Improving women’s pelvic health can improve more than just lower back pain…
The pelvic health of many women can be compromised by gynaecological issues ranging from painful periods, difficult pregnancies and birth, and infertility. Female diseases such as Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovaries are also common place. These can seriously impact our pelvic health and our well-being through hormone changes, experience of pain, loss of sexual pleasure and body-image difficulties. The list can be very long, I’m sure you have your own to add, I have several after experiencing the menopause.
How Visceral Osteopathy Helps
As a visceral Osteopath I look at the organ support system all over the body. The ligaments, membranes, nerve and blood supply that this support system provides can influence the health of the organs themselves. The health of this support system influences and is influenced by how we move and how comfortable our musculo-skeletal system is.
At the root of female health I take especial care of how our pelvis moves and how our uterus and ovaries sit within the confines of the low pelvic bowl. These organs vie for space with other organs, as well as the muscles and joints of the hips and lower back. Any issues in one tissue will influence how all the others are working.
The female pelvis has two functions:
- It needs to offer postural support so that we can walk and move. It connects the hips to the lower spine. To assist this it is created with bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. These are designed to stiffen the area into a support thus providing a lever for the hips to lift and move the heavy legs.
- It needs to create the birth canal to enable a baby to leave the body.For this to happen it needs to be flexible, opening the joints and stretching the muscles thus reducing resistance when pushing out the infant head.
How Pelvic Structure meets Function
To enable both these functions a female pelvis is not fused, it has ligaments that stabilise the joints. These ligaments are reactive to female hormones which make them more elastic which in turn makes the pelvis more mobile. The more mobile a pelvis is, the more unstable it is when we move, and the more we need to rely on strength in our muscles.
The uterus sits inside the lower pelvic girdle, and is intimately connected to it by ligaments. These ligaments transfer abnormal movement to each other. Both pelvis and uterus also rely on the muscular support of our pelvic floor muscles.
These structures rely on good blood supply to bring hormones and nutrients where they are needed and remove them when they are not. Loss of this can lead to the pelvis becoming a bowl containing a soup of hormones and metabolic by-products.
What you can do
Changes in one area can have a huge influence on the whole pelvis and pelvic health. By keeping our lower body moving well and noticing messages of discomfort as they arise, we can take measures to bring back the harmony surrounding our female organs.
Regular daily exercise, such as walking, yoga, pilates and swimming all encourage safe movement for the pelvis, keeping muscles strong, ligaments soft and the blood supply pumping through.