The pelvic floor – the muscle group we are not 100% sure where they are, what they do, but we know we should probably squeeze them during and after pregnancy. Why do we go on about them SO much – well, they are crucial for many daily functions. Let’s start with a little bit of anatomy shown in this beautiful picture by @duvet_days…I mean has the pelvic floor ever looked so pretty?! It’s an aerial view looking down into the pelvis showing the pelvic floor in light pink extending from the pubic bone, at the front of the pelvis, to the coccyx at the base of the spine. It wraps around the urethra, vagina and bowel keeping us continent and contributing to sexual pleasure – so pretty important!
Post birth we can be left feeling that our pelvic floor has given up on us and isn’t interested in returning back to its day job. We can be left wanting to send an SOS but not sure really where to direct it.
Some days you will feel like you are doing pelvic floor until you are blue in the face and getting nowhere. Now this could be because you have scar tissue in the pelvic floor and therefore its movement is restricted and seeing a women’s health physiotherapist can help with this, or it could just be that you are not activating the muscles correctly and need some help on the way. As a physiotherapist I find pelvic floor trainers can really aid recovery, but there are a lot on the market and it can be very confusing to work out which one is right for you.
Elvie is an award winning pelvic floor trainer which is widely recommended by health care professionals, and is now available on the NHS. To get all the facts about this amazing product Clare Bourne (@clarebournephysio @sixphysio) caught up with Kay Crotty, a highly specialist women’s health physiotherapist who was part of the Elvie design team.
What is the benefit of using a pelvic floor trainer?
Many women report that doing pelvic floor exercises is both boring and soul destroying because they don’t know if they are making any progress. Use of a pelvic floor trainer such as Elvie coupled with a phone provides guided novel workouts and tracks progress. These elements make it much easier to stay motivated and do the work required to restore the pelvic floor.
Why is the Elvie trainer different to the other pelvic floor trainers on the market?
Performing a basic lift of the pelvic floor correctly is essential for any training programme and yet to 30% of women are unable to perfume a contraction correctly without expert supervision. Elvie is the only device of its kind that has intelligent technology to detect whether or not a pelvic floor contraction is being performed correctly so that the user has absolute confidence in their workout.
It is amazing to hear that Elvie is now available for NHS prescription, can you tell us a little more about this? How can women access this?
The NHS has very recently accepted Elvie into its supply chain. This means that if a hospital trust/department or a GP is willing to fund it, it can be provided free of charge to the patient. It may or may not therefore be available depending on the funding decisions of particular NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning groups.
Is it ever too late to start pelvic floor?
No! The evidence is that we can strengthen our pelvic floor at any age!
So I think we can conclude that pelvic floor exercises are important, but often really hard to do and knowing which trainer to use can be daunting. Pelvic floor is for life, not just for pregnancy and the postnatal period so find what works for you. If you haven’t already, check out the Elvie trainer, you won’t regret it – @hello.elvie.
Elvie have kindly offered 20% off to the Mummy Tribe by using the code MUMMYTRIBE20 when you go to the following link https://bit.ly/2CtIEb9