I got my period last night! This means two things:
1) That things feeling tighter isn’t a backslide, and there’s a reason and common denominator behind this (I got a period last time my pelvic floor got tighter and abdominal issues reared up, too).
2) That there really isn’t a backslide, because it’s been less tight and painful, with lesser abdominal issues than last time I had a period. So this is actually real progress.
My abdomen got super crampy in the car this morning. I adjusted my posture, and shortly thereafter, it got WAY better. Direct correlation? I’ve been watching it today, not tucking my tailbone, especially when I sit, and it hasn’t been bad.
I thought this morning of this bit I heard on the The Liberated Body podcast with Judith Hanson Lasater:
“When you stand with a normal lumbar curve, the viscera or organs. Jean Pierre Barral has a theory about a visceral column and spinal column and they support one another. When we tuck the tailbone the organs fall down onto the prostate, the bladder, and the uterus which I think contributes to prolapse for women, and I have a theory that it affects prostate issues as well.”
Is that part of the connection between my pelvic floor and abdomen, and why my abdomen gets upset when I have a period and am tucking my tailbone? I hadn’t thought of that before, but it definitely makes sense.
I was reading this and thinking about how tight my pelvic floor muscles are. Katy says, “The action of the pelvic floor muscle, like every muscle, is position and load-dependent. If this muscle group was “designed to be in constant contraction” then when we laid down it would be generating the same force with a smaller load, which should not be happening in muscle.” Mine are as tight lying down as they are when I stand, I think. Their default position is contraction.
I’ve been getting better at being mindful of this lately. I think of it many times a day, and I’m getting better at keeping them relaxed for longer periods of time when I do think of it. It used to last about ten second before I paid the slightest bit of attention to anything else, and then they’d default to their “tight and lifted” state.
So I’m improving that end of it quite a lot. I still need to do more reading on how to engage and strengthen my glutes appropriately so they provide the proper counter-balance to my pelvic floor. Once I get the sitting worked out a little, that will probably be my next focus. More squatting, it appears.
I’ve been realizing how often I sit on my sacrum, and how much that must be contributing to my pelvic floor issues.
It’s hard to correct. All my “curled up in bed/on the couch” positions involve rounding my sacrum such that it’s bearing weight, and almost certainly stressing all the pelvic floor muscles that attach to my coccyx. I rarely sit on my sitz bones like I should be. I’m trying; it’s hard to remember, and I must be overcompensating because it often makes my lower back hurt. It’s especially hard in the car where, even with the towel I now have in the driver’s seat to compensate, I’m still fighting the backwards tilt of the bucket seat.
So, I’m trying to figure out how to sit well, and going to try a head pillow to see if that makes it come more easily for me.
Helpful things I’ve found so far:
The Basics of Sitting, Part One (other parts linked at the bottom)
Ramblings from my pelvis
I’m going to try to sit a lot less, but since I only have so much control over that right now (and especially in the car), I’m also going to be working on sitting better.
About a five-minute video with biomechanist Katy Bowman about the plevic floor:
Pelvic Floor Demystified
So perhaps it is time for more glute work in my world.