LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – From urinary frequency to leakage, issues with the pelvic floor are common but rarely talked about. That is why a therapist at Baptist Health and her patient are sharing their story to let others know there is help.
From squats to core strength, Occupational Therapist Stephanie Warner puts Taryn King through various exercises at the Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute.
“I was in the middle of training for a half iron man, and I ended up pregnant,” King said.
King had a larger baby and a high-risk pregnancy. When she went back to training, she started having problems.
“I was going to the restroom all the time, especially in my running,” King said. “I couldn’t even go three miles without having to stop halfway through to go to the restroom.”
King said many people told her that is just something you must deal with after pregnancy.
“Even when I talk about it to my mother and my grandmother they are like ‘Oh yeah honey,'” King said.
Warner said that is not the case.
“It’s common, it is not normal,” Warner said. “We do not have to live like this anymore. There is help.”
She is a pelvic floor specialist.
“It makes a nice little hammock from the front of your pelvis all the way back to your tailbone,” Warner said.
She works with men and women to address some of the issues that come with it.
“Urinary frequency, urgency, urinary leakage, fecal leakage, pain, some pressure down on the pelvic region,” Warner said.
Warner looks at a patient’s habits.
“What are your bowel habits, what are you consuming during the day, what are your behaviors,” Warner said.
Then she gets even more specific and investigates how a patient exercises and even how they breathe.
“If you’re exercising and you’re taking a big breath in and you’re holding it, you’re going to put lots of pressure on your pelvic floor which can lead to pelvic organ prolapse,” Warner said.
Two months into King’s sessions, she is already seeing improvement.
“Now I can actually run three miles without having to stop to use the restroom,” King said. “My end goals are definitely in sight now and I’ve even dropped two minutes off my 5K.”
Both men and women can benefit from the therapy. Just talk to your primary care physician or your gynecologist.