The Top 6 Core Strength and Pelvic Floor Problems That Can Be Easily Fixed with Physical Therapy

The Top 6 Core Strength and Pelvic Floor Problems That Can Be Easily Fixed with Physical Therapy


Are you be needlessly suffering from a common, but definitely not normal, pelvic floor problem or core strength issue that can be easily fixed?


My name is Dr. Aaron LeBauer from LeBauer Physical Therapy in Greensboro, North Carolina. I’m a doctor of physical therapy, massage therapist, yoga teacher, host of the Healthy GSO podcast, former semi-pro cyclist, husband, father of 2. I’ve been helping active people recover from pain and injuries for over 20 years.


Our clinic specializes in helping people heal their pain conditions & injuries without medications, injections or surgery. Some of the most common, but not normal, problems we’ve seen over the years are related to people who are suffering from pelvic floor issues.


Too often people have been told, “Well you’re a mom and that’s just the way it is.” “You just had a baby, it’s your badge of honor.” “You just need to live with it.” 


Men also have these issues and they report them a whole lot less. 


If you’re struggling with a pelvic floor problem, it’s going to cause a lot of different symptoms like: pressure, leaking, poor performance or pain.


You may feel an urge to go to the bathroom when it’s just not convenient. You may leak or have gas when jumping, squatting, running or even playing at the bounce house with your kids.

A pelvic floor problem can keep you from performing at your peak or from hitting a PR when you run or workout. It could keep you from picking up your kids comfortably or lifting a heavy suitcase.


Surprisingly, many times the symptom of a pelvic floor problem is back pain, a hip issue or even a knee problem! 


Here are the top six signs that you’re suffering from a pelvic floor or core strength problem that can be easily resolved with physical therapy. 


1) You Leak During Exercise, When You Laugh, Lift or Sneeze: 

You leak or pee (or are afraid you might) when you sneeze, laugh, run, squat, jump. You may even feel the need to wear a pad when you work out (especially on HIIT Days or Double Unders). 

This is called Stress Urinary Incontinence. It’s extremely common, especially after childbirth. It’s not how your body should function. Way too often women are told there’s nothing they can do about leakage, that it’s a “badge of honor” and you need to live with it. 

In reality, there are some pretty straight forward exercises you can do, (not just Kegels). Physical therapy is the solution most people don’t know about, not even your physician!


2) You Have Interstitial Cystitis and Were Told You Just Have to “Live with it.


You’ve been told you have interstitial cystitis, which is a condition where you might have bladder pressure, bladder pain, urinary frequency and sometimes pelvic pain.

The word ends in “-itis”, so many assume that it’s an inflammatory process. Antibiotics have not been proven to help this condition. Not all pain and dysfunctions are caused by “inflammation”. There are many common pain conditions that can be treated with the correct movements, muscle re-education and prescriptive exercise.

This is especially true if you’ve tried medications to address this problem and your symptoms are not gone. Unfortunately, many times the medications are aimed at treating only just a symptom, not the cause of the problem. 


More recently, interstitial cystitis has been termed “painful bladder syndrome” which is a generalized term. However it’s more accurate because we’re talking about a group of signs and symptoms with many different factors and causes, including lifestyle, diet, muscular tightness or imbalance.


3) Fullness & Pressure: 


You feel fullness or pressure in “your bottom” (ie: your rectum and/or vagina) when you run, jump, squat, lift or even just pick up your child. 


You have a prolapse. Pelvic organ prolapse is when a pelvic organ (bladder and/or uterus) droops and descends instead of being held up by the muscles in your pelvic bowl. That’s something that can be quickly resolved with physical therapy.

By quickly, I don’t mean in a day, with a shot or medication. I mean over time, within a few weeks to months. That is much “quicker” than waiting years or never doing anything about this because you have been told “there’s nothing you can do about it.”


4) Sex is Painful: 

Sex with your partner is no longer enjoyable, or even painful, especially after giving birth. 


