Welcome back to Linkingo! As we have mentioned in our previous post, exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction are a crucial part of the healing process. Physical therapy helps you tone and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles so they can be more flexible to relax and contract. No matter which method you choose to improve your condition, medical or non-medical, exercises will shorten the time you need to achieve ideal results. What’s more, they also save you from more serious medical conditions in the future, such as sexual dysfunction or rectocele.
Many of our readers find it confusing, though, that they have been practicing for a long time yet still don’t see any result. “This is my third month doing Kegels, and my condition is supposed to improve. Yet, I don’t see any change. I still wake up every day with wet pants and don’t dare to go out with my friends for coffee due to leakage”, one of them wrote. Some even find their bladder incontinence gets worse the more they practice. It might be due to mistakes they have made while performing exercises.
The fact is, around 70% of women use the incorrect techniques while doing pelvic floor exercises without a professional guide. Wrong practicing not only slows down the progress but can also further damage pelvic floor muscles. However, getting individualized instruction is not easy. The average cost for personal pelvic floor muscle training is $40 to $70 per session, while the price for a biofeedback session can go up to $150.
Of course, you cannot expect to get rid of the condition after one or two sessions. Overall, the amount of money can be insane, and not everyone can afford it. Not to mention that during the pandemic, most people prefer to practice exercises by themselves at home instead of going to the hospital or having someone come over to check their lower bodies.
So, how to avoid these mistakes and do training at home as effectively as being guided by a professional? In today’s article, Linkingo will list out all the deadly mistakes you MUST avoid no matter what while doing exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction. Read until the end and don’t miss a word, because you wouldn’t know if you have been doing it the wrong way all the time unless someone points it out!
1. Use The Wrong Muscles.
We put this first on the list because this is the most crucial one. When you perform internal exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction, it is unnecessary to tighten or tense your abdomen, buttocks, and thigh muscles. Instead, you should find a comfortable position that you can allow yourself to identify and focus on only your pelvic floor muscles. All you have to do is contracting and relaxing your anus, urethra, and vagina. Other parts of the body must remain relaxed.
When curing pelvic floor dysfunction, the group of muscles you have to work out most is, no doubt, the pelvic floor. Using the wrong ones will make all of your efforts go in vain. Therefore, it’s essential to take some time and learn how to find your pelvic floor muscles. Then, you have to familiarize yourself with its motion. Our previous post mentioned the two most straightforward ways to identify the muscles you need to focus on. Each of them is very simple and only takes you a few minutes.
If you have tried both and couldn’t still find the pelvic floor muscles, don’t worry. You can always consult a doctor or a gynecologist to assist you at your next appointment. There is nothing to be embarrassed about because internal exercises would still be necessary no matter which treatment you choose.
2. Perform Exercises For Pelvic Floor Dysfunction In Incorrect Forms.
By saying “incorrect forms”, we mean it in two ways:
- Perhaps you accidentally bear down too much while performing exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction. As you push down all the way through the pelvic floor, your muscles or tissues can be overly stretched and strained. It results in the worsening of the condition as your pelvic floor gets weaker and frailer.
So how do you fix it? Avoid exercises that require you to bear down, especially when you are doing pelvic floor dysfunction after childbirth or vaginal surgery. The correct posture should be lifting inwards around all three pelvic openings just like you are refraining the flow of urine halfway. You can try this posture by sitting on a chair or exercise ball and trying to lift your pelvic openings away from the supporting surface.
- Another common mistake is you only squeeze around the pelvic openings and forget to lift them inwards. The correct way is to raise the muscles inward and around all three pelvic openings at once.
These two are incorrect and can even put more pressure on your abdomen and damage your pelvic floor even more. Make sure you are contracting both inward and upward. The feeling when you are doing it correctly is just like when you are stopping urination or gas.
3. Focus On Only One Type Of Exercises For Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.
While it is essential to focus on your pelvic floor muscles, they do not work alone. To function correctly, you also need to work with other muscle groups, precisely the diaphragm, and abdominal wall. Since these muscles affect each other when you are inhaling and exhaling, you cannot improve your pelvic floor dysfunction if you don’t work on the two others. If you have been doing Kegels or other internal exercises yet did not see any result, try doing whole-body exercises that focus on your breathing muscles, such as “bridge” or “split tabletop”.
Another thing to note is that your pelvic floor consists of two muscle fibers: fast-twitch and slow-twitch. Fast-twitch fiber helps your body react quickly to increased pressure, like when you cough or sneeze. Meanwhile, slow-twitch fibers support your organs in the long run.
