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“LOW PRESSURE FITNESS LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE“

And for that reason we have a Low Pressure Fitness trainer in Norway!

 

“I felt completely broken and devastated that my life had been ruined by childbirth. My doctors were no help.”

 

Sadie is now paving the way for a more developed post natal approach of health care in Norway.

 

We leave Sadie’s testimonial to you.

sadie-low-pressure-fitness

A year after my daughter was born I was in a very bad place. I had suffered grade 3 pelvic organ prolapses post partum (bladder, uterus and rectum), also had anal prolapse, and diastasis recti. I was in so much pain and discomfort on a daily basis that all I could do was get through the day and try and take care of my daughter. I had never envisioned that something like that could happen after birth. I had never thought my life as I knew it could be over. I was so lost and desperate, and extremely depressed.

 

Every doctor I had been to had told me it was no big deal. They had ignored all my pain and issues voiding my bladder and bowels. They brushed off my symptoms, like the fact that I tore every time I had a bowel movement. Or the fact that I could not stand for more than 5 minutes without severe back pain. None of them examined me standing, even though I begged, and said the damage wasn’t that bad. When standing my organs were literally falling out. But nobody cared. I wasn’t interested in surgery (why would I want the people who were ignoring me to cut me open?) and so they didn’t have anything to offer.

 

I had been going to physical therapy and all I was given was kegels. I became so hypertonic that my pain got much worse. I couldn’t even sit without discomfort. I was told there was nothing else I could do. I was so tired, so exhausted (my baby didn’t sleep) and in so much pain I didn’t think to question anyone. I assumed since everyone said it was so common (even though nobody talks about it!) that they knew what they were talking about. One day I had a follow up with my doctor, and when I told her how desperate I was she actually said “well, you chose to have children so you must have known something like this could happen”. And that was the slap across the face that I needed to wake up.

 

I went home and did what I have always done but had forgotten to do this time (due to hormones, lack of sleep, and an assumption that those caring for me actually cared), which was to take my health into my own hands. It didn’t take me long to find hypopressives and read more about Low Pressure Fitness – luckily I was born and raised in Spain so it was easy for me to find information. I couldn’t believe something so widespread hadn’t even been heard of here. I immediately contacted trainers to train via skype (there were no trainers anywhere in Scandinavia, I live in Oslo). The first to reply was Trista Zinn in Canada, and I got started.

 

After just a few days (after a year of thinking my life was over!!!!) my symptoms were so much better I could go for a walk with the stroller pain-free for the first time. I couldn’t believe it! Why is not everyone teaching this to new mothers everywhere? Why hadn’t anyone cared enough to learn about other techniques than useless kegels? How could this not be the norm for post-partum care? I trained religiously, and as I got better my conviction grew stronger, Low Pressure Fitness needed to be available to everyone who needed it!

 

I incorporated other techniques (osteopathy, myofascial release) and kept training, and am now asymptomatic from injuries so bad that the medical community meant surgery was the only way to go. But now I can carry my daughter as much as she’ll let me, and she’s 12kg. When she was 3kg I could hardly hold her, I was in so much pain. I even jumped on a trampoline recently. The future is bright!

 

Even though I had started a business before having my baby, I felt it was wrong for me to find a way to heal and just go on with my life, while other women who were in my same situation might never get the help they needed. I felt like the only way I could deal with everything that had happened to me was to try and make something good of it. So I decided to go back to my hometown of Barcelona and become a certified trainer for Low Pressure Fitness, and help others learn how to get their cores and pelvic floors functional again, reduce their diastasis and back issues, and feel stronger and more stable in their bodies than they thought possible.

 

As I have built up my practice here in Oslo, my story has spread, and I also train clients via skype, both in Norway and around the world. It’s so amazing to be able to build something so positive out of such an awful personal experience. I am so happy to be able to give hope to others and help them get their bodies back to feeling well. If nothing else, I would like to prevent others living in fear that their lives are over for as long as I did. Because there is always something you can do. I collaborate with other therapists and find that in many cases, a holistic approach really accelerates healing. I am working hard to spread information about the effectiveness of Low Pressure Fitness and am happy to see more and more professionals, not just patients, opening their minds to a new approach. If nothing else, I feel we should all want to have as many tools in our toolbox as possible, so we can help people as much as possible. That is what I wished had been true for those helping me. And I am working hard for it to be the norm in the future. I still meet some skepticism from time to time, and if people aren’t convinced by mine or others’ results, I like to remind them, that if they open their minds, they won’t fall out.

