The Highs and Lows of Physiotherapy Homework

The Highs and Lows of Physiotherapy Homework

I recently had my first pelvic floor physiotherapy appointment. I was shocked and elated at the outcome.

My physiotherapy homework is surprisingly manageable. To begin, I must perform each of the following exercises for at least 30 seconds per day:

  • Cat-cow: I do this pose regularly, so this was easy to integrate with my daily schedule.
  • Sideward lunge: I don’t actually have a name for this pose, so sideward lunge is the best I could come up with. Essentially, I am stretching one leg to the side while slightly bending the knee that’s stabilizing me. I hold the pose then repeat it with my other leg.
  • Forward fold: In this exercise, I stand with my legs slightly apart and bend forward so that my hands rest on a chair or sofa.
  • Child’s pose: This exercise requires me to settle into child’s pose and breathe slowly and deeply with my belly, envisioning my sit bones pulling apart.

These exercises are manageable because they’re not very time-consuming. I try to exercise five days a week, and I stretch afterward to ensure that I’m relaxing my pelvic floor. I’ll have to set a reminder of some sort to ensure that I stretch when I first wake up on the weekends. I managed to stretch before bed on a recent Saturday, but forgot the next day because I was so removed from my usual routine.

I think it’ll take some time for me to see any real changes, but I do feel that my bladder behavior has altered somewhat. The frequency hasn’t changed, but it’s easier to pass urine. It’s usually a constant struggle that involves multiple attempts!

The next part of my healing process is altering my food and water intake. It turns out that I’m drinking triple the amount of water that I should be for my height and weight. Four to five liters per day might be necessary if I were active, but I sit at my desk most of the time. Some days, I don’t even make it outside. My physiotherapist said that my water intake could actually be diluting nutrients and washing them out before I get the chance to absorb them.

I’m currently allocated 1.6 liters of water per day. The first day was awful. I probably had at least 3.5 liters because I was so thirsty. But it’s a start! I don’t know if I’ll ever reach 1.6 liters or if that amount is even healthy for me, but I agree that four to five liters probably isn’t wise.

I haven’t started an elimination diet yet, but I’ve scheduled a consultation with a pelvic pain nutrition specialist and will explore the option with her. In the meantime, I’m eliminating tea, including decaf, because it always increases my pain levels. Next month, I’ll eliminate cacao.

I was scared of managing painful bladder syndrome, but so far, nothing has been too overwhelming. I feel ready and prepared for what’s to come. After all, these temporary challenges could lead to a long-term solution.

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Jessica is the creator of This EndoLife.com, a website dedicated to supporting women with endometriosis, women’s health conditions and the associated mental health issues that accompany them. She is also host of This EndoLife Podcast, where she interviews guests managing chronic illnesses and mental health problems in their own unique ways and are helping others to do the same. Jessica has a background in the arts and charity, having spent the past six years working with organizations supporting women with endometriosis, vulnerable young people and survivors of domestic violence and trafficking.
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Jessica is the creator of This EndoLife.com, a website dedicated to supporting women with endometriosis, women’s health conditions and the associated mental health issues that accompany them. She is also host of This EndoLife Podcast, where she interviews guests managing chronic illnesses and mental health problems in their own unique ways and are helping others to do the same. Jessica has a background in the arts and charity, having spent the past six years working with organizations supporting women with endometriosis, vulnerable young people and survivors of domestic violence and trafficking.

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