Prolapse is a word that used to scare me. I was trained to believe that once you had it, you were now facing a series of sub-optimal treatment options and doomed to a life of discomfort and dysfunction.
As I started building my practice and treating clients of my own, I quickly learned that this is incorrect.
Not only did I see women completely resolve their symptoms of prolapse with Physical Therapy alone, I noticed a huge need for preventative measures to keep prolapse from happening in the first place.
Prolapse refers to a dropping of the pelvic organs. It is most commonly seen in the bladder, uterus, and rectum.
Cystocele: Refers to a bladder prolapse
Uterine Prolapse: Refers to a prolapse of the uterus (surprise!)
Rectocele: Refers to a prolapse of the rectum or colon.
The organs are suspended in the thorax by ligaments. They rest at the base of the thorax, supported primarily by the pelvic floor. Prolapse occurs when one or both of these support systems are compromised.
Causes of prolapse can include:
Constipation/poor voiding mechanics
Repetitive heavy lifting with poor lifting mechanics
Damage to the pelvic floor
Familial history of prolapse
When I am assessing a client, I look for these risk factors:
History of hernias
All of these symptoms suggest a lack of core stability and support. Overtime that can result in prolapse.
In fact, it is my opinion that hernias are a type of prolapse, especially in men. Men do not have vaginas for organs to fall out of, so they wind up with hernias instead.
Both are the result of the same poor mechanics coupled with core instability and weakness.
Common symptoms of prolapse include:
Feelings of heaviness/bulging
Feeling like you are sitting on a ball
Palpable or visible bulge from vagina or rectum
So what can we do about prolapse? Plenty! In short, we fix the core support system and we address improper loading of the core.
Here are my top 5 exercises for Prolapse!
1. Breathing for core activation.
Yes this is probably in every single one of my blogs, but we always start here for core activation.
2. Lifting with core activation
Once you learn how to activate your core, you need to implement it into your daily life!
Now we start to activate the rest of your core through hip stabilization.
4. Quadruped Hip Extension
Once you have mastered core activation and the bridge, it’s time to advance your hip stability exercises.
5. Quadruped Hip Extension with Bent Knee
Give these a try! If you still have questions, I recommend coming in for a consult.
When dealing with prolapse, it’s important you are sure you are performing the exercises correctly. If you don’t see improvements, there is a good chance you would benefit from additional instruction.
Click here to schedule a free consultation with me today.