 


Sadie Lawler
LPF-CT

Sadie Lawler is a personal trainer and LPF-CT living in Oslo, Norway. She grew up in Barcelona and spent some years in New York and London as well, her professional life has included everything from directing TV shows to starting one of Oslo’s first organic local groceries. After having her daughter and experiencing first hand how limited the post-partum care is in Norway, she is now on a mission to spread the word of Low Pressure Fitness, in the hopes that no other women will have to experience what she did. She is an advocate for women’s health and believes that caring for new mothers is crucial in a society that is constantly pushing for effectivity in all areas of life.

LOW PRESSURE FITNESS AT RIMINIWELLNESS 2018

RiminiWellness is the largest fitness and wellness trade show in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. With participation in 2017 at 268.120, this year’s event promises even greater numbers. Low Pressure Fitness was present this year with 4 workshops and 8 mini masterclasses to present, inform, instruct and demonstrate the pressureless training system to the Italian fitness community. While participants in the masterclasses were predominantly Italian, there were also many participants from Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland and many other European countries.

 

LPF-RiminiWellness-2018

 

The workshops presented included: “What nobody has ever told you about Core Training, myths and new perspectives”, “The core’s missing link: diaphragm and pelvic floor”, “Myofascial relaxation and Postural Re-Education with LPF” and finally, “Low Pressure Fitness: much more than hypopressives”. Each workshop was attended by fitness professionals as well as physical therapists and other medical professionals, that all expressed interest in this innovative and exciting training method for both men and women.

 

Low Pressure Fitness: much more than hypopressives

 

The participants in the mini master classes over the four days included exercise professionals, health professionals as well as exercisers. All were enthusiastic about the new technique and especially the sensations experienced during the workouts that were all geared at teaching the basic fundamental postures and breathing and, where possible, having them try the expiratory apnea, our “signature exercise”.

 

LPF-RiminiWellness-2018

Low Pressure Fitness staff at Riminiwellness

 

The staff of Low Pressure Fitness instructors was on-hand to assist the participants during the mini masterclasses and give information and distribute material on LPF in Italy.  They were also invaluable in sharing their own personal experiences and results of their work with many of their own clients to show the participants that the LPF method is both instructor and user-friendly with benefits that can be attained when the exercises are performed with precision. RiminiWellness has proven to be an excellent event to showcase this innovative, multidisciplinary training method. To learn more about Low Pressure Fitness and courses in Italy for health and exercise professionals write us to: [email protected]

 

Author:
Mimi Adami
Low Pressure Fitness Italy Director & LPF-Coach

Facebook:
Low Pressure Fitness Italy

DIAPHRAGM STRETCHING TO IMPROVE THE POSTERIOR CHAIN MUSCLE KINEMATICS AND RIB CAGE EXCURSION

Stretching and self-massage of the diaphragm are main techniques of the Low Pressure Fitness training protocol. They are widely used by our LPF certified trainers for their initial sessions and by all LPF practitioners. The diaphragm stretching is an excellent breathing warm-up, which will increase chest mobility and also relieve myofascial tension of the respiratory chain.

Technique of diaphragm self-stretching

Technique of diaphragm self-stretching

A recent randomized controlled trial published in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy (2016), explored the effects of diaphragmatic stretching on diphragm and spine kinematics. Eighty healthy adults were divided into two experimental groups. Diaphragmatic stretching was applied to the first group, and a placebo treatment was given to the other (sham-ultrasound procedure). The stretching was applied for 5-7 minutes in first experimental group meanwhile the placebo group received sham ultrasounds applied with a powered-off machine.

 

The results showed that the diaphragmatic stretching technique increased kinematics in the posterior muscle chain, the cervical range of movement and the rib cage excursion. Contrarily, the placebo group showed no improvement in any of the analyzed outcomes.

