A few weeks ago, Sycamore CrossFit’s coaches and staff met with Jamie Justice, a physical therapist with Creative Therapeutics. As part of our continuing education, we learned about the pelvic floor and its effects on athletes, postpartum moms, and others.
Jamie specializes in the treatment of women and men with pelvic floor dysfunction. This can present with a variety of symptoms such as urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction, and chronic pelvic pain. Jamie also has a broad base of orthopedic experience and enjoys treating women throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
The major reason we partnered with Jamie is to learn more about the pelvic floor and how it affects all of us. We have seen a rise in the CrossFit community and athletes who work out regularly experiencing bladder control issues and pelvic pain. It is not ok to pee while doing jumping activities; it is not ok to pee while lifting heavy; it is not ok to feel like you might lose control of your bowels while participating in physical activity. Continue reading to see how you can take control again.
The pelvic floor is designed to work in conjunction with your diaphragm. As you breathe, your diaphragm expands down into your abdomen, and your pelvic floor responds and expands down also. If all things were perfect, your pelvic floor and diaphragm would be in perfect rhythm. However, our life is not perfect and we do a lot of things during the day that causes it to become out of synch.
Stress is the major contributor to our diaphragm and pelvic floor not working the way it was intended; we breathe in and only our chest expands and our shoulders rise causing a bunch of tension in our ribs, neckline, and neck. Second, we sit all of the time, and this turns off our butt. We breathe only into the soft tissue of our belly and never down into our pelvic floor. These two issues among people who are fit tend to cause our pelvic floor to be tight and restrictive because it is constantly doing a job without being worked the way it was intended.
I know most of you don’t want to talk about this topic, which is normal; however, it is an issue and it can be worked on. If you feel like you would benefit to talk to an expert, Jamie offers a free consultation to discuss what is going on and what could be the cause of it and give direction on how to start fixing it. Everything from recommending physical therapy to suggesting to modify or scale movements that have you feeling like you are losing control.
At Sycamore CrossFit, we have helped the coaches identify ways to help each client get better so they don’t have to live with this forever. First, we recommend going to the restroom before a workout that has a movement in it that might make you feel like you have to go. This isn’t a fix, but it’s a workaround for the problem. Second, start practicing breathing and bracing techniques before or after class; this will help the pelvic floor be more reactive to movements and our increase in breathing. If you are interested in help with this, ask coach Carl or coach Chris to show you where to start.
Want additional help outside of doing it on your own? Schedule an athlete check-in with Carl to discuss your options. Carl had gotten his Birthfit Certification to help with postpartum moms along with continuing his education in the Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization exercise course which is the basis of what Birthfit’s exercise protocol was built on.
Do you have a history of peeing when you don’t want to or having to go and not feeling like you have control? Do you have pain in your lower back that cannot be explained by other causes? Do you pain during intercourse (experienced by women)? You might have a pelvic floor issue. You can get started either by talking to us or by contacting Jamie. We may be able to help you get started with breathing and bracing to improve your pelvic floor dysfunction, or we can refer you to Jamie if we are not able to help.
Schedule your Sycamore CrossFit Check in to see how we can help
Contact Jamie Justice through https://wholept.com/contact/ or call 815-758-5508