Now that we have learned what the core is, and what happens to the core while the baby is growing (DRA). So if you have any questions about Diastasis, go check out this blog!
Let’s cover intra-abdominal pressure and what role it plays with the core musculature. Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is the steady state pressure within the abdominal cavity. So think of the space in between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor (yes there are all the organs in this space) and that is like a bubble of pressure that can vary with activity. If you are unfamiliar with IAP then you may be wondering why it is essential… Let’s give a few examples to show what the IAP does.
Your body needs to be able to adapt to these changes and the weight lifted in order to manage IAP. When force creates increased IAP and your core is strong or stable enough to handle it, then your body is going to compensate somehow. Intra-abdominal pressure can be mismanaged, and this is where symptoms can begin to show up. So let’s take those examples and apply a common pelvic floor dysfunction and show what that could look like:
These are all very real examples of situations that happen commonly to women who have had a baby. That is not to say that this is “bad”, but it’s just pelvic floor dysfunction that can easily be treated by specialized pelvic floor healthcare professionals. There was a study that went out a few years ago that said that 1 out of 4 women in the gym experienced some level of urinary incontinence. There is a simple solution to this.
Now managing your IAP can make those conditions easier to handle. How does one know how to manage pressure, better? That’s a great question – and hands-on guidance is the easiest way to demonstrate, however via the internet (lol) makes it difficult to do.
A few signs that you can look for to know that you are not handling your IAP efficiently are any of the scenarios above listed (^) and if you have a weak core and cannot activate it appropriately then you might notice some dome shape pop up along your abdomen, also sometimes called conning. If you experience any sort of urinary incontinence with exercise, coughing, lifting or jumping then a physical therapy consult could greatly improve your symptoms!!
If you have any questions about how to get a pelvic floor physical therapy consultation or if you’re interested in a free discovery call with Belle Therapy + Wellness, then please feel free to email on the contact form and someone will get back to you within 24 hours!