Table of the study results

Table of the study results

Stretching and self-massage of the diaphragm are main techniques of the Low Pressure Fitness training protocol

 

Low Pressure Fitness applies this technique with the same procedure as described in the study. It is advisable to dedicate 5 to 8 minutes to stretch the diaphragm at the beginning of the session or during the preparatory phases of LPF. The technique should be always performed under the supervision of a certified profesional (LPF-CT). In the following video we can see the diaphragm stretching technique with myofascial balls:

The LPF training system incorporates a variety of evidence based breathing techniques such as: abdominal vacuum; latero-costal breathing;  forced exhalation, breath trainers and respiratory muscle stretching (diaphragm stretch, intercostal stretch). The results described by this study add more scientific knowledge about the the positive effects of the diaphragm stretching technique used in LPF on the rib cage excursion and posterior chain kinematics.

 

Whether you’re interested in learning  the LPF method for yourself or to teach it to others, our website offers you a variety of training courses for professionals and a full directory of certified professionals near your home.

 

Author:
Tamara Rial PhD

SHOULD I DO HYPOPRESSIVES DURING THE IMMEDIATE POSTPARTUM PERIOD?

Hypopressive exercise has been suggested as an alternative rehabilitation tool for abdominal and pelvic floor postnatal recovery. Nowadays, hypopressives are widely prescribed by health and fitness professionals during the postpartum period in many European countries. However, there is a lack of scientific literature about the optimal time to start a hypopressive program after delivery. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to address some of the common questions we receive at Low Pressure Fitness regarding this topic. Among the most frequent questions about postpartum and hypopressive training we highlight the following:

 

  • How soon after giving birth can I start my hypopressive training?
  • Can I do hypopressives if I am breastfeeding?
  • Can I do hypopressives if I had a c-section?hypopressives-postpartum

At present, there are no randomized controlled trials on the long-term effects of hypopressives during the postpartum period. Additionally, there are different opinions regarding the best time to start these exercises. Opinions vary from beginning immediately after delivery to waiting until the late postpartum period. Here we summarize opinions from different experts on this important topic.

 

What do professional associations say?

The puerperium corresponds to the period right after delivery. That is, the first week after giving birth. It extends from the first day to the tenth day after the baby is born. The late puerperium period includes day 11 through day 42. While the remote puerperium makes reference to day 43 onwards. The following period, generally called late postpartum, starts in week six or 40 days following birth (the famous quarantine). Of note, the postpartum period can last up to six to twelve months after giving birth.

 

The guidelines from the Spanish Association for Physical Therapy for the late postpartum period recommend starting hypopressive training six weeks after delivery. They state “abdominal exercising should always be hypopressive”. Regarding the puerperium (first 48 hours-first week), this association suggests that women should avoid traditional abdominal exercises and perform hypopressives.

hypopressives-postpartum

On the other hand, the Professional Guide for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Education in Pregnancy and Childbirth, coordinated by the Service for Assistance Coordination and Care, recommends hypopressive exercise only during the late postpartum period (from the sixth week onwards). The Ministry shares a similar view for Health and Social Services of the regional government of Cantabria (Spain). They state in their guidelines that women should perform hypopressive exercise during the postpartum period, specifically 30 to 45 days after delivery (the quarantine).

 

During the postpartum period, it is advisable to seek guidance and instruction from an exercise professional

 

Our Delivery emphasizes that once the quarantine is over, it is important to practice kegel exercises and hypopressives with the supervision of a physical therapist who can explain how to perform the exercises properly. Our Delivery also recommends Kegel and hypopressive exercise to women who had a cesarean section.

 

Tamara Rial, PhD, Director of Low Pressure Fitness, suggests that when there is no medical contraindication to exercise, hypopressive training can start after the quarantine (six weeks postpartum). However, in the case of surgical procedures such as a caesarean section, it is advisable to wait three months. It is also important to visit a health care provider after delivery and to check the pelvic floor prior to commencing a postnatal fitness program.

hypopressives-postpartum

During the postpartum period, it is advisable to seek guidance and instruction from an exercise professional who can adapt the program and address individual needs. To find a certified Low Pressure Fitness specialist visit our online directory.

