Hab-it Exercises Forums Ask Tasha! will high impact sport further damage pelvic floor ?

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  • #3105
    Sylvia
    Guest

    Hello Tasha,

    I’m a 40 year old with rectocelle and cystocelle, both discovered when my youngest was 3 years old, 6 months ago, so I am not postpartum. I can see/feel the bulges, but bar the odd heavy feeling below, so far it does not effect me, or cause pain, & I’m not incontinent (unless on kids trampoline/sprinting, but don’t do those things since finding prolapse.)

    So since prolapse discovery, I’ve sadly stopped all my high impact activity on advice of gyne doctor/physio (except usual daily kid control i.e jog/sprint-chase after them, or lifting youngest every day).  I’ve been told  I am not a serious prolapse case; just the start of a moderate/stage 2, so standard anterior/posterior vaginal wall collapse really – but they did say that anyone with prolapse, even stage 1, should not engage in high impact activity like jogging/running/heavy lifting/sit ups etc as it will speed up process of making things prolapse further… which makes sense I guess if these organs are now out of place and vaginal walls no longer able to support them safely. They did say that high impact activity is ok for those without damaged pelvic floor, as the pelvic organs sit where they should.

    As a previously very fit and active person (prior to having kids), and just getting time back now, to start again on sport, I’m gutted not to be able to do certain activities; running, aerobics, climbing, jumping etc

    I do your DVD 2-3 times a week, the keggel master almost every night, and the physio has suggested adding in vaginal cones in morn for 15 mins to help re the sensation of feeling stuff inside again to contract against. Is this all okay if my body feels okay doing it? The mix of different approaches does not seem to be doing my pelvic floor any harm that I can see or feel i.e. it’s not making bulges bigger, and I not incontinent doing a lot of different pelvic floor stuff, which I guess I will have to keep up for life?
    At moment I am so scared to return to high impact stuff, that I only cycle, swim and walk as chosen exercise, but it is gutting to have to live like an old lady and stay on the low impact regime and lose the freedom to let my body do what it likes when I am not even that old! Before prolapse, I’d run if I felt like it, jump of walls with my kids, do sit ups, hop, trampoline, chase-tag, skipping etc, all the usual stuff that are part of kids play/being active. Now I am scared to do many of these things incase I cause further damage…

    Which leads me to my main questions…

    1. Will high impact activity make mine or most women’s prolapse worse, even if over time? i.e. will it speed up the need for surgery, and how fast i.e. 5 years – 25 years – not at all?

    2. If it is not damaging to run and do some high impact activity, why is it not damaging?

    3. And why do most gyne docs and physio professionals advise those with prolapse not to run/or do high impact stuff, if indeed it is ok to do so? It is all very confusing when you start to research opinions…

    4. If you think high impact activity is ok to do, (or certain ones), which from my list below can I return to at some point, and how to know when my pelvic core is ready to do them if I am not the incontinent prolapse type (so far)? i.e. if you wee yourself it is obvious to stop running, but if you don’t, but you are prolapsed, how do you know if damaging or not?

    Below is the list of things I would like to be able to do again that I did before, some more often than others…

    Sprinting

    Jogging (how far, is there a limit, and should it be on toes running – if you can build up gradual?)

    Horse riding

    Rock Climbing (involves hanging from hands to hold your weight in some moves/positions)

    Hiking

    Jumping off walls, (anything from 4-6 feet at highest) with my kids

    Skipping

    Star jumps

    Touching my toes

    Hopping

    Lunges

    Monkey bars – i.e. hanging from a high bar, and then using hands to swing across lots of bars like a monkey to get to the other side in kids play park

    Swimming under water (holding breath)

    Jumping on trampolines and bouncy castles

    Highland Fling dancing

    Ballet

    Disco dancing

    Parachute jump (did this once before and would like to again)

    Bungee jump (as above)
    5. Does a pessary (the ring type) help or hinder with this sort of stuff? i.e best to build activity gradually and let your body adjust to the different stressors, or is it better to assume for the hardest impact ones (jumping off walls/parachute jumps), that they are hard on pelvic floor, so pessary will soften the impact/pounding…

    Sorry for all the questions – in an earlier life I was a bit of an action woman, and I want to do some of that stuff again with my kids/on holidays/for recreation… so long as these high impact activity are not leading me closer to being a totally incontinent old lady who has to wear diapers…

    Thank you for your feedback. Your forum is greatly appreciated.

