Posts tagged with "doctor"

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Dental Health Article for 360 MAGAZINE

At-Home Dentistry: Dos & Don’ts

By Justin Lyons

What are some of the craziest things you’ve done with your teeth at home? Have you tied one end of a string to your loose tooth and the other end of a string to your front door, then slammed it to pull the tooth out? Have you used pliers to pull a tooth? How about bleaching your teeth?

With viral TikTok and YouTube videos popularizing these practices, healthcare professionals are reasonably and rightfully concerned.

Dentist and author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living Dr. Nammy Patel wonders why anyone would perform self-surgery and risk trauma.

“Even before the pandemic, some people were resorting to DIY measures while trying to be cost-effective, but many of these actions bring significant risk to the teeth and gums,” Patel said. “People aren’t realizing that while it may be interesting and cheaper to try these dental actions on their own, it’s going to cost you more money, time, and pain before the mistakes are corrected by a professional.”

She specifically cites three at-home procedures people have taken up after losing insurance or while staying home. You should NOT be trying these three things at home:

1. Pulling a tooth: Dr. Patel says to never do this yourself. It can cause cavitation and infections in the bone that used to hold the tooth. Dental tools are designed to clean the area and remove the tooth, and trying to pull your tooth at home can lead to a snapped root, infection and surgical procedure. Just don’t do it because it might lead you to the dentist’s office anyways.

2. Bleaching: Dr. Patel says bleaching can lead to gum damage, burning in the gums, gum recession, tooth loss, enamel damage and tooth sensitivity.

“Some of the people you see doing this on social media are using hydrogen peroxide purchased online that has many times the amount allowed in regulated online teeth-whitening products,” Patel said.

3. Filing: First of all, ouch. Second of all, Dr. Patel says you can remove too much of your tooth if you try to smooth rough edges or adjust shape. It can change the way you bite and even cause jaw problems, specifically TMJ disorders.

There is dental care you can provide for yourself at home. In fact, Dr. Patel encourages three things. You SHOULD be doing these things at home:

1. Make your own toothpaste: Dentists provide suggested lists of ingredients as well as lists of toxic ingredients.

“By making toothpaste yourself you can create a better product, one without dangerous chemicals, and it’s cost-effective, too,” Dr. Patel said, adding that her toothpaste contains coconut oil and other natural oils and spices like cinnamon and peppermint.

2. Make your own mouthwash: Over-the-counter mouthwash typically contains alcohol, which is bad for the gums and can dry the mouth. Dr. Patel’s mouthwash is composed of peppermint oil, On Guard, distilled water and salt.

3. Power up your daily oral care: Dr. Patel suggests a water flosser, as it reaches cracks and crevices that typical floss does not.

“It’s easier to use than floss and provides a deeper clean with a pressurized stream of water, which pulsates to blast away food particles and built-up plaque,” Patel said.

She also suggested using a sonic toothbrush over an electric toothbrush to eliminate more bacteria.

It’s important to be careful and knowledgeable when it comes to arm-chair dentistry. If you try to avoid a seat in the dentist’s chair, you might not have a choice if you cause damage irreparable without surgery.

To learn more about Dr. Nammy Patel, you can click right here.

Allison Christensen Illustrates a Sports Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Tyrod Taylor

By Justin Lyons

Justin Herbert lined up under center on the first drive Sunday for the Los Angeles Chargers, which was a surprise.

Herbert was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Tyrod Taylor was supposed to be the starter while Herbert learned from the bench. Herbert had a successful day, scoring on his first drive and going on to throw for 311 yards and a touchdown, but he came up a bit short of the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs in overtime.

It’s now clear why Taylor didn’t play quarterback Sunday. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn told ESPN’s Shelley Smith that Taylor’s lung was punctured by a team doctor attempting to administer a pain relief injection just before kickoff.

Lynn told Smith that the injury is not career-threatening, and Taylor isn’t mad or upset. Lynn appeared to reaffirm Taylor’s status as a starter when he is cleared to return, saying there was a lot the Chargers didn’t get done with Herbert as their quarterback and that Herbert is a backup “for a reason.”

George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players Association, tweeted that the union’s medical and legal teams are looking into the incident. He also confirmed that the NFLPA has initiated an investigation.

According to ESPN, the injection is not uncommon, but the doctor is unable to see where the needle is going, which can be difficult. Though the procedure is standard, it is rare that a player’s lung is punctured.

Lynn said Herbert will start Sunday at home against the Carolina Panthers, as Taylor won’t be fully healthy.

