lovely RELEASE work is more helpful.
5) Every BODY is different - so using one method to treat everyone experiencing symptoms will not bring every BODY the same results... we are all so individual, and we often need a myriad of options to help us.
I created Strong to the Core to help more women to feel more confident and connected in their bodies, as well as reducing pelvic floor and other core symptoms - its really a 360 approach taking into account all of these variables to help you feel amazing!
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