    Sylvia

     

    #3211
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Sylvia,

    You can do whatever you love and used to do (mostly) with prolapse as long as you work to establish a good/great base strength.  This will happen with the Hab It dvd, attention to posture, and attention to bad habits like poor lifting technique and short breath holds through your day.  With your aspirations, I would also recommend a progression through the 7 Day Advanced Stabilization program that I offer.

    As I read your post, I can’t help but see our similarities, as an almost 40 year old mother of three myself who also loves to run, jump, chase those kids of hers!  As a note of reassurance, I started with a higher grade prolapse discovered after the birth of my first almost 10 years ago, and I feel free to run, hike, wakeboard, snowboard, bike, etc. without limitations.  I feel healthier now than I did back then because my posture is better, my core strength is better, and my body awareness is that much more enhanced.  You will get there too!

    At the risk of sitting at my computer for an hour or more…I want to encourage you to read through my blog roll.  I have answers to most if not all of your questions in my blogs and my answers will be that much more thorough than they can be in this forum.  After reading, come back to me with specific questions, preferably one or two at a time and I will give you a quick, concise answer, promise!

    Tasha

     

    #3788
    Sylvia
    Guest

    Hi Tasha, thanks for replying. I’ve read through all your blogs now and they were really interesting. I’ve also read most of the other questions, and I think I have found your opinion on some of my earlier questions, but these 3 remain unclear for me. If you’ve the time to feedback it would be greatly appreciated…

    1. Why do most gyne docs and physio professionals advise those with prolapse not to run/or do high impact exercise as a lifetime restriction, if it can be ok to do such activity again if you can build up a good core?

    2. If I can progress comfortably through your 7 day advanced program, are any of the activities below best to avoid (I’d begin gradually to give body time to adjust as you advised on forum)…

    Sprinting

    Jogging (is there guidelines how far/duration one should compromise with?)

    Horse riding

    Rock Climbing (involves hanging from hands to hold your weight in some moves/positions)

    Jumping off walls, (anything from 4-6 feet at highest) with my kids

    Skipping

    Star jumps

    Touching my toes

    Hopping

    Lunges

    Monkey bars – i.e. hanging from a high bar, and then using hands to swing across lots of bars like a monkey to get to other side in kids play park

    Swimming under water (as this involves holding breath while exercising)

    Jumping on trampolines and bouncy castles (occasionally)

    Highland Fling dancing

    Ballet

    Disco dancing

    Parachute jump (did this once before and would like to again)

    Bungee jump (as above)

    3. Since my last post, Ive had a gyne appointment and been told by examining Dr he thinks my cyctocelle’s improved a bit, which is so great, but rectocelle remains unchanged. I’m thinking of targeting the rectocelle with the keggel 8 Ultra anal probee…have you heard of this device, do you think it might help? (you talk of the vaginal one, but what of anal?). How often should I use and for how many months? (I used kegel 8 vaginally for 6 weeks to kick start things, should I use same approach for anal?)

    Thanks for very much Tasha for your time and knowledge. It is very much appreciated.

    #3942
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Sylvia,
    On your first question on the question of to run or not to run. You are right in that many OB/GYNs just simply say to not run. The difference is that they see you once or twice a year. As a physical therapist, we see patients often 3x/week as we work with them to get back to their “prior level of activity”. Patients goals are noted and we work toward them. As a therapist we see that the body responds and adapts to the way we challenge it. Ultimately I am telling you that your body and your pelvic basket will be stronger the more you call upon those muscles and the stride and contractions that occur with running will further strengthen your pelvic floor. Keep in mind, that I don’t recommend that a non-runner start running to strengthen their pelvic floor, but I am telling you that you can continue to run without furthering your prolapse if you set your base strength and work your body into shape. I would also recommend an exploration of other activities that further strengthen your pelvic floor such as roller blading, biking, swimming, cross country skiing, etc.

