PELVIC FLOOR THERAPY
Reaching out to a Women’s Pelvic Floor Physio (possible during Lockdown as many are running virtual consultations) is a great way to get advice on your Pelvic Floor and help improve your bladder control and give your Pelvic Floor some therapy. Pelviva is working with many Pelvic Floor Physios across the UK who can provide this type of consultation service and recommend the best course of action to suit your individual needs.
Rachel Horne, newsreader on Chris Evans’ breakfast show, went to her local Pelvic Floor Physio, Emma James to help with bladder control when running and to improve her pelvic health and here’s her story …
“My friend Jools recommended I visit Emma James, a specialist Pelvic Floor Physio who advises on pelvic health at her clinic at Champneys, Tring, after I announced I was going to do The London Marathon. (Rachel was cajouled live on the Virgin radio breakfast show by Vassos, Chris and the team back in November 2019)
“As soon as I’d said yes to the Marathon, I panicked that my weak Pelvic Floor wasn’t up to it and was going to stop me from running the 26 miles. I’d done the odd bit of cross country before at school and outdoor fitness boot camps but never attempted such a distance or gone for a long run without desperately needing the loo!
“In fact, I used to dread it in summer when I did the Boot Camps and would always wear an incontinence pad, tie my hoodie around my waist and take a towel to sit on in the car on the way home in case the inevitable happened.
“I had three children in just over three years; carrying them put extra pressure on my pelvic floor and then I had pretty complicated births giving me 2ndand 3rd degree tears which weakened my Pelvic Floor further and is why I suffer leaks when I run.
“I hadn’t got round to doing anything about it mainly because as one of many 30 and 40-something women who are always busy looking after other people, fixing ourselves goes right down the list of priorities.
‘Bladder Leakage isn’t normal’
“I think I’d also just fallen into the trap of just accepting bladder leakage was normal. It’s almost a badge of honour for women to say they leak whether that’s when they run, get on a trampoline with the kids or sneeze. Everyone laughs about it. You see it on TV adverts where women laugh about having the condition and it’s so normalised that us women think it’s the right thing to do to say nothing and just use an incontinence pad whenever we leave the house.
‘My first visit to her was almost like a therapy sesssion’
“Emma is a force for good. My first visit to her was almost like a therapy session. She took the time to ask me about myself and encouraged me to tell her my story, giving me a safe space to open up. When she said she could fix my bladder leakage I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. She was wonderful.
“She helped me to realise it’s NOT OK to leak and made me see that unless I took steps to strengthen my pelvic floor, my leakage would just get worse, particularly as I approached the perimenopause and menopause.
“Because of the challenge I was facing, training for the Marathon in a little over five months, Emma suggested a multi-pronged attack. Through Emma’s Pelvic Health clinic and supervision, I’ve used a combination of Pelvic Floor strengthening exercises, tried pelvic floor trainer Pelviva and other products, and my bladder leakage has dramatically reduced.
‘Leaking less has definitely improved my general wellbeing’
“After just six weeks of support, I was dry after the first mile which was never the case before as I always leaked just after I started to run. Recently, I managed 5km (3.5 miles) over hilly terrain and was completely dry at the end of the run which felt like such a massive, massive achievement. Leaking less has definitely improved my general wellbeing too as I feel more like myself again. I now no longer need to wear a pad EVERY SINGLE DAY and only keep one on for exercise in the unlikely case I might leak.
“Now due to Covid-19, The London Marathon is rightly postponed but I do hope to run it later in the year. Once I’ve done that, I don’t think I’ll ever do another marathon ever again! However, I’m planning to continue running between 5 and 10km on a regular basis to get that time to think, feel energised, enjoy the fresh air and release those endorphins and will be able to do so without leaking which is just amazing!”