Short answer: NO!
"Do your kegels" is a phrase many of us have heard, especially if we've had children or are aging. A kegel is the voluntary contraction of the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles control the bladder and the bowels as well as aid in sexual function. They are an important part of the core system to help us manage pressure appropriately.
But kegels aren't everything! If you come to pelvic floor physical therapy with any symptoms or issues with your bladder, bowels, or sexual function, your root cause likely comes from several places. And the pelvic floor is just one of those places!
At Flourish, you receive a comprehensive review of your medical and current history. Then you participate in a head-to-toe physical examination to determine all of the big things and little things that are contributing to your problems and complaints. At the end of your session, we review our findings with you and make recommendations for your personalized treatment plan. Everything we do at Flourish keeps your goals at the forefront!
If you are interested in more information or want to learn how Flourish might benefit you, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us!
P.S. If kegels truly worked, I would need another job! :)
We hear about this word “wellness” frequently whether it be on television, social media, through advertising and marketing, through our fitness professionals, and within our healthcare system. However, this term is still a confusing concept for many and obtaining health and wellness can be overwhelming for most. The definition of “wellness” is “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal”. I consider the concept of health and wellness a journey that we embark on throughout our lives. Each person’s journey is their own and there is not necessarily a finish line or beacon of health, but a life well lived.
There are many aspects of wellness that contribute to our overall health. The National Wellness Institute has defined six dimensions of wellness. The six dimensions of wellness include occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional wellness. These dimensions of wellness bring awareness to how many areas of our lives can affect our overall well-being. At Flourish Columbus Inc., we have created the 4 Pillars of Wellness which focuses on the aspects of wellness that can affect our musculoskeletal system and physical therapy outcomes including healthy movement, nutrition, sleep health, and stress management.
One of my favorite lifestyle concepts circulating the world of health and wellness is the “Blue Zones”. This term and concept was developed and researched by National Geographic, Dan Buettner, and many other organizations to discover the mystery behind healthy aging and longevity. These groups looked at 5 different communities throughout the world with the longest living people. These people were living well into their 90’s and beyond with minimal to no comorbidities and good mental health. The communities that were involved in the original studies included Okinawa (Japan), Ikaria (Greece), Sardinia, Nicoya (Costa Rica), and Loma Linda (California). The researchers discovered that all of these communities had commonalities which they defined as the “Power 9 Lifestyle Habits”. These habits included daily natural movement, having a feeling of purpose, downshift (downtime), eating until you are 80% full, eating 90% plant based, occasional and moderate red wine at 5, having the right tribe (healthy relationships), putting your loved ones first, and a sense of belonging to a community or spiritual group. Although, I am not supporting everyone taking up drinking red wine regularly, there are many aspects of this lifestyle that support overall wellness. Last year, our fusion fitness classes completed the “Blue Zones” 4-week challenge and this year it’s back by popular demand! I appreciate these lifestyle concepts because I feel that it taps into many aspects of wellness, brings us back to the simple things in life that are more powerful than we realize, and pulls us away from extremely restrictive lifestyles that are not sustainable for many.
As you reflect on how you can improve your overall health, I ask you choose one area of wellness that you can work on consistently over the next 6 months. Focus on that one health and wellness goal and allow yourself to work toward 80-90% consistency with that goal. You may be amazed at how one simple action can make a powerful impact on how you feel. If you need guidance and mentoring, our community has many professionals that can help. I challenge you in 2023 to give yourself grace and choose one thing that you can do for yourself.
Cheers to your health and wellness in 2023!
Our current society has become very accustomed to immediate gratification which can be very convenient in our fast-paced lifestyles, however, it is not always realistic to expect immediate gratification as it relates to musculoskeletal healing. Throughout my career, I have discovered the largest struggle within our profession is convincing our clients that their bodies have the capacity for healing when provided a healing environment and time. “Time? Who has the patience for that? There is never enough time! I have so much to do!”