These two fibers need different kinds of exercises to improve. Your routine should contain both fast contraction/release exercises and strong contractions held for a longer count to train your pelvic floor effectively.
4. Establish A Poor Routine.
Did you know that the number of contractions can affect the result? Apart from what we have mentioned, it is crucial to establish a routine with the correct number of contractions for your strength after each workout session. In the ideal case, your contraction number can increase as your muscles get stronger and your strength improves. However, it is hard to tell when you can change your routine.
Not doing enough contractions will slow down the effect. In contrast, doing too much can strain your muscles, causing fatigue and even pain. It is imperative to pay attention to how you feel while doing exercises. Internal ones should never cause pain inside your body. If they do, you have to adjust your routine immediately. Another way is to try a FemTech device which can help you show results immediately after each session.
5. Forget To Measure The Progress.
No matter which exercises you choose, it is crucial to measure the result. As you can witness your progress, whether in the form of weight loss or getting slimmer, you shall be more motivated to keep exercising. In this case, this becomes even more important as you can see your muscles improve when you are practicing exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction.
The most common way to track your progress is to integrate a pelvic floor exercise into your routine. Aside from that, you also need to monitor symptoms in conjunction with this. This kind of device can help you check your pelvic floor’s strength frequently and see how it has improved. It gives you the encouragement you need to keep exercising until you have reached your ideal health goal.
6. Don’t Relax While Practicing Exercises For Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.
As you contract, you gain better control of your pelvic floor muscles. This movement also strengthens the muscles and increases their flexibility. However, the conscious relaxation of pelvic floor muscles is no less crucial. Without releasing, you might overwork them, resulting in discomfort and even pelvic pain.
If you are pregnant, the ability to release and loosen your pelvic floor muscles is critical. It reduces the chance of vaginal tearing and makes it easier for the baby to move through the canal. Hence, please make sure that you fully release your muscles to get the best result possible after each squeeze.
7. Not Being Consistent.
Just like any exercise, exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction require consistency to see improvements. If you set a daily routine to practice, you are more likely to reach your goal and achieve your best possible health. All of the exercises are not consuming, and each only takes you a few minutes. No matter how busy you are, you can still spend five to ten minutes each day strengthening your pelvic floor.
The ideal time to work out is right after you wake up. At that time, all of your muscles are well-rested. After a while, it will surprise you to see how easy it is to stick to your routine and perform all the exercises. The best thing is some of the exercises allow you to practice just anytime, even when you are watching TV!
8. Give Up Halfway.
Before doing exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction, let me remind you one thing: You have to set the right expectation. Many of Linkingo’s readers assume that they will see immediate results. However, just like any workout, training the pelvic floor requires at least 12 weeks to show the actual change. Once you start noticing the difference, though, your whole health will change. So please keep up the good work and don’t give up!
Practicing exercises by yourself can be challenging. There is no one to warn you if you are doing it the wrong way. Therefore, it is easier to make those mistakes above. However, hiring a professional trainer can be inconvenient and expensive, as mentioned above. Though it is for our health, not many people can afford the extravagant cost of personal training.
So, What Is The Best Solution For Your Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Hey, it is the information technology era! Nowadays, you can approach professional guides by a fitness specialist without having to see them face-to-face. One of them is to follow an online program created by a real expert. As your goal is to strengthen your pelvic floor and eliminate the dysfunction, Pelvic Floor Strong by Alex Miller is indeed what you need!
One of Linkingo’s loyal readers, Cindy, had told us that Pelvic Floor Strong had saved her life after experiencing the program. You can read about her healing journey in this post. Before using Pelvic Floor Strong program, Cindy did come to us for advice, so we had a chance to try and test the program by ourselves before concluding that it is entirely safe and practical. We were so glad to be a part of her success, and who knows, Pelvic Floor Strong can be your savior, too!
In conclusion, there are 8 common mistakes everyone can make while doing exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction:
- Use the wrong muscles,
- perform exercises in the incorrect forms,
- focus on only one type of exercise,
- establish a poor routine,
- forget to measure the progress,
- forget to relax,
- not being consistent, and
- give up halfway.
Making any of them can ruin your effort to heal from the dysfunction, so please closely pay attention.
For pregnant women, though, there are even more things to be aware of while exercising. In the next post, we will discuss safe guidelines to perform pelvic floor dysfunction when pregnant. Stay tuned, and don’t miss out!
You should not miss out our latest articles on strengthening your pelvic floor
- 6 Easy Yet Effective Pelvic Floor Exercises For Women
- How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor With 5 Common Methods
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