Today, we're talking about running and pelvic floor problems. If you're someone who loves to run but also loves to pee your pants a little every time you hit the pavement, this one's for you.
I've heard so many stories from my patients about how they used to run marathons, but after having kids, their bladder is like a leaking faucet every time they go for a jog. It's annoying, it's frustrating, and it can be a real nuisance when you're trying to get your sweat on.
So, is running bad for the pelvic floor? Not necessarily. The pelvic floor muscles play an important role in supporting your body during movement, and studies have shown that they're actually pretty active during running. But if you're leaking like a broken faucet every time you hit the pavement, it's probably a sign that your pressure modulation system needs some TLC.
Here are some tips to help you get back to running without the dreaded "pee break" every few minutes: Tip #1: Go see a pelvic health physiotherapist. It seems embarrassing to discuss your concerns, but trust me, we've seen it all. And there are actually a lot of things we can do to help you with bladder leaks that don't involve an internal exam.
Tip #2: Breathe. This one might sound obvious, but a lot of people forget to keep their breath flowing while they run. Your diaphragm is like the superhero of pressure regulation, so keeping your breath moving will help distribute pressure throughout your body and take some of the load off your pelvic floor muscles.
Tip #3: Let your ribcage move. If you tend to run with a stiff, locked-down ribcage, it can put extra pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and make leakage more likely. Instead, try to let your ribcage expand and contract with your breath as you run. It'll take some practice, but your pelvic floor will thank you.
So there you have it. Running and pelvic floor problems don't have to be the end of your love affair with jogging. With a little bit of TLC for your pressure modulation system, you can get back to enjoying running again.
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