Frequently, I will share a chart that my colleague presented at a lunchtime learning experience that charted out approximate ranges of time for maximal healing of commonly injured structures in the body. People are shocked when I tell them how long it may take for a tendon to heal completely or cartilage structures in the knee to heal 100%. This is many times why people may not feel successful with physical therapy. It is common to discontinue physical therapy too early, push through pain, resort to compensatory strategies, or return to prior sports performance before the body is ready which leads to relapses, re-injury, and sometimes chronic pain. However, the body is resilient and changing your mindset as it relates to recovery and rehabilitation can make all the difference. It doesn’t matter if you decide to try physical therapy, chiropractic care, orthopedic care, or body work. The body will always demand time whether that is to heal conservatively, rehabilitate following a surgery, or progress and tolerate new alignments or strength loads. Your mindset can either help your healing process or it can become a barrier to reaching your goals. Many of these rehabilitative professions complement each other beautifully as it relates to optimizing your musculoskeletal healing. You can build a recovery team that supports your personalized goals and restores you to optimal healthy and pain free movement.
I challenge you to reframe your thinking as it relates to long term musculoskeletal health! What does that mean? A physical therapist might challenge you to appreciate the benefit of functional healthy joint mobility, muscular flexibility, strength and stability, maintenance of functional movement patterns, varied movement, the concept of moving more and sitting less, celebrating all forms of movement. A holistic minded health care professional may challenge you to consider how your sleep health, nutrition, hydration, and stress may be affecting your body’s healing environment or how realistic goals and modifications are significantly impactful to a full recovery. As you embark on your wellness journey, remember to give your body grace and allow it the time it needs to heal while creating an environment that supports healing.
All are welcome to join us on Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 10am-12pm, as we host our second Flourish Into Fall Health and Wellness Expo. We are teaming up with other healthcare providers and fitness professionals from the community to bring this FREE event to Columbus. We have a schedule of pop-ups including two yoga sessions, information about juicing and its benefits, and a presentation on setting boundaries with family around the holidays.
Family Chiropractic and Wellness
The Hive of Columbus
The Nifty Beet
Soul's Truth Coaching
White River Running Company
Sky Sport Fitness
Door prizes! Swag bags! Coupons! Special offers!
We hope to see you at Flourish on 11/12 from 10am-12pm!
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor (PF) is the group of muscles that are found at the base of your pelvis. These muscles have several functions: supporting the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, ovaries, prostate, rectum), maintaining urinary and bowel continence, sexual functioning, stabilizing the pelvis and spine and helping with fluid flow and blood flow throughout the pelvis. The muscles and tissues of the PF connect to your hip bones, sacrum, and tailbone. Both women and men have PFs, and PF dysfunction can occur in anyone and at any age.
The PF is part of the larger core system that functions to manage pressure in your abdominal cavity. It works closely with the muscles of the abdominal wall, muscles of the spine, and the respiratory diaphragm to create stability, strength, and mobility throughout your trunk.
Dysfunction in this part of your body can cause a lot of unwanted, potentially embarrassing problems.
What are the common signs and symptoms of PF dysfunction?
-Urinary or fecal urgency or frequency
-Pain with sexual intercourse
-Pressure or heaviness in your perineal area
-Chronic low back/hip/knee pain
-Separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis rectus)
The above-mentioned signs of PF dysfunction can affect anyone at any age. Some of the major risk factors are pregnancy, childbirth, age, obesity, menopause, hysterectomy, chronic coughing, and chronic straining from heavy lifting. PF dysfunction can arise due to weakness, poor endurance, tightness, muscle spasms, and incoordination of the muscles and tissues of the PF and core. Several of those symptoms are quite common; however, none should be considered normal. You might experience one or several of these issues and have tried a variety of things to improve: diet changes, medication, etc. Even traditional physical therapy treatment for back/hip/knee pain might have ultimately proved unsuccessful.
How can physical therapy help?
Physical therapy (PT) is the evaluation and treatment of movement dysfunction, physical disability, and pain using exercise, manual treatment, modalities, and education. Pelvic floor PTs are musculoskeletal experts in areas associated with the pelvis: the sacrum, sacroiliac joints, and the coccyx. This includes the vulvar, vaginal, penile, scrotal, and colorectal regions. Pelvic floor PTs receive specialized training in these areas, as well as advanced education of the gastrointestinal, reproductive, orthopedic, and neurological systems, to treat patients in a more comprehensive manner.
