Heba wows her audience on speaking about the troubles with a tight pelvic floor
This summit held September in Melbourne is an annual gathering for all those interested in women's health, fitness, and nutrition, in whatever capacity. It brings together world-renowned speakers and presenters from all areas of these industries, to inform and inspire.
Heba submitted a proposal with many to speak at The Platform, a program that the summit encourages to discover and nurture new presenters in the arena of women's health. And amongst the incredible response, Heba was invited to speak about overactive (tight) pelvic floor muscles. She was one of only 4 winners to present. Knowing that this is her true passion, it did not surprise us that she was asked to speak.
You can watch this very presentation on youtube. It runs for 20 minutes or so and worth every minute. Heba speaks using such wonderful and simple examples. Things really make sense and to be honest, I bet all of us watching start to think that she could be speaking about bladder and pelvic floor habits of our own or our friends/mothers/wives.
Pelvic floor over- activity, tightness and spasm can be a very common problem with both men and women's pelvic floor muscles. Perhaps some of these common signs of the tight pelvic floor could be you or someone you know?
- Urinary urgency. Each and every time the minute the keys are in your front door, do you need to urgently wee? Do you sometimes not even reach the loo in time and have an accident?
- High frequency need to urinate. Do you need to get up several times per night to wee? This is common but not considered normal.
- Bowel troubles such as anal fissures, constipation and pain on voiding. Do you have issues that could tell you that your pelvic floor is too tight when on the loo for 'number two'?
- Painful sex. Is penetrative sex painful, either at the surface or deep within? Is there a deep pelvic ache after you have sex?
- Do you suffer from pain about the hip, pelvis and spine? Perhaps you have pain around the tailbone or pubic bones, hip or referred down the front of your upper thigh?
If so, did you know that women's health physiotherapists are at the forefront of being able to manage and treat these problems? Teaching how to 'let go' or 'turn down' the pelvic floor muscle tension is the goal here to allow for a more normal tension in this region and allowing for better sexual, bladder and bowel function. A variety of treatment techniques can be called upon, including any of:
- Internal massage (vaginal) and trigger point release work of the pelvic floor muscles
- Relaxation techniques and stretches about the hips, pelvis and nerve pathways in the region
- Outer massage, bony realignment and muscle retraining and strengthening of the pelvis, back, hips and upper legs. Restoring a better muscular balance of muscles working together around the pelvis needs to be assessed and addressed for a good long term change to the issues associated with the tight pelvic floor. After all, what was it in the first place that made these pelvic floor muscles tighten and become problematic?
- Exercise advise. Did you know for these women and men, training hard at the gym, doing too much Pilates and pelvic floor Kegel type exercises will actually make their pain and pelvic floor symptoms worse? Strengthening an already tight and spasmed pelvic floor will make the tension only increase and pain and symptoms worsen. This can be said for any muscle in your body.
Most women (and men) would put up with these types of problems. I guess it is because mostly we assume nothing can be done for this sort of pain. GPs are sometimes at a loss when all other urine tests, blood tests, swabs and scans have been done and appear normal.
Watch Heba's speech and we hope that this can inspire you to speak openly with your friends and doctors about the problems seen with the tight pelvic floor.