“I am looking forward to seeing him play with a week of preparation and knowing he is the starter,” Lynn said.

The Panthers and Chargers will kick off at 1:05 p.m. local time Sunday.

Alison Christensen, illustrations, pandemic, 360 MAGAZINE

Mask Wearing Risks

A New York City doctor is available to discuss the long-term health impacts of wearing a N95 or similar mask to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. While studies have shown that masks cause dizziness caused by restricting oxygen flow, Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., has also issued a warning about serious, permanent damage to the face, nose, jawline, and skin, caused byincreased pressure from mask wearing. Ranging from infections and allergic reactions to permanent, premature wrinkling of the skin on the face, a mask worn improperly or for long-periods of time can cause adverse health conditions for the wearer.

While these conditions may once have been industry-specific, impacting those who must wear a mask in the workplace, Dr. Greenberg can discuss the more widespread occurrences of these conditions caused by requirements of Americans to wear a mask while in public. The doctor can discuss treatment, prevention, and additional concerns at greater length.

Dr. Stephen T. Greenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a nationally renowned cosmetic plastic surgeon with practices in New York, the Hamptons, and Boca Raton. Ivy-League educated with degrees and training at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, Greenberg is the author of A Little Nip, A Little Tuck. Greenberg has been featured in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, FOX News, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Regaining Control in Uncertain Times: Advice from a Doctor/Cancer Survivor

As a doctor and entrepreneur, I spent most of my life seeking control – obsessively studying, planning, and working to guarantee my success. That’s why I wanted to be an entrepreneur in the first place – I wanted to be my own boss, in charge of my own fate. Despite my success, in 2013, I would lose every semblance of control in my life. In 2013, I was diagnosed with cancer.

My cancer diagnosis came with many emotions: anger, anxiety, uncertainty, depression. I felt alone and hopeless, like everything I had worked so hard for suddenly didn’t matter. I just had to “wait and see” if the chemotherapy worked; how sick I would be; if I could have a family one day; if I would ever have my regular life back.

In many ways, I see similarities between the way my cancer diagnosis impacted my life and how the current Coronavirus pandemic is affecting us all. Life as you know it has suddenly stopped. You don’t know when it will return to normal, and you may feel like you have completely lost control of your life.

Even though the unknowns of cancer treatment terrified me, certain strategies gave me a “sense” of control – and often times, that was enough. I hope that you can employ these strategies in the coming days and weeks to regain control in these uncertain times.

Exercise

Although chemotherapy prevented intense workouts, simply walking regularly released feel-good endorphins in my brain, and it’s something I had control over. Similarly, a self-imposed routine may help you cope with the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic. Even though gyms are closed, consider doing body-weight workouts at home, YouTube fitness tutorials, or walking/running outside.

Breathe

You can also change your breathing patterns voluntarily, resulting in various powerful effects. For example, if you feel a wave of panic approaching, try taking deeper breaths using your diaphragm, which will cause your heart rate to slow and your body to relax.

Journal

Exercise and focused breathing are two techniques that worked for me, but it’s also important to remember what activities made you feel the best. Try journaling how different activities make you feel – more/less anxious, more/less in control, etc. This way, you can continue doing things that make you feel good, even when the Coronavirus is a distant memory.

Sometimes, challenging times are the kickstart you need to pursue a better life. After my cancer diagnosis, I completely transformed my stress-filled, unhealthy lifestyle. I overcame cancer, and I owe it all to positive lifestyle changes. If you are ready to start your journey to better health, check out my book “From Doctor to Patient.”

About Dr. Diva Nagula

Dr. Diva Nagula is a board-certified osteopathic physician with extensive knowledge and training in Integrative and Functional Medicine. He was diagnosed and treated for Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After several years of treatment, he remains in complete remission.
You can purchase his book here.

Vaughn Lowery, illustration, dating, 360 MAGAZINE, sara sandman

Allergy Season

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), allergy season affects 37 million people each year and the winter season can be a breeding ground for mold, dust mites, and animal dander due to heat, and lack of ventilation.

