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body mechanics and posture for prolapse

Learn All About Body Mechanics and Posture for Prolapse

Do you feel a bulge or feel like you are sitting on a ball in the pelvic area? What should you do? Don’t freak out, there is help for you! Here are some things to get you started:

See your gynecologist

Not all prolapses are the same. They can vary based on which organ is descending and how far it has descended (grade).

Prolapse will be diagnosed based on which organ is descending:

  • Cystocele: The bladder falls backward into the front (anterior) vaginal wall, the most common type of prolapse
  • Urethrocele: A prolapse of the urethra (the tube that carries urine)
  • Uterine prolapse: A prolapse of the uterus
  • Vaginal vault prolapse: prolapse of the vagina
  • Enterocele: Small bowel prolapse
  • Rectocele: the rectum falls forward into the back (or posterior) vaginal wall

Prolapse will also be graded based on how far the organ has fallen:

  • Grade 0 (no prolapse)
  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4 (organ in question is bulging out of the vagina)

You can read more specific information on the grades of prolapse in this article from American Family Physician.

See a Pelvic Floor Therapist

Ask your doctor for a referral to pelvic floor physical therapy, call us at Femina Physical Therapy if you’re in the Los Angeles Area, or look up a pelvic floor therapist near you. Pelvic floor therapy can rebuild and restore pelvic floor strength and function. See our previous blog post for more information on how therapy can help.

Breathe!

Holding your breath will create extra pressure in the abdomen, which will encourage your organs to migrate further south. Practice deep breathing on a regular basis and also exhale with movement.

Exhale with Movement

Do not hold your breath while you move. Try exhaling with the following activities:

  • Transitioning from lying down to sitting up
  • Transitioning from sitting to standing
  • While lifting anything (baby, groceries)
  • While pushing anything (strollers, trash can, shoveling)
  • While bending over to empty the dishwasher, take out laundry, weeding your garden, etc.
  • Putting on your socks, shoes and pants
  • Getting out of the car
  • During exercise
  • Reaching overhead

Deep Breathing
Practice breathing exercises whenever you can! Stuck in traffic? Breathe! Waiting in line at the grocery store? Breathe! Frustrated with someone? Breathe! Try to practice deep breathing at least 3-4 times a day at first, and it will naturally become a tool your body uses to discharge stress and tension.

  • Relax shoulders and upper chest
  • Take a slow, deep breath in through the nose to fill the lungs fully
  • Hold the breath for 2-3 seconds
  • Breathe out slowly through the mouth, as if gently blowing on a candle

Stop Straining in the Bathroom

Constantly straining to make a bowel movement or to empty your bladder in a hurry is not only pushing your waste out, it is also pushing your organs downward.

Don’t strain! Avoid straining, no pushing your pee out or holding your breath to force out a BM. Take your time and visualize the pelvic floor getting soft and heavy. Deep breathing, when done correctly, is much more efficient at emptying the bladder and bowel than straining and pushing.

Getting into an ergonomic toileting position will help you go without straining.

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The best position to sit on the toilet:

  • Always sit on the toilet seat. No hovering!
  • Feet firmly planted on a step stool
  • Legs are separated to hip width’s distance or wider, elbows resting on thighs
  • Lean forward with your knees higher than your hips
  • Allow belly to get soft, floppy, and relaxed
  • Stay relaxed on the toilet; relax your breathing and practice deep breathing exercise as outlined above.
  • Allow yourself time. Don’t rush. Don’t strain.

Other Toileting Tips:

Avoid Constipation. Read our blog post on constipation for more info.

Don’t ignore urges to use your bladder or bowel.

Taking the time to make these small changes throughout your day will reduce the pressure on your prolapse. Again, don’t freak out and call us at Femina Physical Therapy to set up an appointment to get you back to doing the things you love, symptom free.

 

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

What Our Patients Have to Say

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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 J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

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.

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

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