 

Author:
Dr. Tamara Rial

LOW PRESSURE FITNESS: THE NEW REVOLUTION FOR YOUR PELVIC FLOOR

In recent years, Low Pressure Fitness (LPF) has brought a revolution to the field of physical therapy as an smart alternative for pelvic floor training.

 

Traditionally, we have used pelvic floor muscle contractions known as Kegel exercises (Kegel, 1948) to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles focusing the attention on the active support system (musculature). Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials in the general female population conclude that there is supporting evidence for the effectiveness of kegel exercises as a conservative treatment for pelvic floor dysfunctions such as stress urinary incontinence (Duomolin & Hay-Smith, 2010). Nevertheless, we also have to recognize the importance of the passive support system of the pelvic floor (connective tissue) because it is necessary to achieve  an optimal balance of miofascial tissue and elascicity of the pelvic structures. These factors will be decisive to keep in the pelvic floor functioning optimally.

 

pelvic-flloor-fitness

 

Low Pressure Fitness training could be a useful tool for improving both active and passive support systems. This program can easily be incorporated into a variety of approaches previously designed with the client’s goals in mind. Let’s learn a little bit more about how Low Pressure Fitness works.

 

The core or cylinder formed by the diaphragm (at the top), the pelvic floor (bottom) abdominal muscles (front) and lumbar (back) all work synergistically to create stability to the spine and for breathing mechanism. An imbalance or excessive tone in any of the points will have observable repercussions on the other parts of the cylinder. In this sense, the pelvic floor works in coordination and synergy with the breathing. Re-training the breathing patterns will improve our abdominal muscle stability, and at the same time will enhance the pelvic floor function. Low Pressure Fitness, is a postural and breathing program that retrains respiratory function through specific breathing exercises meanwhile rebalances posture muscles.

 

Some of this breathing exercises are done in association with the abdominal vacuum maneuver or rib cage lift. Consequently, the diaphragm rises and sucks up the pelvic viscera and fascial connections. This maneuver causes a decrease of intraabdominal pressure, and a stretch of vaginal connective tissue. This myofascial stretching also leads to an increase of pelvic peripheral vascularization. All, will bring better mobility to the pelvic area as a global body readjustment.

 

It has been found that 30% of women with some kind of pelvic dysfunction are incapable to contract their pelvic floor muscles. A recent study by Brazilian researchers (Latorre et al., 2013), found that Low Pressure Fitness techniques helped in the local proprioception of the pelvic floor. One of the main objectives for pelvic floor rehabilitation is to raise awareness of the pelvic floor and at the same time learn how to discriminate this from relaxation of the isolated muscular contractions,  An example of how Low Pressure Fitness can help in pelvic floor treatment is shown in the following video

 

We can see the big difference between performing only voluntary contractions and a voluntary contraction combined with the Low Pressure Fitness techniques while using a biofeedback device. The maximum voluntary contraction achieved is higher with Low Pressure Fitness than with kegel exercises alone. The combination of both methods is an excellent way to improve propioception and strength of the pelvic floor as connective tissue is streched.

 

In short, maintaining a good balance between the fascial connective tissue and muscular components will help prevent/rehabilitate pelvic floor disorders.

 

Author:
Tamara Rial, for DOOLAFIT.

“MY PELVIC FLOOR SYMPTOMS ESSENTIALLY VANISHED”

I came to learn about hypopressives after the birth of my third daughter. Always a very active person prior to kids, I felt frustrated by the limitations placed on my physical recovery by the development of an anterior prolapse. Not only was I looking for something to improve my pelvic floor health, but I was desperate to find a focus that could rebuild my core again. Hypopressives changed everything for me. The shape of my body quickly returned to what I used to look like, my pelvic floor symptoms essentially vanished, but most of all I felt a renewed sense of energy. My posture improved dramatically as well. I continue to use hypopressives as my core training to supplement other more cardio-based activities. For me, hypopressives have been just as effective (and much more enjoyable) than any other exercise I have tried in the past to target the core. I don’t miss planks or sit ups in the least! I feel taller, more centered and more energized after a session. I have Trista to thank for helping me to perfect my technique, to focus my practice and to keep me motivated. It was a life changer for me!