    On your second question, as long as you have allowed your body time to set a base strength through the 7 Day Advanced Program, working slowly, deliberately, and consistently through the program for several weeks, then you can progress to Jogging (starting first at 20 minute runs. work your intensity up on these runs and you can progress to sprinting. Continue to mix up length and intensity throughout your training program)
    Horseback riding is a yes as long as you ride rolled forward on your sit bones so that you are in neutral spine posture. Use your legs for support as well and you are good. If you are a rider who sits back on her buns/tail bone, you will need to roll forward on your tripod for this to be a good activity for you.
    Rock climbing – yes
    Jumping off walls – okay. you should land in a impact absorbing squat.
    Skipping – okay
    Star jumps – you need to describe
    Touching your toes – of course
    Hopping – this is tough. Keep in mind any straight up and down jumping is tough because a forward lean recruits your bodies extensors which is positive, but straight up and down jumping such as with a jumping jack is rough because the line of force is straight over your pelvic floor. If you land in a squat position you are able to absorb the impact and you drop down into a tail bone extended position which is great. So hopping would depend on how you are executing the hops.
    Lunges – fine
    Monkey bars – fine
    Swimming – great
    trampoline – not great because it is straight up and down and touch to land in a squat.
    Highland Fling dancing – don’t know this one – think about my rules of avoiding alot of flexion, straight up and down jumping, and no breath holding to be your own best judge.
    Ballet is great minus the posture. In ballet you are taught to tuck your tail bone under and I recommend just the opposite for great injury preventing posture.
    Everything else about it is awesome – just work to hold neutral spine posture.
    Disco dancing – follow the rules as stated above
    Parachute jump – fine
    Bungee jump – fine (wouldn’t recommend it daily but a few times is fine)
    Kegel 8 – I would refer you to http://www.prolapsehealth.com with this question as there are many women on their with personal use that are better equipped to answer this one.

    Whewww…I think that is all of it!

    Tasha

    #3952
    Sylvia
    Guest

    Tasha,

    Thank you so much for taking the time for this detailed and invaluable feedback. It gives me confidence to get back out there and to build slowly on regaining a fully active lifestyle, while I still can! Sincerely, you offer us prolapsers, warmth, light and most of all hope within the darkness of prolapse prison! God bless you.

    #4059
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Sylvia,
    I am counting on you to come back to me in a few months as one of my testimonials. Your obvious love of activity needs to be matched with an acute awareness of neutral spine posture and you will be stronger than before!

    Tasha

    #9145
    Marie
    Guest

    Tasha,
    A fellow woman runner with prolapse referred me to your Hab It DVD and highly recommended doing the workouts for 6 weeks and then moving on to 2 months of the 7 day Advanced Stabilization program before I try to start running again. I first noticed a bulge (which my dr. called a “fallen bladder”) 7 years ago, which was 3 months after my first child was born (I was 45 at the time). My dr. recommended surgery, but as I was hopeful of having another child, I waited and waited. The bulge actually disappeared, but I had incontinence when running (wore a pad). With the miracle of modern IVF techniques, I had my second child at the age of 51 and at 5 mths post partum, I noticed the bulge again! As I began to fear that surgery wasn’t the route to go, I started researching alternatives. Of course, one goal was to get rid of the bulge and raise the bladder if that was at all possible, but the even more critical goal for me was being able to run again. Pelvic fl. physios tell me I have a Stage 2 cystocele (3 in standing position). When I first started seeing them 6 months ago, I was diagnosed as a 2+ cystocele lying down. The bulge often appears mid-day (or not at all) depending on the day. My baby girl is turning 1 yr old next week, and I am just now weaning her from breastfeeding.

