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symptoms of a weak pelvic floor
As they mention on their website, Runner’s World provides inspirational tales from the trail, race advice, and more. When Laura Williams Bustos, M.S. wanted to learn more about the connection between running and a healthy pelvic floor, I was glad to offer my insights as a licensed Physical Therapist. Here are some excerpts from the article interspersed with my own commentary, along with a link to the full article at their website.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

3 Surprising Symptoms of a Weak Pelvic Floor

Experts explain why a strong pelvic floor is so important for runners, plus what to look for to make sure your muscles can withstand mileage.

Few things demand as much of your pelvic floor as running, and whether you run competitively or just to stay in shape, having a strong and healthy pelvic floor will make your running routine both more beneficial and more enjoyable.

As Laura states:

Having a weak pelvic floor can negatively affect your life—and the enjoyment of your sport. It’s important to know what symptoms to look out for so you can identify any pelvic floor problems and then take steps to correct them.

Urinary incontinence is the most common symptom that has been well documented, but there are others too, and that is the focus of this article as it looks at three lesser known symptoms.

So just what are these three symptoms? Read on!

1. Injuries

Pelvic floor injuries can arise from a number of causes, from childbirth complications to sports mishaps and even during sex! And as the article states:

If your pelvic muscles are weak, and your trunk is less stable, you’re going to be more likely to have inefficiencies in your biomechanics or muscular compensations that negatively affect the way you move. One bad or awkward movement, or chronic muscle or joint compensations that place increased stress on areas that aren’t intended to support such movements could be the reason you end up injured.

If you've experienced a pelvic floor injury, perhaps it's time to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed physical therapists who specializes in the pelvic floor.

2. Pain

As I mentioned in the aritcle, pelvic floor muscle weakness can contribute to orthopedic conditions. Most people aren’t aware of this very important connection. When your pelvic floor is weak, it can contribute to low back pain, hip pain, and pelvic girdle pain.

It’s important to reflect on how your activities impact these symptoms, especially if you notice they get worse. It’s a red flag for pelvic floor dysfunction, and a work-up with a urogynecologist and pelvic floor physical therapist are your next steps to developing a solid treatment.

3. Gastrointestinal Problems

If you’re constantly dealing with constipation, or you can’t keep yourself from passing gas, these may also be symptoms of pelvic floor weakness.

We've got lots of great articles that cover constipation on our site. Long story short, any type of gastrointestinal problem has the potential to cause pelvic floor issues if not addressed effectively. It's always wise to consult with your doctor and/or nutritionist to get these issues corrected in order to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

Now that you know the three symptoms outlined above, perhaps you'll want to continue to the full article at Runner's World where they cover the topic more in depth, including:

  • Why Runners Should Take Note of Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles
  • Populations Most at Risk of Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles
  • What Should You Do About a Weak Pelvic Floor

So head on over to the full article at Runner's World to get the full story on symptoms of a weak pelvic floor, and if you're suffering from pelvic floor weakness, we can create a specially tailored plan that will help you get back on track (pun intended ;-)

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      I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me for the past 19 months. I literally could not have reached my goals without you and your practice. You gave me the courage to keep moving forth with my treatment no matter how afraid and anxious I was. You were always there to answer questions and made this whole process so much easier than I expected it to be. It's because of you that my marriage is on the right track, that I can get pregnant and that this part of my life is finally...

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      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...

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