 

H.H.
Trista Zinn´s Client

 

PREPARE YOUR BODY FOR HIGH IMPACT TRAINING WITH LOW PRESSURE FITNESS

The  starting  point  for any  workout  should  begin with a pre-exercise evaluation  (assessment  of  cardiorespiratory  fitness,  muscular  fitness,  flexibility or body  composition) performed by an exercise specialist. A professional will ensure that the exercise program is safe and effective and consistent with each individuals needs and goals.

 

The Low Pressure Fitness system includes an assesment of core muscle function. This initial assessment will help you understand the health of the your abdominal muscles, and whether they are fit enough for their main functions: stabilization, movement and breathing.

 

In recent years, fitness centers are increasingly  focused on  high intensity workouts. This type of training can place excessive impact on core structures including the abdominal muscles, the spine and even the perineum.

 

Usually, when we sign up for a beginners class at a fitness center we do not ask ourselves if our core is prepared for the demands of high impact or high intensity exercise. The high price for quick results is often an injury or aggravation a previous pathology. That´s why a pre-exercise evaluation is essential to detect conditions that may  influence the design of an exercise or sport program.

 

 

After the initial assessment, one of the best ways to prepare your body for future higher intensity workouts is with Low Pressure Fitness. Through specific postural and breathing techniques, your body will decrease rigidity with observable  effects on the diaphragm and lumbar spine. Optimal muscle tone with no myofascial tension will allow your body to better manage intra-abdominal pressure which is crucial for supporting higher intensity training. There is a common misunderstanding regarding strength and tonicity: strong is not equal to tonicity You can have strong muscles but at the same time they can have high or even low tonicity. There is a widespread misconception about the importance of core muscle strength. It seems as if strength is the only relevant variable to achieve optimal physical condition.

 

The core helps to transfer the load of intra-abdominal pressure and body forces. When a link in the core chain is weak, the rest of the system will fail to function optimally. This is the case of many sportswomen who have high levels of general strength and fitness but a specific weakness in their core. In a previous article we address this topic. Another common ailment related to muscular weakness and imbalance of the core musculature is the sport hernia. Aggressive and inappropiate abdominal exercise programs can cause or a sports hernia. Low Pressure Fitness can be a safe alternative for beginners who need to restore the strength and function of their core muscles. Even if you are an athlete or fitness instructor who wants to perform high intensity training, you  can benefit from Low  Pressure  Fitness as part of your exercise program.

 

Eunice Moura

PAINFUL SEX? DYSPAREUNIA? CAN LOW PRESSURE FITNESS HELP?

A common sexual disorder among women is  dyspareunia which is pain that occurs before, during or after coitus. It involves sexual dysfunction with observable effects on a women´s quality of life. It is recurring or persistence pain that is experienced in the genitals or the pelvic structure. On average, its prevalence can reach 10%-15% of menopausal women, increasing in post-menopausal women. The causes of sexual pain are numerous. Nowadays, the mechanisms that trigger this disorder remain various and unknown. Among the primary causes, emotional factors such as sexual abuse, unsatisfactory sexual encounters, stress or psychological problems stand out; physical factors such as insufficient lubrication, other sexual disorders, vaginism, irritations, pelvic surgery, are important to consider too.

 

The treatment of sexuality and its disorders must be approached from a multidisciplinary perspective which includes treatment from a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction and sexuality.

 

Can physical therapy exercise like Low Pressure Fitness help?

Unfortunately, dyspareunia is a subject that often remains in the dark. So sometimes both physical therapists and patient remain silent. Currently, attending a specialist in sexual disorders and an expert Low Pressure Fitness teacher is an excellent way of support. Education, appropriate verbal instruction and application of physical techniques can help.