“During the Winter months and leading into the rest of the year, many suffer from seasonal allergies that continue to persist if not treated appropriately. I often recommend tips and lifestyle changes to my patients in order help to alleviate symptoms by implementing effective at home remedies,” says Shirin Peters, M.D. with Bethany Medical Clinic.
Here are some tips to find relief from winter allergies:

  1. Reduce your exposure to dust: Vacuum carpet and upholstery daily; wash your bedding weekly in hot water then dry
    on the highest temperature setting; and cover your pillows and mattress in air-tight allergen-resistant covers (seal dust away from you and put sheets and bedding on top) to eliminate dust mites.
  2. Use a HEPA filter in your home to remove dust and allergens from the air.
  3. Invest in a humidifier as dry air can cause dry, uncomfortable nasal passages, which are more easily inflamed by allergens.
  4. Bathe pets frequently to control dander
  5. Change air filters monthly to eliminate airborne dust containing lint, animal dander, bacteria, fabric fiber, and food material.
  6. Use fragrance and dye free laundry detergent like hypoallergenic Arm and Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear as it is gentle on the skin without irritation or worry of itchiness.
  7. Incorporate honey into your diet, although not scientifically proven, consuming a bit of honey every day may gradually immunize you to the irritant.
  8. Irrigate nasal passages with a saline solution for drug-free congestion relief and to soothe irritated passageways.
  9. Alternating hot and cold compresses over your eyes and nose can help relieve sinus pressure.
  10. A steamy hot shower clears nasal passages

“If you have allergy symptoms, getting a skin allergy test to determine the root cause and confirm the specific triggers for your symptoms can also be very useful,” adds Peters.

About Shirin Peters, M.D.

Shirin Peters, M.D. attended college at New York Medical College and completed her residency at the Former St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, NY. The following year, she worked at a private practice in North Carolina and learned more about the business of medicine. She returned to New York City and founded Bethany Medical Clinic of New York in 2011. She feels that New Yorkers face unique health challenges and set out to build a model of care that could reduce illness and improve health for New Yorkers and all city-dwellers. She uses her diverse past work experiences, and her understanding of city life, in her practice to give care to busy New Yorkers.

Harvard & Texas A&M

I write to inform you of my dismay over recent actions by Harvard faculty Dr. Walter Willett and Dr. Frank Hu and their associates, Dr. David Katz and the True Health Initiative (THI). Their actions, as
described in a recent JAMA article here
are unethical, distort the results of important scientific research, and, in our opinion, are false and harmful to Texas A&M University and its faculty. These are serious matters that undermine the values espoused by your institution and must be corrected immediately. 

I trust you were as surprised as I was after reading the JAMA article and ask that you take a look at the outrageous actions by THI. JAMA found that THI and several of its council members, including Harvard faculty Dr. Willett and Dr. Hu, mischaracterized scientific research
and falsely accused Texas A&M scientists of selling out to industry interests. According to JAMA, THI not only broke journal embargo policy but apparently used automated bots to flood the email inbox of the Editor in Chief of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Several of your faculty are involved as council members or advisers of THI and collaborated with THI in their effort to discredit scientific evidence that runs contrary to their ideology. I can assure you that Texas A&M’s research is driven by science. Period.

In addition to my concern about JAMA findings, I am attaching an illustration
Dr. Willett presented at a cardiology conference to attack a distinguished Texas A&M professor and the university itself as being influenced by industry. This unsubstantiated claim has been independently rejected and shown to be false in the JAMA article.

At this time, we have no hard basis to show that these actions against Texas A&M and its faculty are endorsed or condoned by your institution, and we hope we can work together to resolve this problem. Such
resolution should include a serious assessment by Harvard of its affiliation with THI and a comprehensive ethical review into any Harvard faculty involved with THI. Several scientists have severed ties with THI because of the issues discussed in this letter. Texas A&M applauds the stand taken by these scientists and encourages Harvard to show the same courage.


Texas A&M asks that Harvard join us for a purely scientific approach to nutrition for the sake of public health and public trust and reject the politics and unethical actions of THI that have sought to discredit science and interfere in the scientific process.

Szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE, relaxation, cbd, vacation, holiday, paradise, calm

Which CBD Product Is the Best? 

Cannabidiol (or CBD for short) oil is derived from the cannabis plant. Although CBD is from cannabis, it does not get you high. It does have many therapeutic benefits and can be used to ease the symptoms of conditions such as anxiety. Different people have different responses to CBD oil, so it’s essential to try the oil for yourself to see what positive or negative effects you get. The following guide gives you some options to consider to choose the best CBD product for you.

What Are the Most Common CBD Products?

The CBD industry is growing by leaps and bounds. There are many preparations and products on the market, but CBD oil taken sublingually is one of the most popular CBD products. Vaping CBD is another common CBD product with its popularity growing as CBD becomes more mainstream. CBD products for animals are also becoming quite common. 

