I recently spoke with writer Jon Marcus about the benefits and risks of starting to run during the pandemic. The physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of running make it an ideal form of exercise during these uncertain times. However, there are risks of injury that must be considered when beginning any new form of exercise. It is important to return to running in a gentle progression to avoid stress fractures and other unwanted injuries that might land you in the emergency department, and thus placing you at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For beginners, I recommend beginning your run with a 2 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking method for 20-30 minutes while you work on building up your cardiovascular endurance and musculoskeletal strength. For intermediate runners, I recommend avoiding increasing mileage or speed by 10%-30% per week.
I am available for virtual running coaching to help you stay healthy and safe during this time. You can view my coaching packages here.
For the full article visit The Guide to Running During the Epolypse
I had the honor of discussing pelvic health tools and pelvic floor impairments associated with running with fellow pelvic PT Madison Splan. We discuss the evidence and data behind vaginal weights and dilators, and why I made the Intimate Rose Pelvic Wands.
I was asked to comment on Kegels in New York Magazine. Regarding Kegels, I noted that they are one component to overall management of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse: "There is strong evidence that strengthening the pelvic floor muscles helps with bladder control. Kegels have a place. They are a piece of the puzzle, but rarely the whole piece."
The article discussed the wide spread recommendation of Kegels as a cure for all types of pelvic floor impairment. It is important to note that Kegels are not intended to be treatment for those suffering from pelvic pain diagnoses- however it is possible that after proper treatment of the "pain driver" or the aspect of the pelvis that is creating pain, that strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles via Kegels is warranted.
The most important take away message is that seeking an evaluation from a well trained pelvic physical therapist is vital for comprehensive care.
There have been a number of fantastic books published int he past few years on pelvic health and women's health. These books are written by qualified medical doctors and pelvic health professionals who care deeply about their patients. My book If you are looking to grow your knowledge about about a particular diagnosis, or simply improve your general health, these books are for you:
1. The Vagina Bible by Jen Gunter, MD. From yeast infections to Kegels, Dr. Gunter covers a very wide spectrum of topics pertaining to the often poorly understood female organ. With a dash of humor she gives an evidence based run down of each topic and recommendations for particularly sensitive issues.
2. Healing Pelvic Pain by Amy Stein. Pelvic physical therapist Amy Stein provides a thorough guide on the treatment and management of common pelvic pain conditions. Drawing upon her extensive training and providing practical tips for self care, Amy also makes a strong case for seeing a pelvic physical therapist as part of recovery from pelvic pain.
3. Beating Endo by Iris Orbuch & Amy Stein. Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women, and can have devastating effects to the reproductive system and overall health. Gynecologist Iris Orbuch and pelvic physical therapist Amy Stein provide a comprehensive approach to managing this often poorly understood disease. Topics include the best evidence based managements, how to decrease overall inflammation, pain management and how to cure endo once and for all.
4. The Interstitial Cystitis Solution by Nicole Cozean & Jesse Cozean. Bladder pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and urinary frequency plague people with IC. Pelvic health physical therapist Nicole Cozean provides an overview of management techniques, why one size does not fit all when it comes to a diet or nutrition plan to manage IC, and practical solutions for those looking to feel better.
5. A Headache in the Pelvis by David Wise Ph.D. and Rodney Anderson M.D. Written by two men with different backgrounds who both have a profound personal experience with pelvic pain in addition to their professional experience providing treatment to many patients suffering. They outline the importance and how-to of managing trigger points in the pelvic floor, as well as the use of meditation and relaxation to reduce the overall stress experienced by the body.
6. Restoring the Pelvic Floor for Women by Amanda Olson. I don't mean to sound conceded- I really don't! My book covers gentle dose of anatomy, and a variety of common pelvic health issues experienced by women, with practical solutions on how to manage them. From frequent trips to the bathroom to constipation, and leaking when you sneeze, I shine light on common women's health issues. I use gentle (and clean!) humor and stories from my clinical experience to make the read enjoyable.
I had a wonderful time talking about pelvic health, my company Intimate Rose, and pelvic health pertaining to the running population with the two fantastic pelvic health PT's at PT Below the Waist.
I am passionate about my work at IntimateRose.com creating safe and effective tools for pelvic health over at www.intimaterose.com/ . In this interview I explain how the tools are used to treat incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain.
Additionally, I expound on how to effectively treat runners with pelvic floor dysfunction. My course, Pelvic Floor Implications for the Running Athlete is taught to clinicians all over North America. For more information on the curriculum, dates, and locations of this two day course, visit my courses page:
Running and The Pelvic Floor CEU course
To Listen on sound cloud:
Myofascial release is a type of manual therapy that reduces musculoskeletal and joint pain by improving the mobility of the fascia tissue that surrounds the muscles. It is often performed by physical therapists, massage therapists, and osteopaths to treat pain in the joints, and muscles.
