By Julie Wiebe

The pelvic floor has long been the only muscle targeted in the battle against incontinence, and yet ignored in our pursuit of a strong ‘core’. New research has helped us understand that the pelvic floor is actually a critical part of the ‘core’ team and collectively that team works together to keep your center anchored and dry. Integrated teamwork, linked to the up and down pistoning action of our breath, provides a sturdy foundation that supports our joints and movement, accelerates fitness, and keeps us dry.

Pistoning system vs. a traditional pelvic floor strengthening model

Based on raw data collection***, 79% of the study participants had never had treatment for stress urinary incontinence. This is my target, the women who have never had treatment either due to reluctance to seek help, lack of access to help, lack of awareness that help exists, or time restraints. A strong majority of women either agreed or strongly agreed that they liked getting pelvic floor information online (82%), were able to perform the exercises on their own (85%), and understood the instructions they were given (88%). 97% would recommend the program to a friend! We used a brief incontinence likert scale, validated and reliable for incontinence, to measure outcomes and found that of the women that returned surveys, 85% noted an improvement in symptoms (61.8%= A little bit better; 23.5%= Much Better).

Please note that these improvements were experienced with independent practice over only 3 weeks! The thrust of the program is creating a balanced coordinated action of all the elements of the Pistoning system vs. a traditional strengthening model, with positive, immediate results. This was a preliminary study with a focus on feasibility. We kept it simple to promote participation and survey return. We feel like it is a good start to looking at the impact of both using an online telehealth format for pelvic health promotion and an integrative program for restoring pelvic health. I am hoping to do a follow-up that measures participant’s response to the program at longer intervals 6-8 weeks, and 6 months.

Pelvic Floor Pistol: Foundation for Fitness video

I am internationally recognized Physical Therapist, clinician, educator and advocate for women, specializing in returning women to fitness after injury and pregnancy. I guide you step-by-step through this self-paced video series offering new concepts, exercises, movement strategies and body awareness tips easily integrated into your day. A revolution for how you use your body, PFP: Foundation for Fitness is your first step toward resolving leaks and restoring a strong foundation for your movement and fitness.


 *** These numbers are based on raw data collection only


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