    I have been doing physic pelvic floor exercises daily and hypopresives (in case you’re not familiar, see: http://coresetfitness.com/hypopresives/) daily for about 6 mos and I do feel that my pf muscle tone is better, but the bladder prolapse is only slightly better (still a 2, as I said).

    I have been discouraged by the lack of significant improvement in the prolapse (I’d hoped never to see the bugle again!), but your forums, site, and videos give me hope. Now that I have your Hab It DVD, I’d just like to know if you would recommend anything different than the following plan for a workout routine to try to “up” the improvement. Before having my first child and throughout those first couple years postpartum, most anyone would consider me extremely fit. In early life I was a competitive swimmer. I became a jogger for my basic exercise (moderate at 5mi, 3x/week) and trained to do a triathlon 3 times in my late 30’s-mid-40’s. I laid off any ambitious training between my 2 kids for 2 reasons: the stress incontinence and the advice of fertility clinics not to overdo exercise.

    OK, so this is what I’m thinking as a program starting now:
    Phase 1:
    Hab It DVD 3x/week (doing 1 of the time efficient workouts each session)
    Do 20 minute Hypopresive routine on 2 other days/week
    20 minute advanced Hypopresive routine (more cardio focussed) 1x/week

    Would you recommend doing the above for 6 weeks as a 1st Phase? or is there a way I could assess myself at 4 weeks, i.e. whether I’m ready to move on to the 7 day AS program?

    Phase 2:
    7 day Advanced Stabilization Program (over 7 days)
    (skip the hypopresives during this phase)

    How long would you recommend doing this? 2 months? or is there a way to assess when I’m “strong enough” to start Phase 3?

    Phase 3:
    20 min jogs 2-3x/week (this would be my first return to running after 2 years of no running)
    Do the hypopresives 2x/week
    1 Advanced Stabilization workout 2x/week

    Tasha, you’re an inspiration and you have an incredibly direct and supportive manner of reaching out and responding to those of us with this problem. I truly hope to hear some words of experience/some direction from you. Like the woman that started this post, I am too used to being an athlete to let myself feel like an old lady at this age, and it is truly opposed to my confidence in having children at this late age, because I was such a pillar of strength and good health!

    With great respect,
    Marie

    #9164
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Marie,
    Your plan looks good. Be sure when you are working the hypopressive method that you don’t get caught with your tail bone tucked under too much. you will note the importance of the multifidi stabilizing your sacrum in a neutral (which is a slightly extended) position which allows your TA to pull against this anchor and elevate your pelvic organs. If you let your multifidi go, all is for not. Your entire pelvic basket must be active and healthy to “resolve” your prolapse symptoms! 4 weeks would be the minimum to work Phase I. Then progression into phase two for a minimum of 4 weeks is also recommended. Also, don’t forget that neutral spine, with slight tailbone extension throughout your day as well!!!

    Tasha

    #18924
    Allison
    Guest

    Hi Tasha,

    I just wanted to thank you. I was diagnosed with a Grade 2 rectocele and a grade 1 cystocele after my first child almost 4 years ago. I had my 3rd child 6 months ago, and am rehabing myself again. Your dvd helped me get strong, back to running and in the best shape of my life following my second. This recovery has been more difficult, which I am attributing to a second c-section and 3 pregnancies in 3.5 years, and less time than ever to devote to my healing regimen. I am ready to be dedicated to the dvd again, and the above recommendations of 6 weeks of dvd followed by 2 months of the intensive strengthening is a great recommendation and gives me a plan on how to move forward.

    I also wanted to ask you if you have any insight into whether prolapse improves following the cessation of breast feeding? I know breast feeding is a low estrogen state which theoretically can contribute to prolapse, but was wondering if you have seen this practically with patients? Hoping to get back to myself soon! Thank you again for what you do. This program has really given me hope. God bless!

    #21120
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Allison,
    You are correct in stating that your estrogen levels will be lower while breastfeeding. You would think that things would further improve when you stop breastfeeding. That being said, I don’t think it is a drastic and immediate improvement. My experience has shown a steady improvement by those women who are consistent with their neutral spine posture and muscle activation – and this improvement can continue for months and years to come.