 

It has been found that 30% of women with some kind of pelvic dysfunction are incapable to contract their pelvic floor muscles. Physical feedback, awareness and body control are essential. Therefore, one of the primary goals of Low Pressure Fitness is to acquire awareness of the pelvic floor musculature. It is important to know anatomical structures and physical feeling of the perineum in any sexual disorder treatment. Other objectives of Low Pressure Fitness are to increase elasticity of the vaginal tissue and normalize the pelvic floor tone. In general, women who suffer from pain during sexual intercourse have a tendency towards hypertone and high pelvic stiffness. In this sense, keep balance between the fascial connective tissue and muscular components will help prevent pelvic floor hypertonicity. Myofascial stretching that Low Pressure Fitness produces facilitates muscular relaxation as well as blood circulation. It will bring mobility to the pelvic area and a body readjustment.

 

A recent study by Brazilian researchers found that Low Pressure Fitness helped in the local proprioception of the pelvic floor. In this sense, one of the main objectives to achieve with a physical therapist will be to raise awareness of the pelvic floor, and at the same time learn how to discriminate this from relaxation of the isolated muscular contractions.

 

Collectively, all of these factors will have a positive influence on a women’s physical and psychological well-being. Releasing muscular tension favors emotional balance. We must remember that the emotional and psychological factors are significant causes of sexual pain. If you suffer from any type of pain during sexual intercourse, don’t hesitate to get away from the social taboo. Talk about the subject with a professional and start an interdisciplinary treatment plan that is designed to enhance your physical and  psychological point of view.

TOO MUCH BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY, TOO LITTLE EXERCISE 

Unfortunately, lumbopelvic pain is too common during pregnancy. Around 45% of women experience lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy and 25% of women continue to suffer postpartum,. So…almost 50% of pregnant women experience low back pain!

Pain usually appears in the lumbar region or the front of the pelvis, due in part to changes in the stability of the pelvis as well as muscular and ligamentous tissues. Proper posture can influence the postural tension of the back muscles, known as “antigravitational muscles”.  When there is a deficiency or weakness in the back musculature, along with other risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity, long-term postural and structural dysfunctions may appear.  Pregnancy related low back pain, also known as back pain or sciatica, is located in the lower back, sides of the sacrum, the buttocks and even down the back of the thigh extending below the knees. Pregnancy related low back pain can affect one or both sides of the back and limbs. Usually it´s aggravated by standing, walking, movements while you sleeping, tilting the trunk, or lifting objects,. So awareness and early prevention are the best solutions to fight pregnancy related low back pain.

 

Why low back pain occurs during pregnancy?

Back pain etiology is linked to the physiological, anatomical, and mechanical changes which take place during pregnancy. Normal physiological changes during pregnancy affect the spine. They may contribute to the onset of back pain during pregnancy and possibly postpartum. The most characteristic changes are the following: posture adopted by women during pregnancy; total body water content; the endocrine system and vascular alterations during pregnancy.

  • Postural Changes. There are noticeable postural changes throughout the nine months of pregnancy. These are characterized by increased lumbar lordosis. Hyperlordosis or excessive increase in the curvature of the spine is related to the contracture of the lumbar muscles which are forced to work harder, triggering pain in this area that can sometimes radiate down the legs. Most of the weight gained during pregnancy is concentrated at the bottom of the pelvis along with increased abdominal volume. Thus, a tendency to tilt your body forward would occur, which tends to compensate pregnant unconsciously with a rearward position of the upper body above the pelvis, restoring its center of gravity, but increasing the lumbar lordosis which can contribute to the development of low back pain.

  • Total body water content. The body water content increases similarly in both primiparous and multiparous, by an average of 8.5 liters. This fluid retention, particularly at the connective tissue of the spine and pelvis, increases the laxity of these joints, which could contribute to the genesis of pain.
  • Endocrinological  changes. The effects of fluid retention just mentioned is enhanced by hormonal changes during pregnancy, particularly the effect of the hormone relaxin which  increases laxity of the sacroiliac joints, symphysis pubis and cervix. This laxity, which is necessary to accommodate the growing fetus and facilitate childbirth, could also cause bloating and increased range of motion of the sacroiliac joints and symphysis, which can be a cause of lumbar pain. Also, serum levels of reproductive hormones and procollagen have been associated with the onset of pelvic pain in late pregnancy.
  • Vascular changes. Up to 67% of women report low back pain during the second half of pregnancy. It is often a consequence of the combined fluid overload with obstruction of the inferior vena cava by the enlarged uterus, which could, in turn,  result in congestion of the venous system ultimately leading to the onset of back pain, according to specialized literature hypothesis.

