Pelvic Floor Therapy for Prolapse

Pelvic Floor Therapy


There are lots of symptoms that moms often deal with after having a baby, including bladder incontinence, pelvic pain, diastasis recti, and prolapse. These symptoms can sometimes last well beyond the first 12 weeks postpartum, even lasting years if they aren’t addressed. Our current medical system is still catching up with the research that shows that pelvic floor therapy can be helpful for recovery after birth to help resolve these symptoms sooner rather than later, so a lot of moms are never referred to pelvic floor therapy and don’t learn that it is an option until later in life. 
One of these symptoms that seems to generate a lot of fear in moms is prolapse. This is often due to searching the internet and seeing images of the worst of the worst of this diagnosis, when in reality it is not as scary as you may think. And better yet, surgery is not always the only option. 
Prolapse is defined as “a displacement of a part or organ of the body from its normal position, usually downward or outward, often resulting in it protruding from an orifice.” 
Pelvic Floor Therapy for Prolapse
 To put it in simpler terms – your organs within your abdomen like your bladder, uterus, or rectum, can be displaced downward due to excessive pressure being generated down on them (such as pushing for hours during labor). Sometimes the amount of displacement is only a little bit, sometimes it is a lot. With increased displacement, some women see the tissue at their vagina or anus or they FEEL some sort of protrusion, heaviness, bulging sensation. That is just the organ from above pushing on either your vaginal canal or rectum and causing some displacement. 
The thing about prolapse is that SYMPTOMS of prolapse are not heavily correlated to the GRADE, or severity, of the prolapse. For example, some women have a Grade I prolapse which is considered a very mild prolapse, but their symptoms significantly affect their quality of life. Others may be assessed and told they have a Grade 3 prolapse, but didn’t even know it because they didn’t have symptoms. So your diagnosis of prolapse and what grade it is does NOT always mean that you are going to experience severe symptoms because of it. 

And this is where pelvic floor therapy comes in!

There is a lot of fear surrounding a prolapse diagnosis and poor messaging around what you can or shouldn’t do with a prolapse. 
One of the most common that we hear is “No heavy lifting” which is absolutely not true. The reason for this misleading advice is because lifting heavy generates more intra-abdominal pressure, and pressure is what can cause the displacement in the first place. BUT if you learn how to lift with good body and breathing mechanics, and you build the strength and control to manage pressure better – then you can absolutely get back to lifting weights! 
This is our speciality at Life In Motion Physical Therapy – helping you return to your active lifestyle with as much strength and confidence as possible, even with a prolapse. 
Some of the most important things we address when it comes to rehab for prolapse are: breathing mechanics, pelvic floor tension, core strength, and hip/glute strength. 

1- Breathing Mechanics

Breathing Mechanics
Your breath is important for so many reasons when it comes to managing your prolapse. Being able to diaphragmatic breath and expand through your ribs, belly, back, and pelvic floor helps us relieve tension through your core to allow for improved pressure management. Also, having the strength to get a full exhale and engage your abdominals can help with stabilization of your core/pelvic floor and allow for more efficient breathing to manage pressure. 
One simple way to start is just to BREATHE during exercise, heavy lifting, strenuous activities – rather than holding your breath. By breathing out as you move through a challenging effort, it decreases the pressure building up in your abdomen and reduces the amount of force downwards towards your pelvic floor. 

2- Pelvic floor tension

Oftentimes the assumption is that prolapse = weak pelvic floor….and that is not always the case. Sometimes the problem is that the muscles are too TIGHT, so they can’t move through a full range of motion and therefore cannot use their full capability in terms of strength to contract the way we need them to. So instead of going right to pelvic floor contractions, we need to teach those muscles how to “let go” so they then coordinate better with our movement, and allow space for pressure distribution within your pelvis to, again, reduce the displacement of the organs. 

3- Core Strength

The core includes more than just your abdominals, but abdominals are a big focus when it comes to managing pressure and overall stabilization and strength of pelvis. We need to get ALL of your abdominals working well together and coordinating with your breath and movement – especially with exhalation. 

4- Hips/Glutes

There are lots of muscles that work to stabilize your pelvis and pelvic floor including hamstrings, adductors, lateral glutes, gluteus maximus, and hip flexors. These are important areas of focus when it comes to strength programming because the more support that your pelvis feels, the better your pelvic floor muscles can function. 
The important thing to remember is that EVERYONE is different and experiences their prolapse differently, so a customized approach that is tailored to YOUR goals and level of function is the way to go. 
At Life In Motion, we take a very active and fitness-focused approach to our postpartum rehab and create customized programming for YOU and your goals. We can get you back to doing the activities that you want to be doing and provide guidance and support throughout that entire process. 
We encourage our clients to see a pelvic floor therapist if it is within their means SOONER rather than later so it is easier for your body to learn and adapt to new movement patterns, rather than trying to break YEARS of poor habits and patterns. Although, it is never too late for rehab!  

Logan Lynch
Owner & Head Clinician at Life In Motion Physical Therapy

What Other People Just Like You Are Saying About Life In Motion Physical Therapy In Dubuque

8+ 5-star reviews

- Jordan Albrecht

I really enjoyed my experience with Logan! She was a ton of help for my back pain both during the end of my pregnancy and postpartum. She always helped me reintroduce exercise into my life the right way postpartum & it made me feel so much more confident going back knowing my body was fully ready!


I worked with Logan for about 6 months because of knee pain I was having due to my lifting regiment. Logan identified many deficiencies in my movement patterns an taught me to rehab and maintain my movement. 6 months later I am pain free and back 100% to the sport I love.
A woman sitting on a trampoline.

Dr. Logan Lynch

Life In Motion Physical Therapy

We help female fitness athletes & active women PREVENT & OVERCOME pelvic floor issues during their pregnancy & postpartum journey.