POPP - Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Posture
(Being Comfortable in your own body)
All too often I have clients tell me their doctor has diagnosed them with a pelvic organ prolapse, which vary in type: uterine, cystocele, rectocele, enterocele or vaginal vault. What matters isn’t how it has been labeled, but knowing that there is nothing “wrong” with you, and your body isn’t dysfunctional, but that these are “symptoms” of some previous event in your life. Contrary to popular belief, there are ways to live with, manage and improve quality of life if you have an existing prolapse. So, your body has told you there is something not right and needs you to respond. My job is to help you with that part.
By learning to listen to our bodies we can catch smaller problems before they get too big. “Listen to whispers before they become screams”. Embrace the information your body is sending you and respond by taking the time and making the effort to educate yourself, and thus take appropriate action to facilitate the necessary change.
Hearing that you have a prolapse can be like being hit by a bus. It’s life changing, but, Do you know that your internal organs will be supported, and stay where they belong, starting with correct posture? It sounds too simple, trust me it’s not. It requires a lot of dedication, self-discipline and commitment, but it is so worth it. Sadly, the other thing I hear often is, “yes, I really want to do this program but I can’t right now, maybe in 2 or 3 months, right now is a bad time”.
Our bodies and health require constant maintenance, starting the sooner the better. Remedy of a prolapse diagnosis begins with reclaiming your natural posture.
In order to have effective results with pelvic floor conditioning, it is essential to learn and maintain our Natural female posture, not the “tuck your butt and flatten your belly” dysfunctional style. In the long term, this is a set up for prolapse and hip problems to name a few. Dysfunctional posture is at the root of many of the chronic conditions from which we suffer, whether it be related to our hips, pelvic and spinal alignment, low back problems, impingement or weak abdominal muscles. Poor or incorrect posture affects our breathing, inhibits full range of motion for the femur, contracts muscles and ligaments of the ilium to list a few.
How does correcting your posture deal with prolapse?
Standing in your natural posture focuses on elongating the abdominal wall up, not in, by lifting the chest. This lifts the upper body from deep in the pelvis, lengthens and strengthens the psoas muscle which originates in the lower lumbar vertebrae and travels down through the pelvis in front of the hip joint to insert onto the femur.
This in turn creates a wide lumbar curvature and a natural arc which happens without forcing, as you raise your sternum.
A lesson in anatomy!
- sacral nutation is the tilting forward of the pelvis
- initiated by in breath, diaphragm pulls forward on the lumbar spine
- nutation increases the lumbar curve at base of the spine
- this stabilizes pelvic organs near lower abdominal wall by intra-
nutation lengthens pelvic wall from pubic bone to coccyx
nutation tightens perineal muscle which stabilizes urethra and vagina
Result: Pelvic organs supported by Pubic Bone(original design)
It follows that:
- Counternutation is tilting the pelvis backward, tucking tailbone
Counternutation allows lumbar curve to flatten
Causes pelvic diaphragm to shorten from pubic bone to tail bone
Slackens tension in muscles supporting the urethra and vagina
Result: Pelvic organs unsupported over vaginal opening
So, what your body has told you is that something has changed and it needs support for your pelvic organs. This is how you can provide that support. Your natural posture is a head to toe business and can have interruptions at many stops along the way: contracted belly, tucked ribs or jutting head. The abdominal wall should be relaxed in an anterior position which allows for healthy hip movement. Inflammatory and impingement conditions of the hip joint are common issues during pregnancy and post natally.
I want to emphasize that integrating good posture into every part of your life is essential. It needs to be a part of your psyche whether standing, sitting, walking, running, or lifting. Combined with deep diaphragmatic breathing (which will become much easier as you allow your body to open up), you will notice changes very quickly,
within weeks rather than months.
Like any habit we adopt, the longer you practice natural posture, the more “natural” it will feel, and actually you will feel there is something not quite right when you aren’t engaged in it.
We have become so used to instant gratification, and quick solutions.
Instead, you will be taking a leading role in your own self-help, and the benefits will stay with you for the rest of your life.