Special #1502

Pelvic Floor Ultrasound

2 min - Special


Brent Anderson uses an ultrasound machine to measure the activity of the pelvic floor. He explains that most people are over recruiting the abdominal wall which actually pushes the pelvic floor down instead of pulling it up. We need to be able to contract and release the muscles in order to use the pelvic floor correctly.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jan 22, 2014
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Hello, my name is Dr Brent Anderson President, founder of Pollstar plots, and we're here at the PMA conference in Fort Lauderdale and we're taking advantage of all these wonderful Pilatos around and we're measuring the activity of the pelvic floor. And what we're looking at with the ultrasound is to see if when a pilates teacher think he or she is lifting their pelvic floor, that they're actually lifting it and not pushing it down. Well surprise, surprise, surprise, 50% of the plot is teachers are actually pushing the pelvic floor down. So one of the things we think is happening is that plot, these teachers are not understanding the basic physiological concept that they do have all the other muscles of the abdominal muscles in the pelvic floor. For example, a muscle needs to be able to contract and relax. If we walk around all the time holding the muscle contract, you will end up with what's called a contracture.

So we think the potties teachers are over recruiting their abdominal wall and lifting up pelvic floor all the time and now they're not able actually to relax it. So what I want to do here is, um, my, my colleague Kim and I are looking actually at a video image of the pelvic floor utilizing the realtime ultrasound. And as I ask him to gently lift the pelvic floor up, we should actually see the pelvic floor lift just like that. On the screen here, what we're actually looking at is this curve here is actually the ultrasound head looking through the abdominal wall. And this is the bladder which gives us the darkness. And that's how we know that the baseline here is the pelvic floor. So when I ask him to lift the pelvic floor, we should see this line lift up and then relax and see a drop back down and lift and down. Now what we're seeing here, actually in, in a number of the plotters teachers is they think they're lifting it up, but they're actually going to Kim and push it down, pushing it down.

The pushing down typically is coming from an over recruitment push down. Again, you can see the muscles coming in and pushing the bladder down in the pelvic floor down. So this doctor Brent Anderson at Pollstar PyLadies asking you to relax your pelvic floor and relax your abdominal wall, taken deep breath, do some squats, and make sure that you have a nice healthy pelvic floor by paying less attention to it at times, rather than too much attention to it.


1 person likes this.
Brent was she lifting the pelvic floor with her breath?
Hi Frank, it was really just isolated control of the muscle, as if I was asking you to flex your bicep muscle. The interesting phenomena is that many Pilates teachers thought they were contracting their pelvic floor and in reality they were not. Cheers
3 people like this.
how about deconditioned beginners (who maybe have little awareness of pelvic floor)? should pilates teachers cue to help them build awareness of both relaxed and 'lifted' sensations?
16 people like this.
Can you please share instruction on how to contract the PF versus push it down. What was your colleague doing differently? This distinction would be helpful. Thanks!
5 people like this.
I agree with Sam. Need a little more cueing to help clients distinguish between the lift and the contraction...always have been taught "In and Up". What is a good phrase to use instead? Love the ultra sound!
3 people like this.
I agree. So interesting. Please give us more information.
Very insightful. Thanks Brent!
2 people like this.
I too would love the cueing and imagery to avoid bearing down or pushing out. It's hard to tell if you are over or under-recruiting your abs while trying to pull everything up. You are a great source of knowledge. Thank you!
3 people like this.
I woke up at 2 am thinking about this!! My brainstorm idea is "" gently lift the pelvic floor like an elevator and hug "into" your spine to create your CORE, or "POWERHOUSE"". maybe someone can add or change the wording. I am constantly erasing and trying to find ways to explain to people. I instruct at the Y, so always have different levels in my class!
Should have been constantly READING ..hate typing without my contacts!
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