Aspects That Determine the Efficiency of a Product

The CBD industry is almost entirely unregulated to date. So it’s up to the consumer to ascertain what they are buying and using. Dosage amounts that are too low will not achieve the ‘optimum’ level for an individual, and they may subsequently feel no effect at all. Finding the correct dose of CBD to achieve your optimum results can take trial-and-error. Most proponents recommend starting with lower dosages and increasing the dosage if needed. 

You can find a range of concentrations available, from 100 mg up to 3,500 mg, which are recommended for a dosage of between .5 ml and 1.0 mil under the tongue. You may find that it’s easier to get a controlled dosage with edibles like gummies or capsules than with oil, which is delivered by a dropper. Users also find that more product is delivered by ingesting than via vaping.

Sublingual Consumption

There is a vein under the tongue called the sublingual gland. When a substance is administered under the tongue to the sublingual glands, it gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which is referred to as sublingual consumption or sublingual administration. Common sublingual consumption methods include CBD tinctures, CBD lozenges, and CBD sprays.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the proportion of a substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body and thus will have an active effect. It’s basically the rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is an essential measurement tool since it determines the correct dosage administration of a substance. Sublingual CBD products generally have high bioavailability. 

Duration of Effect

It typically takes 15–30 minutes to feel the effects of a CBD tincture, and the effects are known to last between 4–6 hours, though it is partially a factor of how potent a dose is taken. 

Ingested CBD, either using edibles or capsules, takes a bit longer to have an effect, but the results will also last longer, compared to other methods of taking CBD. This is because when CBD products are ingested, it takes a while for them to be digested and then processed by the liver before making it to the bloodstream. Once they are in the bloodstream, you can start to feel their effects.

Convenience

Finding a CBD oil product that is convenient for you to use will determine its effectiveness. You needn’t make a trek to the store to buy CBD oil, as there are a plethora of online retailers with all the products at your fingertips. 

CBD edibles are one of the most convenient ways to use CBD oil, as you don’t need to worry about a cream, which requires time to apply, or vaping, which requires equipment. CBD capsules are often considered the most convenient, but CBD gummies are increasingly popular and very convenient. 

The market is so large that there are now CBD products for any indulgence, including CBD-infused soaps, bath salts, lip balm, eye cream, and other ways to take part in CBD’s benefits according to your fancy. Note that some products available in one state or country are not guaranteed to be available in the next.

Cost

According to HuffPost, price is often a marker of purity. They advise that if you see a CBD oil that claims to have a 100-milligram potency for less than $40, it’s likely that the CBD is not pure.  According to another source, a 1-ounce, or 30-milliliter, bottle of CBD oil may cost anywhere from $30 to over $200. What makes the discrepancy? Well, the potency of a bottle can greatly affect the price, as well as where it is manufactured. When trying to decide if a CBD product is priced right, you can ask the following questions: 

  • Is it grown organically
  • Is it grown domestically? 
  • What are the product reviews?

You can look for certificates of analysis (COA), which have to be issued by a licensed laboratory, which tests for potency and safety. This certification is pricey for companies and may add to your cost.

Method of Consumption

To complicate matters, there is a wide range of methods to experience CBD oil. You can ingest sublingually (as in various terpenes) or use edibles such as capsules, gummies, syrups or CBD infused coffee or tea. You can deliver CBD products via inhalation with vaporizers, smokeables, or topicals on the skin. Topicals vary, too. You can select CBD topical cream or sprays. The effects of each method differ from one individual to individual. 

Conclusion

The best CBD product is the one that suits you for cost, convenience, and outcome. Remember that you can expect very different results, depending on dosing, the condition that needs treating.

World's AIDS Day, szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE

Youth Against AIDS

Youth Against AIDS and AXA announce a collaboration to build a prevention platform for the young generation

On occasion of World AIDS Day 2019 Youth Against AIDS (YAA) and AXA announced a collaboration to support YAA´s efforts to create a comprehensive sexual health and prevention platform for the young generation.

Digital tools and technical innovations are creating new opportunities in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases. This is especially true for prevention amongst young people. YAA and AXA use the advantages of the omnipresence of smartphones and growing demand of digital services to reach young people regardless of location or time. The platform, called FAQ YOU, includes a chatbot to answer the most common and pressing questions about sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases (FAQs) 24/7. The beta version of the chatbot will be launched in the US. Further tools will be integrated into the platform which will give  young users guidance to services like conducting HIV tests, finding an STI clinic or condom dispensers or getting in touch with medical services via tele medicine. The platform aims to complement personal counseling services, which are often unavailable for young people, at at later stage.

