How we can help

Hypopressives

Joanna Dinham – Level 1 Trainer

Background

I trained with Hypopressives UK in October 2017 as a Level 1 Trainer. Hypopressive exercises involve a series of specific postures and breathing techniques, they are a low pressure fitness technique. The aim of the exercises are to help increase the resting tone and involuntary function of the core and pelvic floor muscles. They are documented to have been started by a physical therapist Dr Marcel Caufriez in the 1980s, they are now widely used in Spain, France and South America.

 

Brief overview of pelvic floor issues

Many people suffer with pelvic floor issues – both men and women can benefit from pelvic floor exercises. Incontinence, sexual dysfunction and pelvic organ prolapse are some of the disorders that can arise from issues with the pelvic floor. It is not only post-partum women who suffer with pelvic floor weakness, but many elite athletes have been found to suffer with it. According to research up to 70% of trampolinists, 56-67% of artistic gymnasts and 43% ballet dancers suffer with urinary incontinence (Gram and Bø 2019 and Da Roza et al., 2015).

 

Causes of Damage

Damage to the pelvic floor muscles can come from many different places, if they too weak or too overactive they will not function as they should. The muscles can become weak from lack of use, poor posture, bad habits, pregnancy, childbirth, post surgery/medical procedure or nerve damage. An overactive pelvic floor can be caused by trauma (childbirth) or an inability to relax.

 

What should I do if I’ve got pelvic floor issues?

Do not ignore pelvic floor issues. If you have recently experienced a change in your pelvic floor it is important to discuss them your GP. Don’t be embarrassed or worried about discussing more sensitive subjects with your GP, they are trained to deal with a wide range of health conditions and will likely have seen patients with similar things before. There are many conditions that can cause changes in your pelvic floor, sometimes these changes can be a sign of other health conditions so it is important to get things checked out.

NHS direct has lots of information:

Urinary incontinence https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-incontinence/

Pelvic organ prolapse: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pelvic-organ-prolapse/

 

 

Level 1 Trainer

 

Hypopressives – a bit of evidence

Hypopressive exercises aren’t suitable for everyone, but they are a non-invasive way of increasing your pelvic floor strength. Guimarães (2015) found that hypopressives are equally as effective as kegal exercises to train the pelvic floor both in relation to power and endurance. However, Ruiz de Viñaspre Hernández (2018) concluded in a systematic evaluation that there is a lack of quality clinical trials. On a more positive note there is growing anecdotal evidence of reduction of grades 1-2 pelvic organ prolapse from numerous trainers.

 

Hypopressives teaching structure

I usually integrate the Hypopressive exercises in with my chiropractic treatments, incorporating the postures and breathing techniques in your ‘homework’. For some patients treatment time is dedicated to 1:1 hypopressives. I run taster workshops on request with a maximum of three participants.

 

Taster Workshops

Taster workshops are an hour long. They are designed to give participants a better understanding of the Hypopressive exercises. We start with a talk, enabling me to explain the main concepts and answer any questions. The second part of the session is practical, we will start with getting to grips with the breathing technique before trying a couple of different postures.

If you want to find out more about hypopressives either contact me or check out the hypopressives UK website on https://www.ukhypopressives.com/what-is-hypopressives/

 

References

  • Gram, M. and Bø, K. (2019). High level rhythmic gymnasts and urinary incontinence: Prevalence, risk factors, and influence on performance. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 30(1), pp.159-165. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6916160/ Accessed 8.3.20
  • Da Roza, T., Brandão, S., Mascarenhas, T., Jorge, R. and Duarte, J. (2015). Volume of Training and the Ranking Level Are Associated With the Leakage of Urine in Young Female Trampolinists. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 25(3), pp.270-275.
  • Guimarães, F and Araújo, G. A (2015) Comparação entre a aplicação dos exercícios de kegel e ginástica hipopressiva para ganho de força muscular do assoalho pélvico: em funcionárias da biblioteca Reitor João Herculino do UniCeub. Available at https://repositorio.uniceub.br/jspui/handle/235/9348
  • Ruiz de Viñaspre Hernández, R. (2018). Efficacy of hypopressive abdominal gymnastics in rehabilitating the pelvic floor of women: A systematic review. Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition), 42(9), pp.557-566. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2173578618301458

 

 

 

 

 

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Thornbury
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