Maybe you’ve had other traumas in the past and sex is uncomfortable, painful or even completely unenjoyable. Often, one of the major causes of the discomfort and pain could be due to muscular tightness (kind of like a protective spasm) or muscular guarding. This is like when you anticipate being tickled or when you get nervous or anxious at work and feel it in your neck and shoulders. 


Pelvic floor muscles can do the same thing and react in similar ways to protect your body. After a comprehensive Total Body Diagnostic exam, physical therapy, including muscle retraining, mindfulness, and awareness you can reduce the discomfort and pain associated with sex.


5) Now That You Had a Baby You Should Accept that Your Body Isn’t Strong: 

You’ve been told that, since you’ve had kids you just need to accept you’ll have leakage, back pain, hip pain, or that you shouldn’t even feel confident in your body. 


This is the problem with our medical system. Just because you’ve had a baby (or 2, or 3 or more…) you should not just expect to leak, have back pain, hip pain, pain with sex, or not feel confident in your body.


You can change those things, your body is strong and resilient (you’re amazing, you had a baby!!!). If a medical provider has told you this or something similar, I want to apologize to you on their behalf. They just didn’t know how it came across and made you feel.


6) Kegels Don’t Solve the Problem: 

You’ve been doing kegels but your pelvic pain, pelvic floor issue, leaking, fullness, or symptoms have not gone away. 


We all know about kegels. They’ve been the “fix all” for pelvic floor problems, even way back since the 80’s when Dr. Ruth helped make talking sex and kegels less taboo.

“Kegels” is an exercise where you squeeze the muscles that keep you from going to the bathroom. It’s a voluntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles that you do repetitively to strengthen and tighten the muscles.

Dr. Arnold Kegel 1st published a description of the exercises back in 1948 as a way to control stress urinary incontinence. 

If  Kegels aren’t helping, then you don’t just need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. 

Or maybe you’re not recruiting the muscles correctly. Unlike bicep curls, you can’t see the pelvic muscles contract. 

Too often we try to fix a problem with a general exercise that’s not specific enough. In this case strengthening or tightening the pelvic floor muscles is not the solution.

Sometimes it can even make the symptoms or problem worse.


Asking Doctor Google for a Diagnosis


You can try a bunch of different things and see if they work. Maybe they will. 


They probably won’t. Or they will help for a bit, but not 100%.


Don’t waste any more time waiting! I recommend making an appointment with a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in treating these problems. 


Find a specialist who has the time to talk with you, ask  the right questions, look through your whole body. Then they can figure out exactly where the problem is and how to fix it, not just treat your symptoms.


If you have these symptoms, there is hope, a solution for you and we can help. 


At LeBauer Physical Therapy all of our new patients start with a Total Body Diagnostic exam.

Regardless of the problem, we’re going to look at everything. We take a comprehensive look at your whole body. The Total Body Diagnostic exam tells us the cause of the problem and how we can fix it.


There is no miracle cure for these problems and issues. There is not a pill, a shot or a surgery that will fix them immediately and for good. It’s just not that simple.


It takes time, effort and hard work to change how your body feels and performs. When you know where the problem comes from and you put in the work, then you’re going to get the payoff.


You can feel strong and confident, hit your PR and be a good role model to your kids again!


If you have any of the symptoms above and have struggled to find an answer there is hope. We see people with these problems every day and we would love to help you! 


We would love to chat to see how we can help you feel strong, active, and healthy without pain meds. injections, or surgery. 


If you’d like to speak to our specialist about what’s going on or  want to schedule a Total Body Diagnostic exam, please call us at our clinic at 336-271-6677


If you’re not ready for a call just yet or unsure if you want to commit to trying physical therapy, download The Pelvic PT Checklist.

This FREE downloadable checklist will determine if you have a pelvic floor or core strength problem that can be easily fixed with physical therapy.


Physical therapy isn’t just for rehab after surgery or when you get injured. 


Physical therapy helps you move well, feel confident and optimize your ability to be fit, strong and healthy. 


Your pelvic floor is the key to being and feeling strong!

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