“Today, we see many silos in the sexual health sector. It remains a challenge for our generation to access credible content, get the right answers on demand and to access youth-friendly services. We want to change this by creating a digital one-stop-shop solution for all needs on sexual health and  education that meet the needs of our young target group. We believe that we need more innovation in prevention and FAQ YOU will be our answer to push these topics and to make a difference in the life of young people. We are grateful for the commitment of AXA that enables us to use modern technologies to help our generation to live healthier lives.”

Daniel Nagel, CEO Youth against AIDS 

“The partnership with Youth Against AIDS is very exciting for AXA – with this initiative we support YAA to evolve from a communication and awareness channel for youth to a digital source of health related content and services on sexual health and other taboo topics. We bring our expertise in emerging technologies and data while remaining true to our commitment to health and disease prevention.”

– Astrid Stange, Chief Operating Officer AXA Group




Youth Against AIDS Head of Product Anna Konopka and Astrid Stange, Chief Operating Officer AXA Group.
 

About Youth against AIDS (YAA)

Youth Against AIDS is an international youth-focused NGO. 

YAA develops innovative sexual health information and dialogue services for young people. To achieve their goals, the young team finds new paths to old challenges: unconventional and courageous. YAA networks with partners who play a role in the lives of  the young target group and implement innovative formats with them – both online and locally. This ensures that YAA  is present in the everyday life of young people. The organisation’s offers are open to everyone, easy to understand and always available.

What is important to us: respectful interaction without fear of contact – with oneself and others. We create awareness without fear.

Joshua S. Yamamoto, M.D., F.A.C.C. ,You Can Prevent A Stroke, 360 MAGAZINE, author, book

World Stroke Day is Coming (Oct. 29th)

By: Joshua S. Yamamoto, M.D., F.A.C.C. (Author, You Can Prevent A Stroke)

The best way to treat a stroke is to prevent it.


Yes, You Can Prevent a Stroke, and remember, prevent is an active verb.


A stroke is damage to the brain from interrupted or inadequate blood. When we don’t get blood to the brain, it dies. Fundamentally, when we maintain adequate circulation to the brain, we prevent strokes.

Recognizing that our circulation naturally ages gives us the chance to be proactive in maintaining our health and preventing the otherwise inevitable changes that cause strokes.

Strokes are considered a “disease of aging.” This is true. But “aging” is much better understood than it once was. Aging is largely predictable. That makes it measurable and manageable. In fact, there is almost no such thing as cardiovascular disease, it’s mostly just natural aging.


Everyone ages, even Olympic athletes. No one is immune. We have 100,000 heart beats a day. That’s a lot of wear and tear. This internal aging is what leads to plaque build-up in arteries, increased strain and work in the heart, and the inevitability of less reliable and irregular heartbeats. These are the internal changes which cause strokes.


“Risk Factors” like diabetes, smoking, unfavorable lipids and higher blood pressure, are best thought of as things that accelerate natural aging. But there are two key things to remember: we are all dealt a genetic hand when we are born. We can not change the cards we are dealt, but we can choose how we play them. Secondly, time always passes.
The inevitable internal changes of aging do not produce symptoms before they lead to brain damage. That’s why we call heart and vascular disease the silent killer. It may be silent, but it is not invisible.


We can see it, long before it causes problems. But you need to look. No one knows their health on the inside until they look, but looking is easy and painless. We can use tools like ultrasound and extended cardiac monitoring. Once you know your health on the inside, then you can work with your doctor to actively prevent a stroke.


Our lifestyle choices and personal effort (that is, our diet and exercise) make a difference, but only to a point. Ultimately, genetics and time will matter more. If we want to prevent a stroke, think: “D-HART.”


Have a Doctor, and ask-


What is the health of my Heart (and how do we know)?


What is the health of my Arteries?


What is my heart’s Rate and Rhythm?


Is it Time to do something or start a medication?


Ask these questions so you can make informed decisions on how to navigate your own aging because, You Can Prevent a Stroke.

Go Ahead, Stop & Pee: Running During Pregnancy and Postpartum ,Dr. Blair Green PT, DPT, 360 MAGAZINE

Five Exercises to Alleviate Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction


By Dr. Blair Green PT, DPT

Do you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, run or jump? Do you experience pressure in the pelvis that feels like something is falling out? Do you struggle with chronic constipation? Do you experience pain with intercourse or with wearing tampons? If you can answer yes to any of these questions you may suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD).

