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pilates and the pelvic floor

Learn All About Pilates and the Pelvic Floor

And How Pilates Can Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

A modified Pilates program can be a fantastic way to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. A 2018 study by Lausen et al. had clients attend weekly one-hour Pilates classes over the course of six weeks. These classes used a type of Modified Pilates which consisted of Pilates exercises which had been modified and led by a physical therapist to specifically target the pelvic floor for the management of urinary incontinence. Those who attended the Pilates classes reported less leakage, improved self-esteem, decreased social embarrassment and lower impact of incontinence. Some of the women also reported improvement in their personal relationships after attending the classes.

In another 2011 study by Phrompaet et al., researchers found Pilates to be an effective treatment for instability in the low back and pelvis, which is a common contributor to pelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction.

What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a system of exercise that aims to strengthen and increase flexibility of the whole body with dynamic activities, breathwork, and controlled movements, rather than exercises with specific muscle focus. The equipment involved can include a Pilates reformer, Pilates Wunda chair, Pilates barrel, mats, and other props such as yoga balls, small rubber balls, and resistance bands. The therapists at Femina Physical Therapy have been trained in the use of Pilates exercises in the treatment of pelvic floor issues.

What Can Pilates help treat?


The strength and flexibility that is gained through Pilates training can help treat issues including:

How will Pilates be incorporated into therapy?

The therapists at Femina Physical Therapy are trained in how to modify therapeutic exercises to fit your body and needs. In addition to therapeutic exercises including Pilates and Yoga, therapists will use other modalities such as manual therapy and neuromuscular re-education to help restore proper posture, motor control and function in the body.

pilates and the pelvic floor

Patient Education and Home Program

An important part of therapy at Femina PT is learning exercises and self-treatment tools that you can use at home to keep you pain-free and leak-free. You will learn correct form and technique for all the exercises that are tailored to you and your body. As your pelvic floor therapists, we will support and guide you along the journey back to wellness and function! Make an appointment today and let’s get started.

 

Resources

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. BMC Womens Health. 2018;18(1):16

Phrompaet S, Paungmali A, Pirunsan U, Sitilertpisan P. Effects of pilates training on lumbo-pelvic stability and flexibility. Asian J Sports Med. 2011;2(1):16-22

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by M.M.

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

My husband and I were married for 5 years before we were able to have intercourse due to my vaginismus. There was nothing traumatic in my past but for some reason, even though I wanted sex, I mentally avoided "that area" of my body and didn't even admit to myself that there was a problem for a long time, even though I was never able to put tampons in. Once I finally opened my eyes up to the fact that I had a problem, I had a surgery that was supposed to fix the issue.

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

Read more: Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

Testimonial by A.W., age 32

I wanted to let you know that my pelvic floor held strong and gave me no trouble whatsoever in my trail race this morning (12 miles)! In a way, I felt like I ran better than ever because my core feels so rock solid from all the exercises you have me doing. That was especially valuable on the technical downhill - I just flew down the trail because I had confidence in my balance and form. Thank you for helping me get back to doing what I love.

-- A.W., age 32
(completed Post-partum Renewal Program using the InTone biofeedback/stim unit)

Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

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