Exercising with Pelvic Organ Prolapse
PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE DEFINED
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is when one or more pelvic organs begin to drop to a descended position. The most common cause of this descent is strain or injury of the pelvic floor muscles. POP varies in severity from grade 1 to grade 4.
Common organs that can be involved include:
1. Bladder: AKA cystocele
2. Rectum: AKA rectocele
3. Uterus: AKA uterine prolapse
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF POP
Symptoms will vary with each person, and some people may not have symptoms at all! However, here are a few of the most common symptoms of POP.
● Sensation of heaviness, bulging, or pressure in your pelvic floor or vaginal region
● Difficulty with bladder emptying- Or sensation that there is more left to empty
● Difficulty with bowel emptying
● Urinary incontinence/ Leakage
EXERCISING WITH POP
You can absolutely exercise with POP! However, it is important to be mindful of a few key considerations during exercise in order to create an environment that will ensure minimal to no added stress or pressure upon your pelvic organs.
1. Vary your body position: It is important to limit the amount of time spent standing up.
2. Limit repetitive impact exercises such as running and jumping.
3. BREATH: Do not allow yourself to hold your breath during the activity.
PHYSICAL THERAPY AND POP
Physical therapy is recommended as the first course of treatment if diagnosed or suspecting POP. A pelvic floor physical therapist will be able to do an evaluation and in turn provide the appropriate guidance to help decrease POP custom to you. The evaluation and treatment of POP will include an assessment and discussion of your overall alignment, global strength of the lumbopelvic structure, breathing mechanics, your nervous system, pelvic floor, and more. Your physical therapist is your number one advocate and guide to the management of your symptoms throughout your daily life.
DR. AMBER KRAMERPT, DPT
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