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Returning to CrossFit After Cystocele: Latest Research and Guidelines



Ever heard of cystocele, or bladder prolapse? It's a little something that can happen to the pelvic floor, causing part of the bladder to move where it shouldn't, like in the vaginal canal. Now, if you've who's been diagnosed with this, you might be wondering when you can get back into some hardcore workouts, maybe even CrossFit. Well, before you dive in, it's super important to take things slow and steady. We want to make sure your pelvic floor stays happy and healthy, and that you don't accidentally make things worse. In this blog post, let's chat about the newest research and guidelines for safely getting back into CrossFit after dealing with cystocele. We'll focus on tips to protect that pelvic floor while still keeping up with your active lifestyle. Let's do this!


So firstly, what is a bladder prolapse AKA Cystocele?

Cystocele occurs for a variety of reasons causing the bladder to shift from its normal position - usually related to childbirth, menopause, chronic coughs or constipation. This condition can lead to urinary symptoms, pelvic discomfort, and a feeling of vaginal bulging or pressure. Returning to high-impact exercises like CrossFit after cystocele requires careful consideration to avoid putting excessive strain on the cystocele.


First steps:

Before you jump back into the world of CrossFit or any other intense workout, it's super important to have a chat with a healthcare pro who knows their stuff about pelvic health. Think pelvic floor physiotherapist, GP or urogynecologist – these folks really know their stuff! They can check out what's going on with your cystocele, see how your pelvic floor is doing, and then give you some personalized advice based on your unique situation. Trust me, it's a great way to make sure you're on the right track! Why not book with our resident Women's health physiotherapist Emily Lavine? Book now!


Pelvic floor Control:

Taking care of your pelvic floor is like finding the sweet spot in a suspension system for your car – it's all about the right balance between strength, control, and relaxation. This balance is key to supporting your pelvic organs and making sure those cystocele symptoms don't get worse. According to some cool research from the Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy, giving those pelvic floor muscles some love, with exercises like Kegels, can really up their game and help ease prolapse symptoms. And here's a pro tip: team up with a pelvic floor physiotherapist for some expert advice on the best exercises and nailing that perfect technique - as the majority of women aren't activating all the right areas. Your pelvic floor will thank you!



Focus on Core Stability:

Maintaining a strong and stable core is important when returning to CrossFit after cystocele. Core exercises that engage the deep abdominal muscles, such as the transverse abdominis and multifidus, can provide additional support to the pelvic floor. Research published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that core stability exercises can positively impact pelvic floor muscle function and reduce symptoms of pelvic floor disorders.


Progress Gradually and Modify Movements:

When reintroducing CrossFit exercises, it is crucial to progress gradually and modify movements as needed to protect the pelvic floor. Avoid exercises that put excessive downward pressure on the pelvic floor, such as heavy lifting, jumping, or straining. Instead, focus on low-impact or modified versions of CrossFit movements that prioritize proper form and pelvic floor protection.



Breathing and Intra-Abdominal Pressure Management:

Proper breathing techniques and managing intra-abdominal pressure are essential during CrossFit workouts after cystocele. Research published in the International Urogynecology Journal emphasizes the importance of coordinating breathing with exercise to avoid excessive strain on the pelvic floor. Learning to engage the diaphragm and coordinate breath with movements can help protect the pelvic floor and reduce the risk of symptom exacerbation.


Monitor Symptoms and Listen to Your Body: As you return to CrossFit, it is vital to pay attention to any symptoms or discomfort in the pelvic area. If you experience urinary leakage, pelvic pressure, or pain, it is essential to modify or discontinue the exercise and seek guidance from your healthcare professional. Understanding and respecting your body's limits is key to preventing further injury or worsening of cystocele symptoms.


Conclusion: Returning to CrossFit after cystocele requires a mindful and cautious approach to protect the pelvic floor and maintain optimal pelvic health. By consulting with a healthcare professional, rebuilding pelvic floor strength, focusing on core stability, progressing gradually, modifying movements, managing intra-abdominal pressure, and listening to your body, you can safely resume CrossFit while minimizing the risk of exacerbating cystocele symptoms. Remember, each individual's situation may differ, so it's important to seek personalized advice from a healthcare professional who can guide you based on your specific needs and goals. With proper care and consideration, you can continue to pursue your CrossFit journey while prioritizing your pelvic floor health. Why not book an appointment today with our inhouse Women's Health physiotherapist Emily Lavine? Book now!

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