Pelvic floor tips for everyday life
Special exercises can effectively strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. But there are also simple things that you can do on a day to day basis to avoid overstraining your pelvic floor muscles. The main goal is to avoid putting pressure on your pelvic floor.
If you are lying down and get up while keeping your upper body straight, your stomach muscles tense and push your pelvic floor down. You can reduce the pressure by rolling onto your side first, propping yourself up on your arms, and then getting up.
If your back is not straight, there is less tension in your pelvic floor and the organs in your abdomen squash together, pushing them down onto the pelvic floor. You can avoid that by keeping your back straight when sitting and walking.
To reduce the strain on your pelvic floor when lifting things, bend your knees and keep your back straight when coming back up instead of keeping your legs straight and bending forward. It can also help to carry things close to your body and tense your pelvic floor muscles.
Holding your breath when lifting heavy things stops the muscles in your back, stomach and pelvic floor from working together as well as they could. They work better together if you carry on breathing.
Coughing and sneezing
Coughing or sneezing suddenly increases the pressure in your belly. This can put strain on your pelvic floor if your upper body is bent forward. You can reduce the pressure by looking upwards or over your shoulder when coughing or sneezing.
Abdominal exercises like sit-ups put a lot of pressure on your abdomen. That can be a problem if you have a weak bladder, possibly because you are pregnant or you have had a baby in the last few months. If so you can talk to your doctor about whether you should avoid abdominal exercises for a while or do lighter exercises instead.
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Pschyrembel W. Klinisches Wörterbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter; 2014.
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