Prolapse Exercise to Choose and Exercises to Avoid
Prolapse exercise for fitness needs to avoid pelvic floor strain while allowing you to exercise at a moderate intensity.
Read on now to learn:
- 5 pelvic floor safe fitness exercises
- Fitness exercises to avoid or modify if you have a prolapse or previous prolapse surgery.
This prolapse exercise information applies to women with; uterine prolapse, prolapsed bladder (cyctocoele), rectal prolapse (rectocoele) and also after prolapse surgery (with your Medical Specialist’s approval to commence general fitness exercise).
5 Pelvic Floor Safe Fitness Exercises
The most appropriate fitness exercises for women to perform to reduce the likelihood of pelvic floor strain are exercises known as low impact exercises.
Low impact exercises involve you exercising and moving with at least one foot in contact with the ground. Low impact exercises will minimise the stress on your pelvic floor. Try to avoid high impact exercises with two feet off the ground which cause jarring forces through your legs and increase strain on your pelvic floor.
Walking tips to protect your pelvic floor:
- Choose flat surfaces;
- Wear well cushioned shoes;
- Mix up your walking surface;
- Wear support briefs (underwear) to help support your abdomen and pelvic floor;
- Walk in the morning rather than the end of the day when your prolapse is worse and your pelvic floor fatigued;
- Do a couple of short sessions rather than one long session for comfort, especially if your prolapse is large; and
- Bush walking is a great from of exercise, choose walks that are comfortable for your body and not too demanding.
Cycling tips to protect your pelvic floor:
- Cycle on flat surfaces;
- Use gears that are light on your legs so that you avoid pushing heavily through your feet;
- Sit in the saddle rather than standing up to cycle; and
- Stationary cycle is an ideal fitness and weight loss exercise for women with pelvic prolapse.
3. Water-based exercise
Water exercise tips to protect your pelvic floor:
- Exercise in water that is deeper than your chest level to reduce strain on your pelvic floor;
- Water walking is an ideal exercise, try side stepping and backwards walking;
- Aqua aerobics classes can be an enjoyable way to exercise in a group, just be sure to keep the exercises low impact and avoid intense abdominal exercises in these classes; and
- Swimming laps of a pool using freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke will help you exercise your heart, lungs and muscles and place minimal pressure on your pelvic floor.
Dancing tips to protect your pelvic floor;
- Choose low-impact dance styles such as ballroom, country and western, Latin-American and belly dancing which usually place minimal stress on your pelvic floor.
5. Low-impact exercise classes
- Low impact exercise classes such as Tai Chi, fit ball and cycle classes will usually minimise pressure on your pelvic floor as you exercise; and
- Use caution in Yoga and Pilates that can sometimes incorporate intense core exercises which can increase the strain on your pelvic floor and your prolapse or your prolapse repair.
Prolapse Exercise to Avoid or Modify
Exercises that involve both your feet being off the ground at once or those that involve stepping heavily are called high impact. These types of exercises may worsen your symptoms and increase stretch and strain on your pelvic floor. High impact exercise should be avoided to prevent possible worsening of your prolapse or recurrent prolapse after prolapse repair surgery.
High impact exercises that increase pressure on the pelvic floor include:
Competition tennis or squash; and
Group fitness exercise classes that involve running and jumping.
Before Commencing Fitness Exercises
Always check with your doctor before commencing any new exercise program, particularly if you are very unfit or if you have never exercised previously. Women with pelvic prolapse symptoms and after pelvic surgery can usually perform some form of exercise for their their fitness and to maintain their general health and well being. Safe prolapse exercise involves low impact fitness exercises that promote pelvic floor support and avoids high impact exercises with the potential to strain your pelvic floor and worsen pelvic floor dysfunction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michelle Kenway
Michelle Kenway is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Prolapse Exercises Inside Out. Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women with prolapse and after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floo