Login
Register

Home

About Us

Diagnoses

Treatments

Classes

Resources

Media

Testimonials

Blog

Account

Blog
Register
Photo by Rawan Yasser on Unsplash

During this time of "safer at home" orders, we have been having to find more creative ways to move at home.

If you are someone that experiences urinary incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse you may not be going out now to see a pelvic health physical therapist to guide you through a routine. In this blog post I’m going to go over a few mat pilates exercises I like to do with patients that experience urinary incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse (POP). A study done in 2018 by Lausen et al, found that in the group that did mat pilates with standard physical therapy had more positive outcomes with their urinary incontinence, as well as, quality of life.

If you are unsure what urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse is you can check out some previous blogs of ours (treating pelvic organ prolapse with pelvic floor therapy and preventing urinary incontinence). Before I introduce some of these exercises I want to make sure that you understand if you are experiencing pelvic pain or may be having urinary incontinence due to guarded or shortened pelvic floor muscles, you may have to begin with pelvic floor muscle lengthening/down-training first before strengthening.

Let’s get started with some of a few of my favorites…

1. Bridging (modified from shoulder bridge)

This is exercise incorporates your abdominals, pelvic floor muscles, and lower extremity muscles (i.e. glutes, hamstrings). The nice thing about this exercise for POP and urinary incontinence is that you don't have gravity working against the pelvic floor. This can help releave some pelvic pressure with POP and allow you to focus on a strong pelvic floor contraction.

2. Leg Circles (to assist with abdominal strength and pelvic stability)

This is a great exercise to work on your abdominals and pelvic stability. The goal is to keep your pelvis from rocking while you make circles with the leg. If you feel too much tension in your hamstring (back of the thigh) you can do the same exercise with a bent knee or make smaller circles. Do what feels best in your body.

3. Leg-Pull Front (similar to a plank with movement of your lower extremity. You can modify to just holding a plank as well)

As you can see you can do modifications if movement with the lower extremity is too challenging. Holding a plank is a great way to strengthen already. I love this one because you are working the whole body and you can really focus on pelvic alignment, making sure you stay in a neutral spine, and work on long holds with the pelvic floor muscles.

Just a few tips of when doing exercises with urinary incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse…

  • Especially with pelvic organ prolapse, when doing an exercise if you are feeling more downward pressure onto the pelvic floor, modify the exercise (i.e. maybe you are in more of a posterior pelvic tilt versus neutral spine or maybe the exercise might be too challenging for you to hold a pelvic floor contraction, so then just modify to minimize symptoms)

  • If you are experiencing urinary leakage with an exercise, it may just be too challenging so try an easier version (i.e. if you leak with the leg-pull front then just try holding a static plank and when you become stronger try again and see if you leak). Maybe you leak at count 3. So go up to 3 a few sessions and add another rep each time. See if that changes anything.

  • Exercises lying on your back will be less challenging than those in standing because your pelvic floor muscles aren’t working against gravity. Although the goal is to get stronger to do exercises in standing because the majority of activities we do in our daily lives are in standing.

Our Pelvic Health Physical Therapists are knowledgable about pilates and incorporates it into their treatment plans. For more info on what pilates is and how it can help your pelvic floor, check out a previous blog on pilates and the pelvic floor.

References:

Lausen A, Marsland L, Head S, Jackson J, Lausen B. Modified Pilates as an adjunct to standard physiotherapy care for urinary incontinence: a mixed methods pilot for a randomised controlled trial. . 2018;18(1):16

**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

More Great Products We Love

Good Clean Love

Backed by more than 100 years of expertise

We pride ourselves on leading the industry with the most innovative and scientifically advanced Bio-Match® product formulations for vaginal care. Our Scientific Advisory Board supports our mission to be a trusted and approved brand for the many medical communities we serve.

Experience our wonderful products for yourself:

  • Almost Naked® Organic Personal Lubricant - Our certified organic, water-based lubricant is pH-balanced while helping you enhance your love life naturally. Made with aloe vera and infused with lemon and vanilla for a light flavor, our organic formula provides long-lasting glide without irritating chemicals or sticky cleanup.
  • BioNourish™ Ultra Moisturizing Vaginal Gel with Hyaluronic Acid - Nearly one in five women ages 18 to 50 experience vaginal dryness. It's not just a symptom of menopause. Dryness, and associated discomfort or unnatural odor, has a wide variety of causes and ranges from occasional mild symptoms to chronic irritation and atrophy.
  • Restore® Moisturizing Vaginal Gel - This pH-balanced and moisturizing gel may help eliminate feminine odor and relieves vaginal dryness and discomfort. Restore® promotes the maintenance of healthy vaginal flora by mimicking the body’s natural pH levels, salt balance and lactic acid produced by proven, beneficial lactobacilli.
  • BioNude™ Ultra Sensitive Personal Lubricant - Some bodies are naturally more sensitive than others, which is why we offer BioNude™ Ultra Sensitive Personal Lubricant. This water-based personal lubricant is made with hydroxyethylcellulose, a plant-based material shown to be hypoallergenic.

Use the code FEMINA at checkout to receive 20% off the entire Good Clean Love product line!

What Our Patients Have to Say

Prev
Next

Testimonial by J.B.

My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what I learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

Testimonial by R.H.

No one could tell me why I was having pain during sex--sharp pain, not just uncomfortable, pain. I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat after researching several different options. I had seen a specialist who told me physical therapy would not help and my only option was surgery. I really didn't want to go that route, so when we got a referral, I decided to try it--it can't hurt, I thought. I am so glad I did. She diagnosed the problem right away, which was a relief in itself.

To know why I was having pain eased my mind immensely. And to hear that she could fix it without surgery was another relief. She said she could fix the problem in 6 weeks. I think it was actually 4 for me. She was very methodical, and treated me as an intelligent human being capable of participating in my own recovery. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. She did not try to prolong my session numbers, she worked hard to accommodate my schedule (and the fact that I had to bring a baby to sessions), and she was completely honest the entire time. It is so hard to find someone with these characteristics, much less a professional who is so good at what she does. She has my highest respect.

-- R.H.

Testimonial by Amanda W.

Heather's unique physical therapy program literally changed my life! After years of struggling with vaginismus, a condition that made it impossible for me to have intercourse and very difficult to use tampons without pain, a gynecologist referred me to Heather. I was nervous for my first appointment, but Heather's professional and friendly demeanor put me at ease. She did a great job explaining each technique she was using to help my muscles relax. Heather uses a combination of internal and external stretches and exercises to relax the pelvic floor and build muscle strength. Her specially developed home program helped me quickly recover from an issue that seemed insurmountable before meeting Heather. She was optimistic about my progress and incredibly encouraging. Less than 6 months after my first session, I was able to have pain-free sex for the first time in my life! If you are suffering from vaginismus or any other pelvic floor issues, I highly recommend making an appointment with Heather and reading her book!

-- Amanda W., 2/15/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by J.B.

My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what I learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

Testimonial by M.M.

My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get access to our free downloads and a 15% discount on Heather's book "Sex Without Pain"!
captcha 
I agree with the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy policy