19 Feb Fixing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction with Claire Mockridge
‘Whoops moments’, ‘stress incontinence’, ‘sneeze pee’… you know where I’m going. Pelvic floor specialist, Claire Mockridge, shares a fascinating insight in to the highly common condition, pelvic floor dysfunction. Full article written below.
In my industry, I’m pretty familiar with pelvic floor dysfunction, yet it’s generally considered a taboo subject, despite being a condition that in the UK, an estimated one in three women and one in 10 men have. Not realising the importance of the pelvic muscles, many people ignore it and battle on, rather than addressing the symptoms. This is where Claire Mockridge comes in, who, as a qualified specialist in pelvic floor dysfunction, has been working with pre and postnatal clients for some 12 years.
“THINGS SHOULDN’T BE FALLING OUT OF OURSELVES AT THE RATE THEY ARE”
“The most common problem in women tends to be the stress incontinence, when the pelvic muscles have trouble holding urine in; the ‘whoops’ moment when you laugh, cough or sneeze, jump, hop or do a high impact exercise and some leakage occurs. This isn’t normal – things shouldn’t be falling out of ourselves at the rate they are – it’s a clear sign that something needs to be done about it.”
I don’t know about you but I’m keen to know what this is. “For five or six years, a lot of the exercises I was giving my clients weren’t really improving their pelvic floor symptoms, so I went down the Pilates route which was of some help but, then I discovered the biomechanical approach.”
LOAD YOUR SKELETON
Look at your posture, how you hold your body, how you stand, sit and walk. A few simple adjustments to your skeleton can mean there is less friction on the joints. If you can load your skeleton (mechanical stimulation of the skeleton), the muscles attached to it will function better.
Knowing where the foot is relative to the pelvis can make a big difference to the technique and function of your pelvic muscles. As Claire explains: “A lot of people with PFD don’t have very strong gluteals which I sometimes call ‘flat arse syndrome’ and they also have ‘duck feet’. It’s the first thing I assess using my biomechanics skills.
CLAIRE’S PATH TO FUNCTIONING NORMALLY
- ‘Unduck’ your feet. What do your feet look like when you stand naturally without thinking? One of the first things I cover in my classes is how to stand correctly and align your feet, by positioning your feet so that the outside edges of the feet are straight. Fixing your foot mechanics is actually very simple and it’s vital to correct your stance if you have PFD.
- Work out what exercise or movement it is that causes the sneeze wee and avoid that particular exercise for the short-term, or perform the movement better.
- “WAKE UP YOUR BOOTAY!” The relationship between your butt and your feet. Glute strength is key, as well as foot mechanics. When you walk upstairs, you shouldn’t miss out on some butt cheek work – every time you walk up the stairs, drive your back leg behind you, engaging the gluteal. If you follow the leg down through the knee, down through the shin, and down to the ankle and the foot, how the foot operates during gait, affects the gluteal, which affects the pelvic floor. You’re not going to work your gluteals or pelvic floor by sitting around. For a properly functioning pelvic floor, you need to build yourself a butt.
- DITCH THE HIGH HEELS: Even a trainer actually has a heel raise on it.
- FIRE UP THOSE GLUTES: Bang out three sets of 10 squats to get your bum firing when you come out of the squat.
- EXERCISE BAREFOOT: If you suffer from foot pain and have tried custom made insoles without success, this can strengthen and mobilise the foot.
- KEEP ON WALKING: in order to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
If you have pelvic floor weakness, Claire is your woman. For details about her classes, go to clairemockridge.com. You can also follow her at: instagram.com/clairemockridge; twitter.com/clairemockridge; facebook.com/ClaireMockridgeFitness