Our Monthly PT Meeting with Newest Staff PT Christie Silvers!

Christie Silvers, who has an extensive background and training in manual tehcniques spoke on the thoracic spine at our recent PT meeting and how it can effect lumbosacral (low back), pelvic and cervical (neck) dysfunction. She quoted Diane Lee’s “rings of dysfunction” and looking for the primary driver as well as Mulligan’s snags techniques and mobilization for the thoracic spine accompanied by deep diaphragmatic breathing.  Christie mentioned how a dysfunction in the thoracic and rib area can affect and possibly be the primary driver of the dysfunction in the pelvic floor region, whether it is weakness resulting in urinary or bowel leakage or pelvic girdle muscle overactivity, resulting in urinary or bowel retention, frequency, urgency and/or pelvic and sexual pain. She demonstrated techniques that can be used gently or with moderate pressure to help with mobility in the the thoracic area. Christie reiterated that you should treat soft tissue restrictions and in some cases that alone corrects the dysfunction, but in some cases the joints require more mobilization. It was a great presentation and the main point was to always look up and down the spine, and to look at the whole body, because you may be missing initiator on the dysfunction.
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Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) on PBS!

Stress urinary incontinence, or SUI, is a part of the daily lives of so many women, but we rarely see attention given to it in the media so women can learn they’re not alone. Recently, though, PBS aired a half-hour long episode of their show “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” dedicated entirely to the subject! Entitled “Managing Female Stress Urinary Incontinence,” the episode featured not only doctors discussing the condition, but women talking about their experiences with it. You can watch the entire episode here, on the American Medical Systems website. Watch and tell us what you think and what you learn!

Personal Training

There are innumerable benefits to having a strong pelvic floor–from stronger urinary continence to better orgasms–and one of the ways to do that is through Kegel exercises, as we’ve definitely heard before. Just squeeze the same muscles you would as if you were looking to stop your flow of urine. But you can also use Kegel exercisers to do this! In a recent article on Health magazine’s website, “Very Personal Trainers: Kegel Devices to Work Your Pelvic Floor,” writer Rachel Swalin lists some Kegel gadgets to add some extra strength where you might not be able to do so on your own: there’s Elvie, kGoal, and Skea, all of which have corresponding smartphone apps to track your progress!

It’s important to remember, though, that with the Kegel exerciser, you should NOT overdo it. A couple of times per week at 10 to 20 reps each time is fine, if you have no problems. Three times per day is sufficient if you do have leaking, but really if you have any pelvic, tailbone, lower abdominal pain or urinary/bowel frequency and urgency, you should consult a pelvic floor physical therapist first. Amy’s book, Heal Pelvic Pain, is only $12 on Amazon and it explains Kegels really well as well as adjunctive exercises to go along with the Kegels. It also goes into detail when to and not to do Kegels, so take a read before jumping into your new purchase.

Mythbusting at Your Core

Did you know that…

The core is not only made of abdominal muscles?

You don’t have to activate your core?

A straight spine is not a good spinal posture?

In his recent “17 Core Stability and Posture Myths That Annoy Me Greatly” post on his blog The Physio Detective, Australian physical therapist Anthony Lo debunks a number of myths about posture and your core muscles. As physical therapists, these are of course things that we know to be true, but when it comes to these important parts of your body, many people outside of the field are not only sharing but perpetuating incorrect facts about them. Lo does an excellent job of bringing the myths to the forefront so non-physical-therapists can educate themselves, too! Take a look at his list and read closely to ensure your continued health and alignment!