Sunday, March 9, 2014

Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction - Breathing Exercise

Anterior pelvic tilt or hyper lordosis is very common for people suffering pelvic floor dysfunction.

There are many exercises you can do to correct anterior pelvic tilt and bring the pelvic bowl into a more neutral position but there can be some restrictions that can prevent you from getting the full benefit from these exercises.

Common exercises such as hamstring curls , Glute Bridges and reverse crunches are prescribed to reverse anterior pelvic tilt. These exercises work great when you have the ability to peform lumbar flexion.

For people who have been in a state of anterior pelvic tilt for many years the lower lumbar muscles can be so tight that they physically cannot perform lumbar flexion.

For those with tight lower back muscles, lumbar flexion doesn't always occur and you will see a stiff straight back instead of a slight bend.

1. Crocodile Breathing Exercise

The crocodile breathing exercise is very useful for stretching the lower lumbar muscles and is especially useful for those with shortness of breath and those who find that they cannot take a full deep breath. (shallow breathing)

Lie on your stomach with your head wresting on your hands to maintain a neutral spine.  Take deep abdominal belly breaths and feel the air stretch your lower back and obliques.
                                             image: achievefitnessboston

Important -> For those with anterior pelvic tilt make sure that you dig your ASIS (hip bones) and pubic bone into the ground to avoid arching your back while performing this exercise, Dig your hip bones into the ground but also make sure you are not tensing your pelvic floor or anus muscles.

Not feeling the stretch?

If you have an extermely tight lumbar spine you may need some extra help to feel the stretch. The easiest way to do this is to lay over a foam roller or swiss ball. Position the ball on your belly , you may need to experiment with placement to get the best stretch.

Now you have loosened up the lower lumbar muscles you can perform your anterior pelvic tilt correction exercises.

Its also important to release the psoas muscles before performing anterior pelvic tilt correction exercises, I have previously written a post on this subject ->
The Psoas and the Pelvic Floor - Release the Psoas to Heal Pelvic Pain.

there you go , another riveting post :) as always I hope it helps someone out there

Saturday, March 8, 2014

3 Easy Pelvic Floor Alignment Tips - Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Its always very tricky to determine whether or not your pelvic floor is in alignment ,There are a few simple ways you can check your posture alignment throughout the day and correct them.  

1. ASIS in line with the Pubic Bone

The easiest way to check your pelvic alignment is to look down and make sure that the ASIS bone (Anterior superior iliac spine) and the Pubic Bone ( Pubic symphysis)  are in line. This can be as simple as putting one finger on the ASIS bone and another on the pubic bone and visually checking that they are in line.

If you find your pubic bone is behind the ASIS bone you are most likely in anterior pelvic tilt and need to strengthen the abdominal muscles and hamstrings. If you find the opposite with the pubic bone out in front you are most likely in posterior pelvic tilt.

2.  One Side of Pelvis Higher or Rotated 

It can be very common for one side of your pelvic floor to be higher than the other, The must common cause of this issue is that one leg is a lot tighter than the other. You may have very tight hamstrings and most likely tight hip flexors which will raise or rotate one side of your pelvic floor.

Tighter muscles in one particular leg usually occurs when someone favors a particular leg and will often find themselves leaning on one leg for support instead distributing the weight across both legs evenly.

Found an interesting image online for a pelvic floor fix below.

3. Forward Head Posture

Very common for the computer/smartphone generation is forward head posture which can put uneven stress on the pelvic floor forcing it into a constant state of tension.

This posture defect is caused by very tight muscles on the back of the neck and weak muscles on the front of the neck. There is a simple exercise you can perform throughout the day by standing with your heels against the wall and tucking your chin is as if you are trying to make a double chin.

This video below should make it clearer :) 

That's it for now, all the best my fellow pelvic floor dysfunction people :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Psoas and the Pelvic Floor - Release the Psoas to Heal Pelvic Pain

Psoas and the Pelvic Floor

this is a post I've been looking forward to posting for some time now , and its all about the relation of a tight tense psoas muscle to pelvic floor dysfunction and pain.

The reason why having a happy and healthy (flexible and strong) psoas muscle is so important for people suffering pelvic floor dysfunction are

- A tense psoas muscle doesn't allow deep breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) and can encourage shallow breathing or the sucking in of your stomach muscles. Which put more pressure on our pelvic floor muscle as they remain constantly subtly contracted.

- The Psoas is often referred to the fight or flight muscle and is responsible for holding much of our emotional stress and pain. When you are scared , angry or sad without knowing you may be unconsciously contracting your psoas muscle in a protective manner. Overtime the psoas becomes chronically tight and pulls on the muscles of the pelvic floor.

- The psoas muscle is the only muscle to connect our spine to our leg. The muscle is made up of two muscles the Psoas Major and the Iliacus. The psoas attaches from the lower back down to the upper thighbone. Common signs of a tight psoas muscle include donald duck posture (bum sticking out and pot belly), lower back pain and of course pelvic floor dysfunction as the tight psoas muscles pulls the psoas out of alignment.

There are many ways to go about fixing Donald duck posterior or what is referred to as anterior pelvic tilt or hyper lordosis but I will cover them in a future post for now lets release that Psoas Muscle.

Release the Psoas and health pelvic floor

Not only will releasing the psoas ease tension in your body and pelvic floor it will also bring some peace to a restless anxious mind. You may think this is a bit far fetched but please give it a try and find some relief as I have.

The Psoas trigger points are shown on the diagram below

and I've also added a useful image on locating the psoas


The psoas is quite a deep muscle and it may take a bit of digging around to find it but when you do you may feel a slight pull running down your leg. Remember if you experience that throbbing feeling you most likely on the artery and you should move away from the midline as described in the above image.

The best way to hit the psoas I have found is by using the theracane , and lying with knee's to one side as in the picture above and really putting pressure on the psoas muscle and work my way up and down until that area is no longer painful to manipulate. I use my right hand on the curve of the theracane to rock from side to side and hit the muscle from different angles while the left hand pushed down and provides varying levels of pressure.

Its also worth noting that trigger points can develop on the lower back and they are also worth kneading out with your theracane or massage ball against a wall. In my experience my left psoas was a lot tighter than the right throwing my pelvic floor out of alignment , it also translated to very tight muscles on the left side of my back near the spine.

Very Important to remember, be conscious that you are not contracting your pelvic floor during the psoas release as I found myself doing this quite often and had to keep reminding myself. It can be quite painful releasing the psoas so its very common to brace your pelvic floor muscles but we are going for release here so consciously relax and unclench.

There you have it , I can't express how much of a revelation this has been for me. The Holy Grail some call it but once you find your psoas and release it you can finally start healing inside and out.

Some Benefits I have noticed which I hope you do too

- Happier Mood, Less Stressed ( Yes Honestly :P)
- More Relaxed Pelvic Floor
- Lower back feels happier
- I can finally take some deep belly breaths , something I am very happy about as it helps with my meditation and relaxation exercises.

 Goodluck everyone I hope you found this post useful and all the best until next time :).