A pelvic floor PT will not only address the muscles and function of the pelvic floor, but she will also perform a general musculoskeletal examination to address other muscles and tissues that might be involved. The body is a dynamic and fluid system with numerous pieces that work together. The benefit of seeking evaluation from a pelvic floor PT is the comprehensive assessment, treatment, and care that you will receive to help decrease pain and improve overall function.
So, if symptoms of PF dysfunction are common, but not normal, don’t delay in seeking thorough evaluation and treatment from a pelvic floor PT.
In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, we have decided to start our blog series with a celebration of the profession of physical therapy and how it can help you reach your health and wellness goals. Physical Therapy made its debut during WW1 as a way to provide injured soldiers rehabilitation in an effort to restore function and quality of life. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “a physical therapist is a movement expert who improves quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education”. A physical therapist in our current society must complete an undergraduate college degree related to the field of physical therapy, complete a doctoral graduate program in the field of physical therapy, and pass a board exam to complete licensure in the state of which they choose to practice. Therefore, a physical therapist will likely complete 7 years of education after high school to receive a clinical doctorate in this field. This rigorous academic journey trains physical therapists to utilize their skills to treat across all generations any movement restrictions related to injury, disease, or disabilities, as well as work with clients to optimize health and prevent future issues.
Licensed physical therapists will normally start with a full musculoskeletal evaluation of the involved areas of concern with a complete screen to rule out any other conditions that may require referral to a doctor. From this initial evaluation, a plan of care is developed to restore healthy movement, reduce/manage pain, improve functional independence, prevent disability, and optimize recreational/sports performance. Prescribed therapeutic exercise may be recommended to restore alignment, flexibility, joint mobility, strength, coordination and balance. Manual therapy may be provided to reduce pain, release muscular restrictions, promote healing, and restore normal joint mobility as well as alignment. Other supportive treatments may be administered to alleviate pain and promote healing including but not limited to therapeutic ultrasound and taping techniques. Client education is one of the most important aspects of physical therapy care. The education provided is to enhance self-awareness, improve coordination, provide self-care strategies, promote proper work station set up, ensure proper body mechanics, discover optimal shoe support, improve gait mechanics for walking, improve sports performance, and develop an appreciation of how nutrition, sleep, and stress affect our healing.
There are many benefits to starting with physical therapy when you are struggling with movement, pain, and restriction including but not limited to conservative healing of injury, reduced pain without need of pain medication, recovery without need of surgical intervention, improved movement and function, fall prevention and better balance, better management of chronic diseases, improved overall health and wellness, reduced overall health care costs, and optimized quality of life. You will find physical therapists in a variety of settings including school corporations, outpatient physical therapy clinics, inpatient hospital settings, home healthcare, and skilled nursing homes. There are also specialties among physical therapists including sports medicine, orthopedics, neurological, geriatric, pelvic floor physical therapy, pediatric physical therapy, and more.
At Flourish Columbus, we offer physical therapy for any acute injury, chronic pain, sports related injury, pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy support, labor prep and delivery education, and postpartum healing. We have fused our skillsets to provide services including pelvic floor physical therapy, orthopedic physical therapy, and sport medicine. We offer free 30-minute consults to listen to your concerns and goals as well as educate on how physical therapy may help you. We then allow you to make the choice to follow through with a 75-minute one on one physical therapy evaluation discovering your personal needs and plan of care. We pride ourselves on ensuring that your physical therapy care is a one-on-one experience focused solely on your goals, physical therapy needs, schedule, and lifestyle.
Flourish Columbus exists to empower women and men of all ages to reach their health and wellness goals through a holistic and personalized physical therapy and wellness experience.
Cheers to all of the physical therapists out there working hard to improve the health and wellness of the people living in their communities! If you are interested in learning more about how physical therapy may be able to help you, reach out to us to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.
Hi Flourish family!
Whether you have been a follower since the beginning, way back in June 2020, or you are a newer face, we are so grateful you are here! Aubrey and I have discussed incorporating a blog in our website for a while, and we are super excited to finally bring you deeper dives into all different topics relating to physical therapy and beyond.
We would love your feedback. If you have any specific topics that you want us to write about or dive deeper into, please let us know in the comments!
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Empowering you to Flourish!