    Keep in mind that your pelvis is one of the most vascular areas of the body – therefore their is a constant remodeling going on. Inside our pelvis is a spider web of connective tissue that helps to hold our pelvic organs in place. Consistency over time will allow this remodeling to continue to improve our symptoms by helping to hold our pelvic organs in a higher position.

    You have a lot going on, reminding me when I had 3 babies within 4 years as well. You WILL have moment of increased symptoms, but continue to come back to your stomach to work your multifidi lifts, continue to hold your TA up and in when able, and you will be just fine!

    tasha

    #31731
    Amanda
    Guest

    Thank you sylvie and tascha for your posts. I have just bee told I have a prolapse due to constipation strain. I have started pelvic floor exercises as desperate to get back to doing sport as I use to. At least I am able to still cycle and swim but want to do other activities.

    You comments have reassured me that with time I will get back to doing these activities again.

    Thanks
    Amanda

    #33109
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Amanda,
    Glad that you are reading through this great information. You can read more detailed information within my Educate Yourself section as well.

    Take a good look at dietary changes that will decrease your need to strain when going the bathroom. That will be a huge factor for you!

    Tasha

    #52398
    Tracy
    Guest

    Hi had a cyst and tube removed 6 months ago followed 4months later by a full hysterectomy and appendix removal following boc diagnosis.
    I usually windsurf, mountain bike, rock climb, pole fitness and stand up paddle boarding. I am 9 weeks post op and told I have a rear bulge grade 2. They suggest no sport but this is terrifying for me as I have always been an outdoor sporty person.
    I have read the above posts and see you comments that rock climbing is ok if the core and pelvic floor is strong is this really the case and is windsurfing ok?
    Would your programme help me continue with my sport without making the existing bulge worse?
    P.s due to the boc they have told my they will operate to fix bulge.

    #52853
    Tasha
    Keymaster

    Tracy,
    It is in your best interest to press the pause button on any surgery! Go to my Hab It program and begin with the most basic recruitment of the specific muscles of your pelvic basket. Don’t skip – don’t rush. Often those that are in great shape think this step is too simple, but the problem is that often there are “other” muscles that are taking over for these smaller stabilizing muscles. Be slow and deliberate with each exercise as instructed and ensure you are efficiently recruiting each muscle of your pelvic basket. Then move on to the 7 Day Advnaced and then the Hab It Cardio/Plyo program. With this deliberate progression – in three months you will feel a new confidence in your body and your ability to lift all pressure up off of your pelvic floor.

    Beyond this – read through the Posture and Breathing and Pelvic Basket muscles topics within the Educate Yourself section.

    Tasha

    #73225
    Mojo
    Guest

    Hi there
    I have a stage 2 bladder prolapse and stage 3 rectocele

    I have seen 2 Gyne’s, 2 uro-Gyne’s and 3 pelvic floor Physio’s. I have also done the hypopressive course and have been doing the exercises religiously for 3 months.

    To be honest I see no improvement in the size and depth of the bulges but I do not have any other symptoms (pain, incontinence, feeling of heaviness in the vagina). My only symptoms are the 2 bulges I see just inside the entrance to my vagina.

    I was booked for surgery this Friday but after reading this thread I have decided not to go ahead. Why put myself at risk of never being able to go back to high impact exercise when I am already slowly moving in that direction.

    I have just had my third child 4 months ago. All natural births. I was a professional ballerina before having kids. I started doing some light training 3 weeks ago and have been doing post natal yoga since Baba was 10 days old.

    After my second child I was doing the odd dance class, competitive pole dancing and circus aerial silks. I was also doing HIIT (high impact interval training).

    I discovered the prolapse after baby no 3.

    My question is will I eventually be able to get back to my pole and aerial dancing, my regular dancing and my HIIT training? If I go slowly and gradually increase the load and monitor the prolapse ? Or must I put these things behind me?

    Pls help. Feeling so desperate here.

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