Myofascial release can be uncomfortable at times, however it should never be performed in a manner that is truly painful. Although some people may bruise slightly after myofascial release, it should never be performed to the point that it causes deep bruising. If you have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners you should avoid deep myofascial release.
Self mobilization of the myofascia is possible with the use of tools. Differently shaped and textured tools are widely available.
Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Stainless steel Gua Sha : This stainless steel device is perfectly shaped for myfascia release of the hand, forearm, iliotibial band, and calf.
: 2. 4 Piece Gua Sha Set: This diverse set allows for variation in use. The duck foot shape is perfect for myofascia release of the face and scalp which is beneficial in people who have chronic headaches and neck pain. The others can be use on the arm, shoulder, leg, knee, and feet.
3. Long flat Graston Device: This device is perfect for myofascial release of the Iliotibial band, quadriceps, hamstring and calf. It is meant to be use with two hands on each end, and gentle scraped along larger surfaces.
4. Cupping Set: Cupping is an eastern medicine practice that uses suction through small cups to provide myofascial release. Traditional practices used fire to create suction, however this modern set is easy to use and uses a hand held pump device to create and control various levels of suction. To provide myofascial release using cups you can place the cup on the restricted area, use the pump to create suction, and gently move the cup up and down the entire length of the muscle. You can also place the cup, create the suction, and move the body part involved. For example, if the area of restriction is the quadriceps, place the cup and gently flex and extend the knee 10-20 times to induce a myofascial release.
5. Knot Hero Massager: The knot hero is a motorized massage device that comes with 5 different massage heads to allow for release of tender points and myofascia throughout the body. It can be used individually, or with the help of a partner for hard to reach areas. This device simulates massage techniques to stimulate blood flow and encourage the muscles to relax.
There is something about the new year that harkens the desire to set new intentions and fresh goals for the coming new year. Perhaps 2018 brought you challenges that left you retreating under the covers. Maybe you had a stellar year and you are looking to continue riding the tides of success. Regardless of where 2018 left you, the time for fresh goals is upon us.
If you feel stuck, or overwhelmed at determining where to direct your time and intentions for 2019, try thinking longer term. Where do you want to be in 20 years- financially, emotionally, physically? Close your eyes and picture yourself in the home that you want to live in. Who is sitting next to you? How will you spend your day? What does your weekend look like? In order to have this life in 20 years, where should you be in 10, 5, 3, and 1 year? By determining what the long term picture is, you can better determine what your day to tasks must drive towards.
From there, create 30, 60, 120, and 1 year goals that lead you in the direction of the life you want in 20 years. Write these down!
Here are a few of my favorite items to help drive personal and health goals for 2019:
Compliment your long runs, travel, or a long day on your feet with compression socks. These compression socks by Treat My Feet won't slip and provide perfect medical grade compression all day.
Weighted Blanket by Aura
Weighted blankets soothe nerves and nurture a calm and relaxing feel by providing gentle compression to the lymphatic and nervous system. Unwind after a long day and recharge naturally.
Give your feet a treat with Treat My Feet's Electronic Callus Remover Pedicure Tool
This book is for any woman who has avoided the trampoline or yoga class for fear of urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. If you have pelvic pain, dyspareunia, vaginismus, vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, lichen sclerosis, endometriosis, androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), MRKH, or tailbone pain (coccydynia), this book is for you. If you suffer from constipation, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, or over active bladder, this book is also for you. Learn how to manage conditions related to the pelvic floor, bladder, uterus, and bowel from a certified pelvic floor physical therapist. With a tasteful sense of humor, and compassion, Dr. Olson explains how to cure urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse using different types of Kegels, which foods and drinks to avoid for urinary urgency, and how to manage constipation.
The pelvic floor muscles are a vital system of muscles that support the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, and rectum). These muscles can be too weak, too tight, or have poor co-ordination that can lead to issues with urination, defecation, pelvic pain, and intercourse. The good news is that these issues are solvable with natural remedies. Furthermore, learn how a pelvic physical therapist in your area can provide additional one on one help and specific kinds of treatment to address women’s health issues.
If you are trying to find a natural way of curing common women’s health issues and avoid surgery, this book is for you. Find out how breathing, down training the pelvic floor, vaginal dilator training and specific pelvic exercises can help with pelvic pain. Pelvic exercises for beginners and more advanced exercises for progression are demonstrated, and most importantly which exercises are most beneficial to women’s health.
Available on amazon at: http://clickmetertracking.com/RTPF