Pelvic Organ Prolapse
A Real Problem with Real Consequences
Pelvic organ prolapse is a real problem that many women are unaware of, but could still be impacting them— unresolving back and hip pain, chronic constipation, and recurrent bladder infections to name a few. And unfortunately activities such as CrossFit and early return to running post baby are resulting in women coming in earlier with prolapse symptoms.
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Quite simply, prolapse occurs because there is a lack of fascial-connective tissue support that is often combined with poor pelvic floor muscle function. Add to this increased pressure on the pelvic area and associated structures from poor posture, digestive issues such as chronic constipation and higher pressure activities (e.g. CrossFit, running) and your pelvic organs have little hope of staying in the right place.
There are many different types of prolapse which produce a variety of symptoms including:
- Pain and discomfort in the pelvis, hip or back
- Increased difficulty with voiding
- Increased occurrence of bladder infections
- Discomfort with sitting and activity
- Decreased sexual satisfaction
Pelvic organ prolapse can occur at any stage in life, but is most symptomatic in post pregnancy and post menopause. Interestingly women can have prolapse without any symptoms. However over time the presence of symptoms increase as the weakness continues to put increasing pressure on surrounding structures.
Over 50% of over 50 year olds will experience pelvic organ prolapse and may or may not have symptoms.
Our Approach to Pelvic Organ Prolapse
At CURA Physical Therapies we work with you to reduce the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. This includes:
Optimal Posture and Movement: From your feet to your spine we work with you to create good movement patterns, enhance your breathing strategies, improve your core muscle activation all with the goal of reducing pressure on the pelvic floor and pelvic organs. This will often include low pressure fitness training. We also use ultrasound biofeedback to give you visual feedback on how your deeper abdominal and back muscles are working.
Pelvic Muscle Training: We work to identify which muscles are working too little or too hard and get your pelvic floor muscles to work together in a coordinated way to support your organs.
General Body Conditioning: We coach you as you work to improve your overall strength and activity level while providing the necessary support for your pelvic floor.
Behavioural Rehab: We help uncover the habits you may have that could be putting increased strain on your pelvic organs and identify strategies to help you become aware of how you are functioning in simple everyday activities (e.g. toileting, lifting, etc).
Coordinated Effort With Your Gynaecological and Healthcare Team: Sometimes pelvic organ prolapse requires a pessary for support orsurgery and we work with your family doctor and gynaecologist and nurse continence advisors to get you back to full health. We also will work with your trainers or fitness instructors to optimize your fitness or activities.