PFD affects at least 25% of women, and the prevalence rises in an athletic population to nearly 40%. While pregnancy and childbirth are risk factors for PFD, many women who never become pregnant may also experience these symptoms.

The pelvic floor muscles (PFM) connect from the pubic bone to the tailbone and form a hammock-like structure on the underside of the pelvis. PFD occurs when these muscles are not able to perform their normal function. The PFM assist with urinary and defecatory function, sexual arousal and orgasm, and pelvic organ support. In addition, the PFM make up the most inferior part of the core, working with the diaphragm, abdominals and low back muscles to provide central core control.

Alleviating and preventing problems with the PFM can sometimes be as simple as incorporating specific exercises. Research shows that one of the best ways to prevent urinary leakage is to work on strengthening the PFM. However, to maximize function and improve problems, the PFM must also learn how to relax as well as contract, and work alongside the other muscles in the deep core, as well as with the muscles of the hips and legs. If you are experiencing symptoms of PFD, consider trying the following exercises:

  1. Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing – The diaphragm and PFM work as a team. Deep breathing through the diaphragm can help the PFM relax, and can also help them contract properly. When you inhale, the PFM relax and lengthen, and when you exhale they contract and shorten. Try lying on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands on the outside of the rib cage. As you inhale, the ribs should expand and the chest and belly should rise. As you exhale, the ribs should move down and in, and the chest and belly should fall. Continue to breathe for up to 10 – 20 repetitions. This can also be done sitting, standing, lying on your side, or on all fours.
  2. PFM Activation, aka “Kegel” exercises – This exercise serves to contract the PFM, which is an important mechanism to assist control of bowel and bladder function, and support for the pelvic organs. While the PFM should be strong, to counter high forces that the body encounters with lifting, jumping and running, It is just as important that the muscles can fully relax between contractions. Begin with deep diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, imagine a kidney bean at the opening of the vagina. Squeeze and lift the kidney bean, contracting the PFM. Hold for up to 10 sec as you continue to breathe. Relax. Repeat up to 10 times. For variety in the PFM Activation exercise, try to imagine that the muscles are an elevator. As you exhale, the elevator is rising from the first to the fifth floor. As you inhale, it lowers back to the first floor. You can also practice quick contractions where you hold the muscle tight for one to two seconds and then let it go. It is important to keep breathing through all of these exercises.
  3. Bridging – This exercise incorporates breathing, PFM activation and spinal movement. It lifts the hips above the shoulders which can help assist gravity to improve pelvic pressure. Lie on your back and begin with diaphragmatic breathing to prepare. As you exhale, contract the PFM and begin to curl up one vertebra at time, lifting the hips off the floor. At the top, the trunk should form a straight line from the shoulders to the hips. Inhale to pause at the top, and exhale to reverse the movement, rolling the spine and hips back to the floor. Repeat 10-20 times.
  4. Happy Baby – This yoga pose is a great way to coordinate breathing with pelvic floor relaxation. Lie on your back. Lift your legs, bending the knees, so that the feet are facing the ceiling. Grab under your feet with your hands. Hold this position as you take 5-10 deep breaths.
  5. Assisted Squatting – Deep squatting may exacerbate signs of urinary leakage or pelvic pressure. Using a strap or holding onto a door for assistance, or limiting range of motion, are two ways to complete a squat movement with less downward pressure on the PFM. Stand, holding onto the back of a chair, doorknob or strap. Take one breath to prepare. On the next inhale, lower down toward the floor, bending at the hips and knees. As you exhale, activate the PFM, and use the glute (buttock) muscles to stand up. You can use your arms for assistance to pull up to reduce pressure on the pelvis. Repeat 10-20 times.

Not every problem with the PFM can be fixed with exercise, and not all exercises are appropriate for every person. If you feel like you are not improving, or these exercises make your symptoms worse, please consult a pelvic health physical therapist or your doctor. The best way to treat PFD is a multi-disciplinary approach combining physical therapy, medical management, behavioral strategies and exercise.

BLAIR GREEN, PT, DPT, co-author of Go Ahead, Stop & Pee: Running During Pregnancy and Postpartum, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a focus on pre/post-natal health and wellness, the founder/CEO of Catalyst Physical Therapy, and a board-certified orthopedic specialist. Known as the “go-to” expert in her field, Dr. Green is also a Polestar-trained Pilates instructor and a Certified Manual Trigger Point Therapist. She serves as an instructor in the Physical Therapy program at Emory University, and as a faculty member for several Physical Therapy continuing education companies.