 

Scientific research links previous lumbar pain, stressful job or lumbopelvic pain related to previous work to a higher prevalence of low back pain during pregnancy. Even though, other important risk factors to take in account are:

 

  • Weight gain over medical recommendations, which forces the lumbar muscles to make an extra effort, increasing the risk of contractures.
  • The relaxation of the abdominal muscles: abdominal diastasis and the enlargement of the abdomen increases the physiological lumbar curve of the pregnant woman. But also the deep abdominal muscles (obliques and transversus abdominis) lose their competence and tone. To avoid this, it is essential to learn to exercise the deep abdominal muscles and implement safe core abdominal training before and during pregnancy.
  • Glute weakness. Glutes are related with pelvic floor health and spinal functionality. In the case of pregnant woman, an appropiate gluteal muscle strenght, will help stabilize lumbopelvic region, working synergistically with the lumbar spine and the pelvic floor.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: unless the pregnant woman is told by a health care provider to avoid exercise, regular physical activity is recommended for better postural control, correct biomechanical joint and a toned muscles, to suit their own changes pregnancy and childbirth reach the day in the best possible conditions.

 

Exercise better than paracetamol.

For all the above risk factors, the best preventive medicine will always be exercise. Its too extended between some health professionals recommend analgesics like paracetalmol or complete rest to recover back pain. But its well known that prolonged bed rest promotes weight gain which further deteriorates physical condition. Also, taking painkillers may not be the best solution in the short and long term.

Engaging in a regular program of exercise like Low Pressure Fitness before, during and after pregnancy to an excellent  choice to reduce the risk of low back pain.  It is recommended to tone the core muscles and for postural re-education, two principal targets for fitness pregnancy workouts. Furthermore, Low Pressure Fitness as a global program will train glutes and pelvic floor, essential musculature that provides stability to the pelvis. Specialized trainers or physiotherapists will provide the best advise and training programs before, during and after pregnancy.

POSTURE & PROLAPSE… WHICH IS THE RELATIONSHIP?

The principal function of the pelvic floor muscles  is to give support to the internal organs. Recently, the literature has established the role of pelvic floor muscles in the stabilization of trunk muscles and postural control.

 

Many factors (overweight, pregnancy, age, heavylifting, and breathing disorders) can influence the progressive weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, so consequently there is not an efficient support of internal organs. Also, lumbopelvic posture can have an adverse impact on the activation and co-coordination of pelvic floor muscles.

Posture and alignment are fundamental in the prevention of common pelvic floor dysfunctions in women such as like urinary incontinence or prolapse in which internal organs (e.g., uterus, bladder, rectum) fall out of place.

 

If you have any of these symptoms, remember they are NOT normal:

 

  • pressure or bulging in your vagina or rectum.
  • bulging of your abdomen during any exercise (abdominal crunch, lift weights…)
  • any of your everyday activities cause pain, leakage or pressure.

 

Integrate proper posture into every part of your life, even for your pelvic floor! An easy and functional strategy to prevent prolapse is to choose appropiate movements and lifestyle tips for not increasing downward pressure. Focus on practicing  a systematic program like Low Pressure Fitness to rehabilitate your posture and coordinate deep abdominal muscles for integrate new postural patterns and management of intraadbominal pressure, will lead to a direct improve of prolapse symptoms. Focus on elongation of the vertebral spine and pelvis. By relaxing the pelvis and stretching your spine, you will allow the pelvic floor to provide better support to the internal organs. In few weeks, you will notice changes in the bulging and pressure of the pelvis. Your abs will gain tone, your waistline will become slimmer, and back or pelvic pain will begin to dissapear.  Also, associated sexual dysfunction symptoms will improve over time.